Pickleball is a sport played on a court one fourth the size of a tennis court using a paddle and whiffelball. This multi-generational game was invented sixty years ago by three dads and was played in a driveway. When a family member’s dog named “Pickle” kept stealing the ball, they appropriately named this game “pickleball.
Today pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Looking at numbers, the estimation is that by the year 2018, 18 million people in the United States will be playing pickleball. The governing agency of pickleball, the USA Pickleball Association, reports that over 200 new facilities are being added monthly. The appeal of this fast-paced game is multi-fold. Pickle ball is a quick study. One can be taught the rules, scoring, and stroke mechanics in less than an hour. Games are short- to eleven points. Rotating teams in and out of games means that you are getting a great workout while meeting new friends. Rallies last a longer time than tennis because the ball is a light sized whiffelball. Many seniors are attracted to pickleball because it is played on a small court and is low-impact. It does not require the kind of joint strain and vigorous bending that tennis does. Pickle ball is extremely aerobic and great for working on balance and agility.
In 2015 the USAPA integrated the sport of pickleball with the acceptance of wheelchair rules. In staying true to the mission of inclusion and accessibility, the sport was opened up to all permanent physical disabilities with the advent of Para-Pickleball.
Local venues for playing pickleball can be found by googling the USAPA and clicking on “where to play” or the interactive map. Also, this website lists local ambassadors that will help both newcomers and those from out of town find groups, lessons, and courts. In addition to recreational play, there are local, state, and national tournaments for those people who are competitive.
Guest Blogger: Barb Adams & Diane Easley
Ambassadors, Carlisle PA