Pickleball is a game that is sure to win the hearts of everyone who gives it a swing. It all started when three dads (and neighbors) from Bainbridge Island, Washington came home to find their children lazing about inside, despite the gorgeous sunny state of the day. Their other family members were intrigued when the men went out to the badminton court, lowered the net to tennis court standards and handed their children paddles and a whiffle ball. Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum were determined to create a game that would be challenging and addicting, yet still accessible for all ages. In the coming days during that fateful summer of ’65, kids and adults alike fell in love with this hybrid game combining badminton, ping pong, and tennis. So, I know you’re wondering; why is it called “Pickleball”? Well, Pickles is the name of one of the founder’s (Joel Pritchard) family dog – and he too loved to chase the ball around the court. Everyone felt the game needed a nutty name to match the outlandish style of play – so they coined it right there as Pickles caught the ball and ran off with it, “Ahhh, c’mon Pickles, not again!”: The game would be known as Pickleball.
Since Pickleball unites the best qualities of two categories of sports, play can be competitive or leisurely depending on the individual skill level. Pickleball is an inclusive, accessible, non-elitist sport that transcends social and economic barriers. This is why it is so popular in retirement communities located in areas where the sun shines all year round. Older residents love the game because they can be physically active without needing to sprint across a full-size court. This is a great social activity for people who are uninterested in traditional gyms, yet want to stay healthy and active in a social setting.
Though you must find a court to play on, people find it especially exhilarating when they find their perfect pickleball league and get to share the sport with like-minded individuals. This social event endorses healthy competition, making it a fantastic way to meet new people or strengthen bonds with friends, family, and neighbors.
Now, for the technical side of Pickleball. This beloved sport is played on a badminton-sized court: 20’ x 44’. The ball is served diagonally while starting with the righthander’s service-square. Points may only be scored by the side that served the individual point. Players on each side must let the ball bound once before volleys are allowed. There is also a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net to prevent any spiking. The server will continue to serve while alternating service courts, until the server faults or loses the point. The first side to score eleven points and leading by at least two points will be the champion. Pickleball can be played with two players or four players depending on how many people have opted-in on the fun!
Head to your favorite Cove Community, pick up a paddle, and give Pickleball a whack! You will find Pickleball courts and new friends to play with at Rolling Greens Village, Camelot East Village, and Camelot Lakes Village.