Pickleball

Published: 16th August 2008
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It is a sport which is very similar to badminton and tennis. A birds-eye view of a pickleball court would not distinguish it from a badminton court and the fact that it is played with a wooden paddle, instead of a racquet makes it similar and at the same time, interesting.

It is basically, and informally, put as a combined mix of badminton, ping pong, tennis and a cocker spaniel.

History of the game
The inventors of the game of pickleball are Joel Pritchard, a U.S Congressman, William Bill and Barney McCallum. This sport was intended to provide entertainment for the whole family, catering to all age groups. This sport was created and first played on Bainbridge Island, nearby Seattle.
As far as the name is concerned, it has remained a mystery. However, some believe that it has to do with a family dog by the same name, Pickles, who would go around chasing the balls and hiding them into bushed. Hence the name Pickle's ball then modified to Pickleball. The game was played mostly on the home's backyards by many families, generally, on a hard surface like streets or driveways. But pickleball saw its rise in 1970's. Since then it has become more than just a family activity and has expanded to a game played professionally with formal rules. It is now played on a paddle court and this sport is very popular amongst the senior citizens and is played in community centers, in schools, universities, recreational facilities, camps, retirement community centers etc.

The playing area
The court of Pickleball, as already mentioned, is very similar to a badminton court and is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. The net is 34 inches high in the middle and 36 inches on the edges.

The professionals
Amongst men, the top few players that come to mind are Mark Friendenberg, Billy Jacobson, Enrigue Ruiz and Steve Wong.
As for women professionals, Faye Lock, June Crabb, Kath Swafford, Shiela Schoonover and Mitsu Clark are to name a few.

The accessories
One sure has many options when the choice of a paddle has to be made. Only you are the best judge of which paddle is best for you. But here are some suggestions:
The amount of grip on a paddle is the first thing that must be considered. Many players opt for grips that are thick and padded. This varies from player to player, due to their hand sizes. On an average, a paddle's weight is 7-8 oz. The hitting surface is another factor that comes into consideration. Many players go for an oversized one as it ensure a larger "sweet-spot".

Learn more about pickleball and how to choose the best pickleball paddles at pickleballplayer.com.

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