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Badminton + Table Tennis + Tennis = Pickleball

Posted by terrepruitt on March 8, 2021

I started teaching at one of the community centers in San Jose in 2012, now I don’t know if Pickleball was there that whole time or exactly when it started, but I know that I had seen it on the schedule the last few years. I thought it was an indoor court sport, like a type of basketball game. I know I used to park in the lot next to a court and assumed that they were playing tennis. I never stopped to look and it didn’t dawn on me until last week.  I still don’t know for certain, but the more I hear about it from one of my students the more I am convinced it was Pickleball. Have you heard about Pickleball?

Well, one of my students has recently started playing it and the more she talks about it the more curious I became. What is Pickleball? Where is it played? Where did it get the name? Just a bunch of questions so I decided to look up some answers. And like I most often do, I decided to share the information with you. Perhaps you will learn something new!

I like the simple description from Wiki “Pickleball is a paddleball sport (similar to a racquet sport) that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis.”

There is a USA Pickleball site that has ALL the information.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia online, San Jose Virtual classes, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, Nia Technique, Yin Yoga, stretch classes, online exercise, Zoom classes, virtual yoga, City of San Jose online exercise, live classes via ZoomIt is played with a paddle like ping pong, not a racket like racquetball or tennis, but the size of the paddle is bigger than with ping pong and not the same shape. It is played with a net on a court indoors and outdoors. The court is the size of a badminton court. The ball is plastic and has holes in it. It can be played as couples (with four people) or singles (with two people). Although, my friend said her community has also come up with a three person game. Which makes sense because there is always three people that want to do something in every thing. The one person in a couple may want to play when the other one doesn’t, or one of the couple gets injured. So I love that her community (and maybe other places have done it too) has come up with a way to make is a three person game.

I hear since the court is smaller then other games it is a little bit easier, but not necessarily EASY. It is still a good workout and a game that one gets better at as they practice.

The origin stories of the name are funny and debated. First of all it was invented in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, Washington by three dads that were trying to keep their kids entertained. One naming story is that one of the men had a dog named Pickles that kept stealing the ball, the other is that one of the wives called it a pickle because “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats”(1).

My friend said that the rules sound ridiculous. She commented that she joked with the person trying to explain them teasing her that she was making them up . . . so, of course, I looked at the rules on the site. And I must agree they sound very confusing . . . but I understand that most games’ rules sound confusing and they become clear the more you play.

It had been a few years that I had been hearing about it so with my friend’s involvement I just wanted to learn a few things about Pickleball and I then I thought I would share what I learned with you.  It is not even close to being as old as it’s three components (badminton, table tennis, and tennis), but it is gaining in popularity so who knows what will happen in 100 years.

Have you heard of Pickleball? Have you played Pickleball?

(1) USA Pickleball site: “The Other Racket Sports” by Dick (Richard C.) Squires – published in 1978 by McGraw-Hill

2 Responses to “Badminton + Table Tennis + Tennis = Pickleball”

  1. I’ve heard of pickleball, but never actually played it. It sure looks like fun, though!


    • My friend LOVES is. She laughs because she said she never thought she would and she does. It probably helps that it is one of the only social things she is doing right now. 🙂


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