The Origin of Pickleball

Pickleball is a contemporary addition to the world of sports—paddle- and racket-based sports, in particular. It's also the fastest-growing sport in America. But how, when, and where was it invented? Read on to learn all about the sport and its origins.

How Pickleball Was Invented

The game was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island in Washington by former Congressman Joel Pritchard and his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, who wanted to play a fun and challenging game for recreation and competition. Bored at home, they wanted to play badminton but quickly realized that it wouldn't work for them because of the lack of proper equipment. Pritchard quickly improvised and played with a perforated ball and a wooden tennis racquet—the first pickleball paddle.

As they continued playing over the weekend, they realized the perforated ball bounced higher on the asphalt court than on the grass cournt. So they lowered the badminton net to 36 inches and converted a badminton birdie into a pickleball and the racquet into a paddle. Pritchard and his friends began quickly creating their own rules and regulations for the game.

Soon after, in 1967, Pritchard and his friends constructed the first-ever pickleball court in their neighbor's backyard. It wasn't until 1972 that a corporation was formed to protect the rights to sell and promote the game of pickleball. Magazines and newspapers started to feature articles covering the popularity of the new game.

Almost 40 years later, in 2005, the USA Pickleball Association (USAP) was formed by a group of enthusiasts who wanted to create an organized, nationwide pickleball play environment. Many media channels were quick to report on this new craze that allowed players to enjoy a fast-paced and sociable game that resembled tennis, badminton, and table tennis combined into one exciting sport.

Pickleball Today

Today, there are over 5 million pickleball players in the US and over 50,000 USAP members. USAP continues to play a major role in the game's development by offering high-quality tournaments, training facilities, and educational resources for players at every level. Media channels like BBC, CNBC, and others continue to regularly report on the sport's growing popularity around the world.

Now that you know how the game started, it’s time to start playing this sport. The first thing you’ll need is a paddle and the other necessary pickleball gear. At HUDEF, you'll find pickleball paddlespickleball balls, pickleball bags, and more to get you started.

You can start shopping for your pickleball paddles online now.