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History of Pickleball

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, just outside of Seattle. In an effort to appease their children’s summertime boredom three fathers, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created the game. The Pritchard’s home had an old badminton court, but it did not have a full set of rackets, so they improvised and began playing with ping pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. Pritchard’s wife claims she called it pickleball because the combination of different sports (tennis, badminton, ping pong) reminded her of the pickle boat in crew where the oarsmen were made up from the leftovers of the other boats. Barney McCallum disputes this however, and claims the name came from the Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles, who would always steal the ball and run off with it.

The game quickly evolved from homemade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. In 1984 The United States Amateur Pickleball Association (USAPA) was founded, and the first official rule book was written. Through tournaments they began to advance the sport on a national level.

By 1990 pickleball was being played in all 50 states. Today the USAPA has over 40,000 members worldwide.

Currently the sport is exploding in popularity due to its high favor within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities. There are more than 8,500 courts nationwide, but you could have one right in the comfort of your own backyard.


Call DeShayes Dream Courts today or visit us at to find out how you can become a part of this growing trend.


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