What is Pickleball? Arcanum opens courts


By Vickie Rhodehamel

Arcanum News

What is Pickleball? Pickleball is a fun, social, and friendly game with simple rules and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game.

A pickleball court is the same size as a doubles badminton court and measures 20 by 44 feet. In pickleball, the same court is used for both singles and doubles play. The net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle. The court is striped like a tennis court with right and left service courts and a 7-foot non-volley zone in front of the net (referred to as the “kitchen”). Courts can be constructed specifically for pickleball, or they can be converted using existing tennis or badminton courts.

Where did Pickleball come from? Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island which is a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – whose kids were bored with the usual summertime games on the court are credited with creating the game. Pickleball evolved from not only original equipment and simple rules into the wildly popular sport throughout the United States and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well with both European and Asian countries now adding courts to their cities and villages.

The story goes that after playing golf one Saturday during the summer, Joel Pritchard, congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, successful businessman, returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA (near Seattle) to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They improvised and started playing with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. At first, they placed the net at badminton height of 60 inches and volleyed the ball over the net. As the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and soon the net was lowered to 36 inches. The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s home. Soon, the three men created rules, relying heavily on badminton. They kept in mind the original purpose, which was to provide a game that the whole family could play together.

How do you play Pickleball? There are five common rules to the game and they include: 1. The ball must stay inbounds; 2. Serving is done underhand at the baseline; 3. The ball must bounce once per side; 4. The serve can’t land in the no-volley zone; and 5. The game is played to 11, or 15. More details can easily be found online and via You Tube. Thinking of playing a set or two – there’s lots of find when “googling” pickleball. This writer had no problems finding information while preparing for this article.

The new Pickleball courts in Arcanum are now open and ready to play at both the Arcanum Community Ballpark on High Street and in Ivester Park by water tower on the old tennis courts. Many thanks to the Give Thanks Foundation who donated funds earlier this year for the courts to be ready for use by the community of Arcanum. They are open first come, first serve! Are you ready to try your luck at Pickleball?

Here’s a few quotes about the game that are meant to give you a chuckle…

“Pickleball is cheaper than therapy.”

“My favorite game is the next one.”

“Birds of a feather pickleball together.”

“The trouble with pickleball is it starts out as fun.”

“My pickleball retirement plan is all about net gains.” (Quotes from https://pickleballunion.com/pickleball-quotes/)

Enjoy the village activities this week with the Halloween Parade and Bean Supper on Thursday night and Trick or Treat on Sunday. Bean supper starts serving at 4:30 p.m. in Veteran’s Park and the Halloween parade starts at 6 p.m. Trick or Treat will be on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. Happy Halloween everyone!

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