Pickleball: The Popular Sport You May Not Know About

No pickles are used in the playing of this game.

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The Louisiana State Games’ first 2017 event kicks off this weekend. Is it tennis? No. Is it ping-pong? Nope. Is it badminton? Wow, that’s specific, but no. Throw all three sports in a blender and you get…

Pickleball.

 

The sport was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created the game for their kids who were getting bored with their typical summer activities. The name “pickleball” was either derived from Pritchard’s wife Joan, who called the game pickleball because the combination of sports made her think of the pickle boat, whose crew were oarsmen chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Or the name may have also come from the Pritchard’s dog Pickles who would chase the ball and run off with it. Other accounts claim that Pickles the dog was adopted a few years later, and was named after the game instead of the other way around.

 

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This game can be played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court and with a modified tennis net. Played as singles or doubles with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, this is a paddle sport for all ages and skill levels.

A pickleball court is the same size as a doubles badminton court, used for both singles and doubles. The court is striped similar to a tennis court, with the non-volley zone referred to as the “kitchen.” Courts are either constructed specifically for pickleball or existing tennis and badminton courts can be converted.

A pickleball paddle is smaller than a tennis racket but larger than a ping-pong paddle. Originally made of wood, today’s paddles are primarily made of lightweight composite materials. Each player must use a pickleball paddle. The ball has holes in it, similar to a whiffle ball, and different ones are used depending on indoor or outdoor play.

The Louisiana State Games Pickleball Tournament is March 8-9 at the ULM Activity Center. Go check out the popular game that can be played by all ages.

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You might just discover your new favorite sport.

And check out all of the other tournaments coming up this year for the 2017 Louisiana State Games. There might be something you’d want to compete in! Winners advance to the State Games of America held in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

 

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