Ryan Hanes of CBC Sports said it best - "maybe you happened to witness it live, that weird-looking sport taking over your local tennis courts. If you have yet to encounter Pickleball, you are part of a dwindling minority. It is happening right now. This wonderful sport with the odd name is taking over the world.
Pickleball is a paddle sport (we do not say racquet) played on a badminton-sized court, with a hole-dotted plastic ball and a mid line net. It combines elements of badminton [squash], table tennis and tennis, and as a lover of all three of those sports, I can confidently say that Pickleball is greater than the sum of its parts.
This is the only place you will see Plato and Pickleball in the same sentence, but like he said, necessity was the mother of Pickleball’s invention. The problem was: how to engage and entertain bored children on Bainbridge Island, Wash., during the lazy days of Summer 1965. Had they a shuttlecock in their possession at the time I probably wouldn’t be writing this now. But they didn’t, and what they had instead was an assortment of other equipment. So, they lowered the badminton net, used table tennis paddles and a whiffle ball, and a new sport was born."
Whether the name "Pickleball" came from the game inventors' Golden Retriever named "Pickles" who always stole the "ball" is up for grabs, but since our Golden Gracie who is obsessed with anything resembling a ball would have done this, it's an explanation we will adopt.
"Cut to present day and Pickleball lays claim to being the fastest growing sport in the world. From its grass roots popularity among a mostly older crowd, it is spreading internationally and attracting new players in droves. Pickleballers come in all ages, shapes and sizes now. Municipalities in Canada [and around the world] have caught on, and new designated courts are popping up monthly.
What is driving the popularity? I believe there are many factors. It is a very accessible sport. It is easier to get that buzz of immediate success in pickleball than in most other paddle/racquet sports. There is less wear and tear on the joints than in many other sports."
Hope that helps motivate you and your family to give it a try. Also, if you do need an introduction to this fabulous sport, perhaps this blog helps - see you on court!!