If the Olympics prove anything to anyone, there are some wild sports today. Even though pickleball isn’t a part of the Olympic Games yet, you can still educate yourself on the most interesting facts about pickleball.
The Origin Story
Parents create all sorts of silly games to entertain their children. However, most of them don’t unintentionally create a sport that 2.5 million people grow to play across the United States. But that’s what happened when three dads from Bainbridge Island, Washington came up with the idea in 1965.
Bill Bell, Barney McCallum, and Joel Pritchard gathered things around the house to make the gear for the game. They adopted several rules from badminton, table tennis, and court tennis to create the game so many enjoy today.
How It Became Pickleball
Many folks may perk their ears up when they hear about pickleball because of its unique name. Are people shooting or hitting actual pickles? Sadly, there are no pickles in the game. Pickleball got its name from Pritchard’s dog named Pickles, who, like any dog, enjoyed chasing the ball while the game took place.
The Unique Ball
Sorry to have crushed your dreams that the ball doesn’t consist of pickles. The ball is still unique compared to other sports. A pickleball is a mad scientist-like combination of a Wiffle, ping-pong, and tennis ball in one. The ball is larger than other racquet sports, and its large holes affect its aerodynamics, causing it to lose steam when it’s coming at you.
Pickleball’s Governing Body
You know the sport is official when it has a governing body. The United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) may sound like the fictional American Dodgeball Association of America from the film Dodgeball. Still, it’s as real as White Goodman’s hair was fake. The USAPA started in 2005 to help implement official rules for sanctioned tournaments.
A Game for Everyone
The beautiful thing about pickleball is that people of all ages enjoy hitting the court. Nearly 70 percent of its players could get a discount at their local movie theater for being over 60. Like tennis, when it’s not played at an ultra-competitive level, pickleball isn’t too grueling. Additionally, men and women seem to enjoy the game equally. The split is close to even, with men carrying the majority at 53 percent.
Learning the most interesting facts about pickleball may show you what you’re missing if you haven’t tried it. It’s a fun game to play with friends or family on a beautiful summer day, so give it a whirl!