What’s in a name? The answer could be serious or silly; in this case it’s silly but fun!
The game was invented in 1965 by Washington State congressman Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell. Surprisingly, Pickleball is a very literal name for the game.
The ball that is used is a plastic perforated ball about twice the size of ping pong balls, and in fact, a ball enjoyed by Pickles, the congressman’s cocker spaniel.
As the game was played whenever a wayward shot was made, Pickles ran to reclaim his possession, picking up the ball and running with it!
Racquets that look like oversized ping pong paddles are used to hit the plastic ball over a net that is similar to a tennis net.
So you could say that Pickleball is a little bit tennis, a little bit ping pong and a whole lot of fun! It can be played inside our outside on a badminton-sized court.
Pickelball was brought to the by Joe and Peggy O’Toole who were introduced to the sport while visiting relatives in Texas. The couple are avid tennis players and soon discovered that when unable to play tennis because of weather conditions they could always play Pickleball.
Since the Y started the sport in January many people have expressed an interest and have joined in the fun. The beauty of this game is that it is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players and it is great for all ages!
In Ogden, Utah the schools have implemented Pickleball as a mandatory PE program in all Ogden Schools, 5th through 12th grade.
Pickelball is played Mondays and Thursdays at the Fowler gymnasium starting at 10:00 a.m. and going until 1:00 p.m.
All equipment is provided, so don’t worry if you don’t have your own racquet. Anyone and everyone are welcome to join in on the fun.
Joe and Peggy are wonderful about teaching the game. For more information on the game visit the official website of Pickleball at www.usapa.org.
Kathi Jones, Fowler YMCA