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Pickleball Gaining in Popularity With Seniors

Seniors are always looking for new ways to stay fit and exercise as some of the sports they may have enjoyed earlier on in life may now be too difficult for them to participate. One such example is tennis, which many seniors stop playing as they get older, because it is very fast paced and therefore can lead to falls or injury. However this does not mean that they still do not enjoy the sport, and this might be why a lesser known sport called Pickleball is gaining in popularity among the senior crowd. The origins of Pickleball started back in Washington State in 1965, near Seattle on Bainbridge Island. Congressman Joel Pritchard had just returned home from playing golf with friend and local businessman, Bill Bell. The guys found that their families were just sitting around, and did not have anything to do together, so they started to look for the proper equipment to play on Pritchard’s badminton court. Despite a rigorous search, they could not find a full set of equipment so that everyone could play. This is where Pickeball began, as the guys started to improvise and create small wood paddles to hit a whiffle ball over the badminton net. The badminton net was a bit too high, so they lowered it to a height of 3 feet, and then the next weekend they brought in friend Barney McCallum, and the three started to make rules and create the sport.

The name Pickleball originated from the Pritchard’s dog named Pickles, who liked to steal the ball when they played, therefore it was Pickle’s ball, so they meshed that together to create the name. The first permanent Pickleball court was set up in Pritchards backyard in 1967, and it slowly became a popular sport with families. However Pickleball is becoming popular with another demographic, and that is senior citizens. This is because the sport is low impact, and not too fast, but it still provides a great workout and improves hand eye coordination. In order to show you how fun and easy it is for seniors to play, we added in a recently published video below of seniors playing Pickleball.



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Asha was born in India, but moved to the states when she was 18 to attend college and study journalism. She has held various writing jobs over here career, and now concentrates her efforts on freelancing for a variety of online publications in different industries. Asha loves cooking traditional Indian food for her family, doing the weekend crosswords in the NY Times, and working in her garden. Asha tagged this post with: , , Read 30 articles by Asha
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  1. Steve Gold says:

    The myth about the origin of the name of Pickleball keeps circulating although it is completely erroneous. The local paper here on Bainbridge Island printed the true story a few years ago. The name came when Congressman Pritchard’s wife watched the game and said it was as slow as a pickle boat. They did have a dog named “Pickle”.

    The organization that supports “Pickleball” continues to perpetuate the erroneous story.

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