History Of Pickleball

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In the summer of 1965, on Brainbridge Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington the game of pickleball was developed. Bill Bell and Joel Pritchard, both United States Congressmen, were trying to keep their kids occupied on a hot summer’s day. Starting on an asphalt badminton court in the Pritchard’s backyard, no one could find the shuttlecock to play badminton. So they improvised, using a waffle-type ball. But, as you could images, it was very difficult to hit the 3-inch ball with the lightweight badminton rackets. So the dad’s came to the rescue, making wooden rackets that resembled ping-pong paddles. As the game went on throughout the afternoon the rules developed. It was determined that players could hit the ball on the bounce just as well as out of the air, so the double bounce rule developed. Also, to keep the kids interested the net was lowered from 5 feet to 3 feet; from badminton height to tennis height. The family dog, named Pickles, took interest in the game as well, taking the ball and hiding it under the bushes. Due to his interest the game was named after him. After that afternoon the game was introduced to Barney McCallum who wrote down the official rules of the game. These rules included three unique attributes; the serving position, the double bounce rule, and the no-volley zone. During the serve the player has to have one foot across the baseline while serving. The double bounce rule says that the player receiving the serve would have to wait for the ball to bounce; this gave an advantage to the server to get in position for a quick return volley. So, the rule was changed to that the receiving team and the server must both hit the first shots off the bounce, after that the ball may be volleyed. The no-volley zone is seven feet on either side of the net. Within this zone the ball must bounce before it is hit. In 1967, the first official pickleball

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