Monday, April 5, 2010

History of Pickleball


1965 – During the summer of 1965, Joel Pritchard, congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, successful businessman, returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They improvised, cutting shafts of the damaged rackets and found a perforated plastic ball. The rackets didn’t work very well, so the dads created four wood paddles, similar to today’s wood paddles. At first they placed the net at badminton height of 60 inches and volleyed the ball over the net. As the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and soon the net was lowered to 36 inches. Soon, the three men created rules, relying heavily on badminton. The Pritchards had a cocker spaniel named Pickles, who became interested in this new game. Whenever a ball would come his way, he would take the ball and run off with it, because you see, it was Pickle’s ball. And that is how the game got its name.
1967 – The first permanent pickleball court was constructed in Joel Pritchard’s backyard in Seattle, Washington during the winter of 1967.
1970 - As the sport grew in the 1970's, it evolved from a family activity inot a paddle court sport with formalized rules.
1976 – During the spring of 1976, the first known pickleball tournament in the world was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington.
1984 – The first composite paddle was made by Arlen Paranto, a Boeing Industrial Engineer.
1997 – Joel Pritchard passed away at age 72. Though he was Washington State’s Lieutenant governor from 1988 to 1996, he is probably better known for his connection to the birth of pickleball.
2003 – There are 39 known places to play in North America listed on the Pickleball Stuff website. This represents 10 States, 3 Canadian Provinces and about 150 individual courts.
2006 - In Canada, Pickleball is started by a group of Canadian pickleball players (known as the Founding Directors).
2009 - The name Canada Pickleball Association was used as of April 27, 2009.
2010 - Canada Pickleball Association's Constitution and Bylaws was prepared, adopted by the Board of Directors and signed by the President and Secretary on July 1, 2010.
Updated 2012:
2011 – Pickleball Canada Organization is registered in Ottawa as a Non-Profit Corporation on July 28, 2011.
2012 - The first Pickleball Canada National Championship for players of all ages was held in Abbotsford, B.C. on July 7-8, 2012.

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