Pickleball, the popular paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, was created in the summer of 1965 by three friends from Bainbridge Island, Washington. Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum were looking for a new backyard game to play with their families and friends.
The game was initially called "Paddle Tennis" and was played on a badminton court with a lowered net and a Wiffle ball. The rules were similar to tennis, but the smaller court and slower-moving ball made it more accessible to players of all ages and skill levels to enjoy the game.
Pritchard, Bell, and McCallum continued to tweak the rules and equipment as the game gained popularity. They eventually settled on the name "Pickleball," a reference to the Pritchard's dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball during games.
The first official pickleball tournament was held in 1976 and quickly gained popularity in the US. Today, pickleball is played by millions of players worldwide and is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive players.
It is interesting to note that the game of pickleball was created by accident, when Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum were looking for a backyard game to play with their families. They ended up creating a game that was fun for all ages, easy to learn and that could be played in small spaces. Today, pickleball is enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, and is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive players.