Advertisement
Lifestyle

What is this sport called pickleball anyway?

Savannah Bonifay, right, joins pickleball players at the Worthy Park courts in Huntington Beach.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Savannah Bonifay, right, joins pickleball players at the Worthy Park courts in Huntington Beach.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

What is pickleball anyway? The sport, according to the USA Pickleball Assn., was invented near Seattle in the 1960s when the children of several families became bored with their usual summertime activities. Their dads adapted ping-pong paddles and came up with some simple rules.

The game took off and is now is played around the globe. What’s with that name? Supposedly it’s named after Pickles, one of the founding families’ dogs.

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court (20 feet by 44 feet, for singles and doubles) with the net set to a height of 34 inches at the center. It’s played with a perforated plastic ball like a Wiffle ball, and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of ping-pong paddles.

Susan Joyner makes a backhand return while playing pickleball at the Worthy Park courts in Huntington Beach.
Susan Joyner makes a backhand return while playing pickleball at the Worthy Park courts in Huntington Beach.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It can be played indoors or outdoors and is easy for beginners to learn, but it can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. The game has developed a passionate following, especially among seniors, due to its friendly, social nature.

Advertisement

New players can learn the basic rules quickly in a single session. No special apparel is needed, just something comfortable and appropriate for a court sport. Equipment is inexpensive and easily portable. The game can be played by all ages and is popular in school physical education programs and in adult living communities.

For more information, see usapa.org.


Newsletter
Eat your way across L.A.

Get our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter for reviews, news and more from critics Bill Addison and Patricia Escárcega.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Advertisement