Have you heard about the fast-growing sport of pickleball? It’s quickly becoming one of the country’s most popular pastimes — and it’s not because people are paddling brined cucumbers over a net (which they’re most certainly not.) Despite the funny name, pickleball is a game that combines several elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong all into one sport. The paddle is solid, not stringed, and the ball is perforated, somewhat like a small Wiffle Ball. Two to four players play on a court that is similar to a tennis court. A big plus is that it’s just as fun as tennis but is more comfortable on the joints. Here are some more fun and interesting ones to know about this fun sports craze:
- Anyone, young or young-at-heart, can play the game but currently, 68% of pickleball players are above the age of 60.
- Three fathers from Bainbridge Island, Washington created the game of pickleball in 1972 to entertain their kids. The men, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, used items they had lying around the house and utilized rules from tennis, badminton, and ping pong to come up with the sport.
- Some claim that the name “pickleball” came from Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, whose name was Pickles. However, that family dog, who made his debut two years after they invented the sport, got his name from the game.
- The pickleball name comes from the term “pickle boat,” which refers to the last boat to return with its catch. Joan Pritchard, Joel’s wife, said the name came “after I said it reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”
- Both men and women love to play pickleball equally. Statistics show that 53% of players are male, and 47% are female.
- According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) 2017 Pickleball Participant Report, pickleball currently has 2.815 million players in the US – an increase of 12.3% over last year.
- By 2018, its estimated that 3 million people will be playing pickleball.
- Pickleball has rules that allow teams with standing players and wheelchaired players to play each other.
- Since it is growing so popular, many elementary, middle, and high schools are teaching kids how to play pickleball in their gym classes.
- Soleil Laurel Canyon has multiple pickleball courts and a popular pickleball club too. It’s easy and fun to participate in our beginner clinics, lessons, team round-robins, and (of course) the post-game socials too.
Pickleball is just one facet of all the fun we have at Soleil. Stop by and see all the fantastic clubs and amenities we have to offer at our award-winning active adult community. You’ll be glad you did.