Although almost 50 years-old people may have never heard of the game called "pickleball," the US Pickleball Association estimates between 40-50,000 people worldwide are playing.
Pickleball was introduced in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle as a backyard family game on a badminton sized court (44' X 20') with a 34-inch net. The inventors used wooden paddles and a whiffle ball that happened to belong to the family cocker spaniel, Pickles. The story goes that the dog would chase after errant balls and it became known as "Pickles' ball"...thus the name.
Mike and Josh Vandergrift prepare the lines of one of the outdoor pickleball courts. The courts are now open for play. Reservations can be made for 1.5-hour sessions. Anyone is invited to view the facility, ask for information or request a lesson.
The sport is a mixture of table tennis, paddle tennis, badminton and tennis. It is played with a paddle about 8 inches wide and 15 inches long, including the handle, faced with plywood, graphite or composite. The ball is a perforated plastic ball about the size of a tennis ball.
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