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Friday, February 6, 2015

What is pickleball?

      With winter a time for picking up an indoor sport to stay active a growing number of older people are enjoying the game of pickleball.  Even though many of us are just discovering the sport it has been around since the 1960's. The funny name for this game has a few different stories of how the game got this name.  One is that the inventor of the game had a dog named pickles and another that it refers to the last fishing boat to come into port each day was called the "pickleboat."  How either story explains how the game was named is unclear.  According to the governing body of pickleball,

    "Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity. The number of places to play has nearly doubled since 2010. There are now well over 2,000 locations on the USAPA’s Places to Play map. The spread of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, PE classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities. The sport continues to grow worldwide as well with many new international clubs forming and national governing bodies now established in Canada and India."

     It basically is similar to tennis (and played on a tennis court) except it is played with a paddle about the size of a racquetball racket and a wiffleball.  To win a match you have to score 11 points and only get a point on serve.

   The fact that the wiffleball doesn't travel as fast as a tennis ball has made it a good game for those of use who don't move as quickly as we used to move.  But don't think that the matches are not competitive.  Howard County Parks and Rec and the Columbia Association have courts that pickleball can be played on.  With the fast growing popularity of this game don't be surprised if you hear more about this sport in time.

1 comment:

sunshine said...

"...hear more about it in time?" The time is now! Why is pickle ball so rare in HoCo? We recently moved here from Anne Arundel where we could play 9-12 M-Friday at our local community center. You can make 4 pickle ball courts in a gym and there are plenty of people came in as newbies and loved it. It's so great -especially winter and summer inside. And tennis courts can have the stripes added. Try it! You'll love it!