A New Sport???
6,3,1…7,3,2. If you happen upon a Pickleball court, you may very well hear these numbers being called out. Pickleball is an increasingly popular court game that can be played by folks of various ages. While Kearney just opened courts for the first time this month, the game has been around for quite some time. Congressman Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell invented the game on a warm Saturday afternoon in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA. The gentlemen had been golfing and came home to find their family grumbling about being bored. The men set up a badminton net but couldn’t find the shuttlecock. A wiffle ball was used as a substitute and the net was lowered. They ditched the badminton racquets and created wooden paddles from spare plywood inside the family shed.
The original court is covered in moss nowadays but talk of the Pickleball game definitely continues. One of the most talked about topics is how the game got it’s name. Perhaps you’ve already heard the tale that the sport was named after the Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, Pickles. And while that is false, the family didn’t mind the story because they thought it made the nomenclature more interesting. However, Joan Pritchard set the story straight during an interview in 1966. Joan was on a competitive rowing team. When she was introduced to the court game, it reminded her of the Pickle Boat in rowing competitions. The Pickle Boat is filled with the leftover rowers of other boats. This is typically the slowest vessel. The name stuck and the family dog appeared two years later. The dog was named Pickles based on the Pickleball game. Not the other way around!
6,3,1…7,3,2. We’ll review this game and others in the next blog entry! Stay tuned!