A game with a funny name has become an international favorite
by Pamela Osment
On a summer day in 1965, Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell found themselves in a pickle. They had returned from a pleasant golf game to a houseful of bored kids. Pritchard wanted the kids to go outside and play. Gathering several items, he and Bill took the kids to a badminton court. There they used Ping-Pong paddles to hit a plastic ball with holes over a net.
The next week their friend Barney McCallum joined the game and helped establish rules for it. After summer vacation, McCallum continued playing the game that they had created. Out of curiosity, neighbors came over to watch and give it a try. The crazy game came to be known as “pickleball.”
At first pickleball was played primarily in the Seattle area. But nearly three decades later, it was being played in all 50 U.S. states. Today pickleball is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.