I have to admit; I was a little hesitant to try Pickleball. I associated this game as an “older persons” sport. I thought to myself, I am a tennis player, and Pickleball is for older people. My friends kept inviting me to play, and I continuously made excuses not to play. I have played tennis my entire life, competitively in high school, then clinics and leagues throughout my adult life. After having my four children, I took a break. Now that my youngest is a junior in high school, I feel ready to get back on the court.
If you google “Is tennis easier than pickleball”? It actually says. … “Because pickleball uses a smaller court and underhand serves (which are easier on the shoulder), the game is a good fit for mature adults. Though it is easier to play than tennis, players are sure to get a good workout. Because I am so competitive and always overly concerned about getting enough of a workout, I had this dilemma going on in my head.
About a month ago, I finally succumbed to an invitation (Thank you, Ann Wycoff) to play a game, and it was playing doubles with our husbands. After a couple of hours of playing (and my husband driving me crazy trying to coach me), I fell in love. Not to mention its great exercise and wonderful addition to support to your healthy lifestyle.
What is Pickleball and when and where was it invented?
Pickleball is a combination of badminton, ping pong, and tennis. Two to four players can play, singles or doubles. Players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials and hit a perforated polymer ball, which looks exactly like a Wiffle ball. The court looks like a shortened tennis court with the dimensions and layout of a badminton court.
Pickleball started in 1965; two dads named Joel Pritchard (Congressman) and Bill Bell lived on Bainbridge Island, Washington, found that their families and close friends were bored. Pritchard’s property had an old badminton court that they never used. After many years they decided to go back on and play. They couldn’t find enough badminton racquets to play with, so they used some spare ping-pong paddles and a whiffle ball.
Pritchard’s property had an old badminton court, so they started there with hopes of playing. However, they couldn’t find enough rackets for a full game, so instead, he improvised by using spare ping pong paddles and a whiffle ball. After a time, they played on this badminton court with these paddles and balls, and another friend Barney McCullum joined them. The three friends came together and came up with the rules and intentions of making this a family game.
In 1967 the first permanent pickleball court was constructed in Joel Pritchard’s friend’s neighbor’s home, Bob O’Brian.
How did the name Pickleball come about?
Supposedly there are two different stories on how Pickleball came about. One story is that Joel Prichard’s family dog’s name was Pickle. When the family was playing, and the Wiffle ball would go out of bounds, the dog would chase the balls and take off with them.
The second version is that Joel Prichard’s wife Joan named it after a Pickle boat. A Pickle boat is the last boat to finish a race. Joan referred to the game as a leftover sport.
What to wear?
I was so relieved to see that Pickleball players weren’t overly concerned about their tennis attire. You will see men in sweatpants or shorts (not necessarily tennis type). I have seen women in leggings, shorts, sweats, and skirts. You want to make sure that you do wear good tennis shoes (court shoes).
On my Pickleball shopping wishlist
Of course, I want to look cute and fun, but on days that it’s cold, leggings are handy. Here are some of my favorites—very simple skirts by Alo and Lululemon and a basic Lacoste Polo. Also, I love to wear a tennis dress, super comfortable.
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