Pickleball is a fairly new sport that seems to be growing in popularity with each passing year. It is attracting people from all age groups and is a great form of exercise. Pickleball in retirement seems to be all the Rage. When we first started looking at places to live in our retirement, there was a lot of information on golf and tennis but pickleball barely got mentioned. Now, it seems, pickleball is all the rage and there are a lot of reasons for that. Still, the sport is not the easiest one to describe and there are some people who are totally unfamiliar with the sport.
Perhaps the best description is to say that pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It's played on a badminton sized court and can be played indoors or outdoors using a slightly modified tennis net. You play with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes, and, like tennis, you can play singles or doubles. To say that it's popular with all age groups is an understatement and, as in every other sport, there are all kinds of skill levels. Senior communities have seen the popularity of this sport grow tremendously. It seems like everyone has discovered pickleball in retirement.
The history of the sport seems to show that it originated in the northwest in 1965 among a group of parents who basically invented the game for their children who found themselves bored with the activities being offered in the area. The equipment slowly developed from the modified paddles and ball originally used and grew in popularity rather quickly. Although invented in the United States, pickleball is growing in popularity all over the world with pickleball courts being found today in Europe and Asia. The popularity of pickleball in retirement is growing all the time.
The pickleball court measures 22 feet by 44 feet which is the same size as a doubles badminton court. The same size court is used whether you're playing doubles or singles. It is quite common to use a tennis court for The Pickleball Court. The lines that mark a pickleball court are similar to a tennis court in that you have left and right service courts. In pickle ball you have a seven-foot non-volley zone in front of the net. This area is referred to as the "kitchen". Tea net spans the width of the court and is 36 inches in height on each side and 34 inches in height in the middle of the court. With just a couple of paddles and a pickleball, you're ready to play. It is a great way to socialize because many people are taking up pickleball in retirement.
The game has come a long way since 1965 when Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, successful businessman got together at Pritchard's home on Bainbridge Island. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They started to improvise. They found some ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. They experimented with the height of the net. They started at a height of sixty inches but, through trial and error, a net at a height of 36 inches seemed to work pretty well. The next weekend a friend named Barney McCallum was added to the group and they worked on a set of rules that were similar to badminton but focused on creating a game that the whole family could enjoy.
Needless to say, they succeeded. Two years after that informal beginning, the first pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of Bob O'Brian, a friend of Pritchard. In 1972, a corporation was formed to protect the creation of this new sport and, in 1976, Tennis magazine published an article about the country's newest racquet sport: pickleball. It's very likely that no one ever considered how popular pickleball in retirement would become.
While some may read this and get inspired to invent their
own sport, most people will be satisfied to give this badminton-ping
Pong-tennis hybrid sport a try. I don't
know of anyone who hasn't tried and not found it to be a fun way to
exercise. Judging from the number of
people out on the courts in the community where we live, the sport seems to be
very popular. It has a lot of
advantages. There isn't a high cost of
admission – the equipment is modestly priced when compared to golf clubs and,
even if you have to pay a rental fee for court time, it's nowhere near the
green's fees at some golf courses. In
fact, taking up pickleball in retirement might be the best thing you can do
because of the inexpensive entry fee and the positive impact it will have on
Of course, there will be some who will want to make sure they're not going to look like an amateur when they step out onto the Court. With the advent of the internet rest assured there is some very good online instruction out there that will cover the basics of the game and the strategies to follow to become a winner on The Pickleball Court. Whether you get serious about the game or not, there's no doubt that pickleball in retirement is a sport that is here to stay. It is a friendly and social event that can create new friendships and provide some competitive thrills if that's what you're after. Why not learn a new sport? That's retirement is all about. It's time to Enjoy Retired Life!
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