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Pickleball Anyone?

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Pickleball players in action. Photo: MIKE FRITSCH, http://wboi.org

Pickleball is a paddle game that is a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping-pong that was created in 1965 by three dads just outside of Seattle, Washington. It seems their kids were bored over the summer and wanted some new activity to play so…….Taa Daa……pickleball was born. Why the name pickleball? Apparently one of the creator’s wife called it pickleball as it “the combination of different sports reminded her of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”

The game is played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton size court with a modified (lower) tennis net. The paddles look like oversized ping-pong paddles and the ball is similar to a whiffle ball only heavier. The rules and scoring are similar to a combination of tennis and volleyball. All of that information is easily referenced on the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) website at www.usapa.org. There are literally thousands of pickleball chapters all around the world but most are located in the US.

Since pickleball only requires a minimum of equipment, it is an inexpensive game to learn and participate in. It can be played with singles or doubles and can be fast paced or leisurely depending on your mood. Regardless, it is a great way to engage in a form of exercise that will improve the endurance and cardiovascular health of all who chose to partake in this enjoyable pastime.

By Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey

Dr. Vincent K. Ramsey, is the Chair of Sports Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at vramsey@ussa.edu.

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