A couple of years ago, I was sitting outside my RV enjoying some coffee, when a construction crew showed up. Curious, I asked what they were doing. They said they were going to build a pickleball park.
What the heck is pickleball?
I’ve heard of baseball and basketball, but pickleball was beyond my imagination. Does the ball look like a pickle? Is it shaped like a pickle? If so, it will surely bounce crazy. The construction guys didn’t know, they just built the courts.
Time went by and the court was finally finished. It looked like a small tennis court. I couldn’t imagine anyone ever playing this game, but soon the street out front was jammed with golf carts loaded with pickleball players and equipment.
The paddle looks similar to a ping pong paddle, but it’s shaped a little different. The ball is actually a whiffle ball as far as I’m concerned.
They swear it’s a pickleball, so who am I to argue
Anyway, they usually play the game in teams of two people on each side of the net. They hit the ball back and forth across the net to each other. I don’t know if the ball has to bounce first or what. All I know is from about 9AM until dark you hear a constant knock of the ball hitting the paddle.
This called for research
I had to find out more about pickleball, so I did some research. There’s a USA pickleball association, believe it or not, and they have strict rules and scoring methods.
In 1965, while I was out cruising in my car chasing girls, three guys in Bainbridge Island, WA were inventing the game of pickleball. They started the process in order for their family to have something to do together..
There was an old badminton court nearby, so they improvised. They used the badminton court with a whiffle ball and ping pong paddles. One of their dogs, named Pickles, kept chasing the ball and running off with it. Hence, the name pickleball.
The rest is history
From this point on the game grew in popularity and eventually the USAPA was formed. As a result, they now have official rule books and specific court dimensions.
There are now nearly 4,000 places to play pickleball, including directly across from my house.
I still haven’t played the game. Seniors say it’s good exercise and not too hard physically. Obviously many people enjoy this sport, I guess I’m just not quite up with the times. Or not quite into exercise.