Historical Pickleball Facts
The history of pickleball is very interesting. The story of the beginning of pickleball is very wholesome. Here are some Pickleball facts that will increase your interest:
1. Nearly 60 Years Old
Pickleball was founded in 1965 by three dads. This game was invented by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.
Joel was a congressman and Bill was a businessman. One day they visited their hometown which is not far from Seattle, Washington. The kids were bored at home. So everyone decided to play badminton. However, there was no proper equipment to play the game. So they played with a table tennis paddle and a plastic ball that had holes.
When they started playing, they realized that the perforated ball was bouncing smoothly on the asphalt badminton court. Barney McCallum also joined and these three dads invented the game by making its rules.
2. Not Related To Pickles
You might have assumed that pickleball was named due to the founder’s fondness for pickles. However, that’s not true! Because pickleball has nothing to do with pickles.
The game was named after Pritchard’s dog ‘pickle’. According to Barney McCallum, Pickle used to chase after the ball when they used to play pickleball in the initial days.
3. America is Not the Only Nation to Adopt This Game
Although seems to only be popular in the United States, the truth is that there are many other countries where this game is gaining popularity.
There is an international organization for this game called the International Federation of Pickleball. Players from different countries such as France, Canada, the US, Spain, Britain, etc come under the umbrella of IFP.
4. First Pickleball Courts
The first court was established in 1967. This was formed in the backyard of Bob O’Brien, who was a friend and neighbor of Pritchard.
Ever since people’s for this game has increased. Today, there are numerous pickleball courts in different states.
Many new courts are also springing up from the grounds of the US because of the insane popularity of the game.
5. First Tournament
11 years after the game was invented, the first tournament was held in the spring of 1976. The tournament was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington.
It was a men’s singles tournament where the players were tennis players from different colleges. These players didn’t know much about pickleball and there weren’t many rules at that time.
Also, there was no specific equipment for playing the game. Therefore the players had to use wooden paddles and plastic balls that were similar to softballs.
You might find this interesting: “History of Pickleball: A Pickleball Timeline“
More Fun Facts
The Pickleball history facts were wholesome and essential to learn, but let’s be honest, history can be boring sometimes. Therefore, here are some fun Pickleball facts to add more information to the folder of pickleball that’s formed in your head.
6. An Area in This Sport is Called a Kitchen
As a beginner to pickleball, everyone gets confused when they hear the word, ‘kitchen’. But they are relieved when they know that they don’t have to cook in this game.
We had to add that pickleball pun! The kitchen is a seven feet area behind the net line. This area is present on both sides of the court.
‘Kitchen’ is a slang term for ‘non-volley zone. Players can’t hit a volley shot in this area. To simply explain this, players can not hit a ball in this area unless it has bounced.
7. Fastest Growing Sports in North America
Pickleball is known to be one of the fastest-growing sports in America, especially in North America. In 2014, NBC presented a report on live television and gave this title to pickleball.
Currently, there are millions of pickleball players and the number is increasing day by day. The game is also becoming very popular among older people as it can be a good form of exercise and doesn’t put a lot of stress on players.
8. Only the Server Can Score Points
According to the official rule books of pickleball, only a server can win the points. Let’s say you are a server and your opponent makes a mistake. In this case, you will be awarded a score point.
But if it’s the other way around and you (as a server) make a mistake, you won’t lose a point. However, you will lose the chance of making the next serve.
Although this rule might seem biased and stupid to some people, this rule makes pickleball unique from other racquet sports.
9. Courts Are Present in all States
The growth of pickleball was (and is) unstoppable. This can be proven by the fact that this game is being played in all 50 states of the US.
USA Pickleball Association reports that over 38,000 courts are found in the 50 states of America. These courts are brewing new players who might take over the world of pickleball soon.
10. Can be Played Indoor and Outdoor
The biggest pro of pickleball is that it can be played indoors and outdoors. However, there are some differences between the outdoor and indoor games of pickleball.
Both indoor and outdoor gameplays have similar rules, but the balls and surface of the court are different. In indoor play, the ball is softer and has larger holes, while an outdoor ball has fewer holes and is slightly harder.
Outdoor courts are made with an asphalt surface. However, the inner courts usually have a wooden floor and are similar to the basketball courts.
11. You Can’t Serve Overhand
Rule books say that you have to serve underhand in a game. Otherwise, it would be considered a fault. To make a service, the player has to stand behind the baseline and has to serve the cross-court.
According to the official rulebooks, the serve must be made underhand in a way such that the contact of the paddle with the ball is made below the waist. Otherwise, you might lose the serve.
12. Ball Must Have 26-40 Holes
Typically, an indoor pickleball has few large holes. On the other hand, an outdoor ball has smaller holes in larger quantities.
