The Rise of Pickleball


Jake Is

Preparing to Win: Cameron Luth begins his serving technique to put the ball into play. September 24, 2022.

          Pickleball is a very unique sport that is just appearing on the mainstream of pop culture. Many people know the sport but don’t know where it came from. 

          Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island where Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum played the first game(

          The sport got its name from their connection to crew races. The “pickle boat” is commonly referred to as the boat that comes in last place in a race. The sport was named after the pickle boat because it was a combination of sports which reminded him of the “pickle boat” crew, who were usually leftovers from other boats(

          Since 1965, pickleball has emerged as one of the most popular activities to do. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. 

          The first ever pickleball tournament was held in 1976 in Tukwila, Washington. This was a focal point in the growth of pickleball because the mainstream event influenced tennis players to try out the new sport(

          Pickleball is a sport that is made for people of all ages.

          Avid pickleball player Mr. Matt Gomes states, “It is a very fun workout that doesn’t require you to be a great athlete. You can play at all levels with all ages of people.” 

          Gomes is a Manager of Finance & Operations at his company but still makes time during the week to play pickleball. 

          Pickleball is a combination of many sports such as ping pong, tennis, and badminton, making it easier for people who have played these sports before to learn pickleball. 

          Gomes states, “I have played recreational tennis for the last few years and after seeing both in person and on social media playing pickleball, it looked like something fun to try.”

          Pickleball first aired on national television in April of 2021 with the U.S. open pickleball championship. Showing that the pickleball market has grown enough to be profitable. A big thing that has helped the development of pickleball is social media. Many social media accounts from famous celebrities contain pickleball clips and tricks, such as Drew Brees, which encourage people to go out and try the sport on their own. 

          Junior Cameron Luth states, “I learned about pickleball in middle school and I did not really enjoy it, but now in high school it is a really fun sport to play.” 

          The growth of pickleball affects people of all ages ranging from students to the elderly. Many people view the sport of pickleball as a sport for older people, but recently it has really hit off with the younger generation. 

          In the summer of 2018, pickleball courts were constructed at Eisenhower Park, influencing the growth of pickleball in the Milford community. Hundreds of athletes flock the courts daily in the summer, there are even professional tournaments hosted there. Recently, several other courts were made including those at Point Beach and “five corners” park. 

          The obsession over pickleball began during the pandemic as people needed to find something new to try, but was safe for social distancing. Since team sports were difficult to run due to the hysteria, many found pickleball as a way to enjoy the outdoors with others. The obsession led to many people calling themselves “picklers.” Picklers do not only enjoy the sport, they enjoy the health benefits that come with it. The moderate activity from pickleball is a great way to improve lateral agility, burn calories, and lower blood pressure.

          Pickleball has been expanding ever since an outburst in 2018. It is becoming more popular not just in the United States, but in our Foran community.  

          A total of 36.5 million people play the sport of pickleball today. Compared to the mere three million people that played just five short years ago in 2018, there is no argument made against the fact that pickleball has become one of the most popular sports for people of all ages to play.