A paddle sport, Pickleball combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis into one game. This sport takes an oversized ping-pong ball, plays on the court the size of a badminton area with a net that is tennis-sized. The greatest thing about the sport is that it can be played by many ages and it has simple rules to follow.
The history behind Pickleball started on Bainbridge Island, WA in 1965 where it was co-created by Joel Pritchard and friends. It was developed as a new sport for the whole family to play. Some say its name came from a family dog by the name of “Pickles”, who liked to chase balls and hide them in the bushes. However, it’s been revealed by Pritchard’s family that the dog actually came after the game. The source of the name is more likely to have been derived from the water, or more specifically, rowing. The inventor’s family mentioned that this could be more of a reference to “pickle boats”, which are one of the slower moving vessels. The other thought here is that it could have been a nod to those oarsmen chosen from leftovers of other boats. Either way, the sport has a name that certainly captures its fun and catchy nature.
This sport is currently recognized not just here in the US, but internationally. The USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) has raised awareness for the game, and it is now popular worldwide. Pickleball can now be played every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 1:30-3:30pm at the Eau Gallie Civic Center (1551 Highland Avenue Melbourne, FL 32935). The cost is $1/person per day. If you prefer to sign up for an annual membership, the cost is $15 for residents or $18 for non-residents. For questions or more information, call (321) 255-4608 or visit here.