Pickleball, A Growing Sport
May 1, 2019
Pickleball is going mainstream, one of the fastest growing sports in the United States according to recent news reports. It’s also picking up traction in Canada and other European and Asian countries. With visitors and residents from across the globe, it’s no surprise the game has found its way to the Coachella Valley.
The sport has humble beginnings, invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. Three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum created the activity for kids who were bored with their regular summer activities. A simple and active game, it is the perfect fit for those looking to combine fun and exercise with a little competition.
The traditional game for all ages and skill levels is played on a badminton-sized court with paddles primarily made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball is slightly smaller than a Wiffle Ball and the net sits lower than a tennis court net. The ball is served diagonally, and points can only be scored by the service side. Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before any volleys are allowed. The game is played to 11 points, a team must win by 2 points.
The City of La Quinta has 8 outdoor pickleball courts available at Fritz Burns Park in the La Quinta Cove. The courts are open to the public and free to use. The courts will often have 30-50 players active when the weather is cool, with mornings being the most popular time to play.
For those enthusiastic about the sport, it has grown its own local following called the La Quinta Pickleball Club. The group has its own board where members can communicate and set up events. Check them out at www.meetup.com/La-Quinta-Pickleball-Club/.
If you’re looking for a new way to expend some competitive energy, pick up a paddle and get ready to enjoy one of the fastest growing sports in the country. Pickleball can be a fun part of a healthy and active lifestyle in La Quinta