10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Pickleball

DATE: December 12, 2016

With its recent rise in popularity, pickleball has quickly become one of the country’s most popular sports. Even the staff here at Sundial Beach Resort & Spa is getting excited about the construction of our twelve state-of-the-art Plexicushion pickleball courts. Whether you’re familiar with the sport or not, pickleball has an interesting history and an even more interesting rise to popularity. Prepare your paddles and widen your knowledge of this new sports craze with these interesting facts about America’s new favorite paddle sport.

  1. Pickleball was invented in 1965 by three fathers from Bainbridge Island, Washington to entertain their kids. Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum made the equipment for the game by hand from items they had lying around the house and used rules from the games of tennis, badminton, and table tennis to create a fun new game for their families to enjoy.
  2. Despite the name, pickleball has nothing to do with actual pickles. The sport is instead named after Joel Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, Pickles, who enjoyed chasing the ball while his owners played.
  3. The sport has continued to grow in popularity among adults with 68% of pickleball players being above the age of 60.
  4. Pickleball is almost equally as popular among men and women, with 53% of players being male and 47% being female.
  5. Pickleball has its own national governing body, the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA), which regulates professional play for the sport.
  6. The sport’s popularity across the world led to the creation of the International Federation of Pickleball, helping to regulate the sport in countries like the US, Canada, France, Great Britain and Spain.
  7. The first permanent court for pickleball was built in 1967. Coincidentally, Sundial’s courts will be completed on the 50th anniversary of this first court.
  8. Due to its growing popularity, pickleball is now taught in many grade schools and junior high schools.
  9. Like tennis, pickleball can be played as both a singles and doubles sport and has rules that allow teams with standing players and wheelchaired players to play each other.
  10. As of 2016, more than 2.5 million people who live in the US actively play pickleball, per a survey done by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.