Pickleball, Anyone?  Or Should We Say, Pickleball, Everyone?

Pickleball?  What are the origins of this sport with such a quirky name?  Is it really becoming that popular?  And…are you a little curious about who plays pickle ball?

It so happens that 2018 marks the 53rd Anniversary of pickleball, as it was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, a short ferry ride from Seattle, by three enterprising dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.  Their children were bored with their usual summertime activities, so the trio modified sports equipment they had laying around, and created a game that used oversized ping pong paddles to hit a modified whiffle ball over a badminton net, dropped to the ground.

Talk about coming a long way!  Pickleball has evolved from the original handmade equipment and simple rules into a very popular sport throughout North America.  Experts estimate there are at least three million pickleball players in the U.S.

When you look at who plays pickleball, it is apparent that the game offers something for just about everyone.  Since pickleball rules are so similar to ping-pong, it is very easy to learn how to play the game. Whether you’re a beginner who just wants to learn a new sport for fun, or you’re a seasoned player who craves the thrill of more competitive play, pickleball could very easily become your favorite pastime.  Additionally, proponents of the sport claim it’s easier on your joints than other sports.

Because a pickleball court is smaller than a tennis court (you can actually convert one tennis court into four pickleball courts), gameplay allows players to be close enough to one another to hold conversations.  So, if you’re looking to bond with your family, or have an outing with friends’ new or old, pickleball makes it easy to do just that, while also giving you the chance to fit in a fun workout.

Ready for a great pickleball destination?  Come discover Hot Springs Village – the largest gated community in North America.  Located in west central Arkansas, Hot Springs Village is just minutes from historic Hot Springs and less than an hour from Little Rock.  It’s a wonderful place for active living.  Established in 1970, the Village is one of the top recreation and retirement communities in the nation.

Hot Springs Village has more than 300 pickleball members, registered through the Property Owners Association. Players participate in open play, leagues and tournaments.  Games are played at the Family Recreation Area courts located on DeSoto Boulevard in HSV. The facility consists of eight outdoor pickleball courts with lights for night use.  So, you won’t have to worry if you can get court time, (you can!), be concerned that you can only play in the evening, and that may prevent you from playing (it won’t!) and you won’t have to wonder whether you will meet others who are fans of pickleball (you definitely will!)  Go to www.HSVPickleball.org for more details about  Pickleball in Hot Springs Village.

And, where did that name pickleball come from?  As it turns out, it had nothing to do with a love for dill or gherkin.  It is thought to be derived from Joel Pritchard’s family cocker spaniel, “Pickles,” who loved to chase stray balls and hide them in the bushes.

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