According to pickleball organizations, there must be 26-40 holes in a pickleball. These holes help the ball to stay stable against the wind.
For example, outdoor balls have to endure more wind pressure. Therefore, you must play an outdoor game with a ball that has a lot of small holes.
13. It’s a Hybrid of Three Sports
Pickleball is a hybrid of three different sports; tennis, table tennis, and badminton. Some of the rules are also quite similar to these racquet sports.
As we mentioned in the earlier rules, this game was invented when a congressman and a businessman wanted to play badminton with their children but didn’t have equipment.
Therefore they used table tennis paddles. Two racquet sports i.e. badminton and table tennis were the basis of this game.
From there, the three dads formed new rules while keeping these two racquet sports as well as tennis, which is also quite similar to these.
14. Two Types of Balls
Pickleball has two different sorts of balls; indoor and outdoor. The indoor balls have a few large holes. On the other hand, outdoor balls have many small holes.
The texture of both balls is also different. There are two types because the outer weather can be harsh and windy. Also, the outdoor court is usually made of asphalt. So the ball has to be made in a way that it can bounce on this surface.
15. People of Every Age Can Play
The beauty of pickleball is that people of every age can play it. It can be played by kids or teens as this game does not require a lot of effort.
Elder people can also play as it’s a good game to kill their boredom and also isn’t too strenuous for their aging bodies. All in all, this is a game that welcomes everyone with open arms.
16. Paddles Used to be Different
Initially, the paddles were made of wood and resembled table tennis paddles. With time, the paddles evolved into the current design.
There are different designs of paddles that are made with different materials. The affordable paddles are still made of wood. However, the expensive ones are made with graphite.
17. There is No Official Dress Code
Many sports such as tennis have a dress code. Players must wear clothes according to the dress code that’s set by the regulatory authorities.
However, pickleball doesn’t have any dress court. But it doesn’t mean that players can wear anything on the court. Normally, athletic clothes are worn by the players.
18. Can be Played by Wheelchair Users
This game can be enjoyed by every human being! Even people who are in wheelchairs can enjoy this sport.
The United States Pickleball Association has made some rules for wheelchairs. The rules of wheelchair pickleball are slightly different than the typical ones.
19. Pickleball is Budget Friendly
One of the main reasons for the popularity of pickleball is that this game is extremely affordable. Many sports require a lot of investment if you want to get in.
To start playing, you only need a paddle and a ball. If you can afford it, you can buy a membership to a court. Otherwise, you can play it on a badminton or tennis court.
With some modifications, you can play in your backyard as well. Oh, and did we mention that you can also rent the paddles from a court if you just want to try this game for fun?
20. Extremely Easy to Learn
Out of all racquet sports, pickleball is, no doubt, the easiest of all. The rules of pickleball are extremely easy to comprehend and you also don’t have to take coaching from professionals to get started.
You can read our blogs or watch videos on the internet to get started!
21. Capital of the World
Naples, Florida is known to be the capital of the world. The largest tournament of the world is also held there.
The USA Pickleball Championship is held in this city on an annual basis. More than 10,000 spectators watch this tournament every year.
Read on to find some quick and interesting facts about the game!
- Pickleball enthusiasts are commonly known as ‘picklers’.
- Players who lose the match are known to be ‘pickled’.
- The first game was played with a Wiffle ball.
- This game is more popular with the elderly as only 32% of players are under the age of 60.
- ‘Other Racquet Sports’ was the first book to mention pickleball in 1978.
- Men and women don’t play against each other. Both have different singles and doubles matches.
- 67% of players are men and 33% of the picklers are women.
- The Pickleball hall of fame was established in 2017 to recognize excellent players.
- The largest pickleball meet was held in 2018 in California. Over 2000 picklers gathered on this occasion.
- Most professional players come from Washington, Oregon, and California.
- A lot of injured tennis players have switched their careers to pickleball as it is less tiring, demands less activity, and is more simple and enjoyable.
- The ‘kitchen rule’ is said to be the hardest rule to follow in the gameplay.
- 90 minutes of pickleball are equal to 7k-10k steps walked.
- A channel is dedicated to pickleball where only pickleball-related videos are telecasted. This channel is called the ‘Pickleball Channel’.
- International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association or IPTPA is a teaching associate for this sport. Many professionals get their training here.
- The ball used to play this game travels at ⅓ of the speed of a tennis ball.
- Unlike many other sports, pickleball doesn’t require a person to be fit. It also doesn’t require you to exercise.
- The USA Association of Pickleball regulates the official pickleball balls.
- Many schools in the US have started teaching this game to students.
Let us know if we missed any facts. Also, tell us about your favorite fact in the comment section. You can also mention the fact you found the weirdest!