DALLAS (KDAF) — What is pickleball? This relatively new sport has been gaining popularity in recent years and its history seems as quirky as the game’s name.
“From my understanding, is that the game was invented in 1965, by a couple of dads,” Laura Kemp, pickleball and activities manager for Chicken N Pickle in Grand Prairie, said.
Yep, you read that right — this game that so many people hold near and dear to their hearts comes from humble beginnings.
According to the USA Pickleball Association, the sport was invented in 1965 in Seattle, Washington. It was invented by three fathers who came together to solve their children’s summertime boredom. They are Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum.
The sport is a combination of badminton, table tennis and tennis. It is played with two or four players using solid paddles to hit a plastic ball with holes throughout.
Similar to the aforementioned sports, players hit the ball over a net on a court the size of a doubles badminton court (20×44) and with rules similar to tennis.
So, why is this sport so popular? “I find that this is a game you can learn within about five minutes, meaning you can hit the ball back and forth in about five minutes and have fun with it,” Kemp said.
That makes sense. Because it was made to satisfy bored children with nothing to do in the summer, it is accessible to players of all skill types.
The perforated ball and the solid paddle make it impossible for the ball to reach the intense speeds you would get from hitting a tennis ball.
If you want to learn more about pickleball, Chicken N Pickle in Grand Prairie hosts a beginners clinic on the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. They also host lessons to teach newcomers how to play. Learn more by clicking here.