In 1965, after playing golf one Saturday in the summer, Joel Pritchard, a congressman from the state of Washington, and Bill Bell, a successful businessman, decided to gather at Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, Washington with their families. There was an old badminton court on the property, on which everyone wanted to play sports, but could not find the necessary equipment. They decided to improvise with table tennis rackets and a perforated plastic ball. Initially, they used a badminton net and passed the ball over it with the volley.
As the game progressed, Pritchard and Bell found that the ball bounced well on an asphalt surface and lowered the net to 91.44 cm.
The following weekend, Barney McCallum joined in the new game at Pritchard’s home. The three fathers decided to create the rules of the game, similar to those of badminton, so that they could entertain their families and play together. Thus the sport of pickleball was born.
In 1972, a corporation was formed to protect the creation of this new sport.
In 1976, the first article about pickleball was published in a tennis magazine with the title “America’s newest racquet sport.” In the same year, the first pickleball tournament was held in Washington.
In 1990, pickleball was played in all 50 states of the United States.
In 2010, the International Pickleball Federation was established. To date, pickleball is practiced and developed in 63 countries, and in Europe it is most developed in Spain, England and France.