September 2009 ...........

The game of pickleball was started in 1965 when children of two families on Brainbridge Island in the Puget Sound area of Washington needed some summer entertainment. It was played on an asphalt badminton court in the backyard, however no one could find a shuttlecock. They quickly improvised with a wiffle-type ball and the dad's made wooden rackets that resembled ping-pong paddles. The net was lowered to three feet and it was determined that players could hit the ball on the bounce as well as out of the air. Now the stories differ, The story you hear most often is that the family dog was named pickles and he kept chasing the balls and hiding them, so they named it pickleball. Another source says they called the game something to do with pickles and then named the dog after the game.
The court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, you can play indoors or outdoors. We mark tennis courts with chalk and indoor floors with tape. It's a great game for all ages and is becoming increasingly popular with seniors.
The USAPA Pickleball Association is the official governing body of the game. At the bottom of the page at the USAPA site is a promotional video that will show you about the game. There are tournaments all over the country. We have two tournaments in the winter at Palm Creek, the RV resort we go to in Casa Grande AZ. In the summer we play several days a week in Topeka. This summer Dean and I played in the Salina Senior Games, the Kansas Sunflower Games and the Kansas Senior Olympics. The game isn't as serious as tennis, not as fast paced as racquetball and is a great aerobic activity.
Pictured below: Olympic medals, layout of a pickleball court, our fearless leader, teacher and USAPA pickleball ambassador - Dick Walker, Dean and Laurel at Senior Olympics, Dean and Chris at a weekly game, Chris, Deb, Bob and Dean - some serious competition.
October 2011: The sport continues to grow in Topeka. Dean gave free lessons this summer and had over 60 people come and learn to play pickleball. We played in several tournaments again as well as the Sunflower Games and Sr. Olympics.




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