What Is Pickleball?

Fun, social and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

History of Pickleball:

Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell “invented” Pickleball in 1965, thus the nod from our parent company “The 1965 Group.”  The two, a congressman and a businessman respectively, began playing with table tennis paddles and a perforated plastic ball on an old badminton net to pass the time and play a sport with their families.  Eventually, the net was lowered from 60 inches to 36 inches as they found the plastic ball bounced well off the asphalt surface.  A friend, Barney McCallum, joined the game shortly after and the three men developed the rules for pickleball with an initial purpose to have a game the whole family could play.

The first permanent pickleball court was constructed in 1967.  A corporation was formed to protect the sport in 1975 and the National Observer wrote the first article about the sport at that time.  Tennis Magazine referenced America’s newest racquet sport a year later.  The United States Amateur Pickleball Assocation published the first pickleball rulebook in 1984.  Pickleball was being played in all 50 states by 1990 and the first ever pickleball website being launched in 1999 called Pickleball Stuff. Pickleball made its way to the Arizona Senior Olympics in 2001 with 100 players participating. USA Pickleball Association was established as the national governing body in 2005 and hosted their first National Tournament in 2009 with nearly 400 players from 26 states and Canada participating.