The Villages is Pickleball Paradise

I first heard about pickleball from a friend who lives in an active adult community in New Mexico. She described the sport as a cross between tennis, badminton and ping-pong. I though it was some crazy made-up sport, only played in secluded pockets of the country. I was right about it being a crazy, made-up sport, but it is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, especially popular in senior communities.

The Villages, boasting more than 100 pickleball courts, has been called the Mecca of Pickleball and was named the #1 Place to Live for Pickleball by Masters Athlete Magazine. Leagues, tournament and recreational players of all skill levels occupy the community’s courts year-round.

Pickleball is played on a badminton court with the net lowered to 34 inches. Players convey a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a whiffle ball) across the net with wood or composite paddles. Like tennis, singles or two-player teams can play the game.

The game got its start more than 45 years ago in Bainbridge, Washington. Two fathers, Bill Bell and Joel Pritchard, (who just happened to be a US Congressman) created the game one afternoon in an attempt to get all members of a family involved in an activity. They had a badminton court but no shuttlecock. They substituted a plastic ball. When they found out the badminton racquets didn’t work well with the ball, they improvised heavier wooden paddles to pass the ball. The game got its name from Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, Pickles, who kept stealing the ball.

Almost 10 years later, Tennis magazine carried an article about America’s newest racquet sport, and the first known pickleball tournament was played in Washington. In 1990, the game was being played in all 50 states. It was included in the Huntsman World Senior Games in 2003.

Pickleball is wildly popular because it can be played by seniors (some of whom no longer play tennis due to injuries) while still offering a fast-paced physical and metal challenge. Growth of the sport, can in part, be attributed to Snowbirds who learn the sport in Florida during the winter and then introduce it in their hometown.

The USA Pickleball Association hosts tournaments and governs the game. Villagers recently competed in pickleball at the 29th Annual Tampa Bay Senior Games and at their own Senior Games.

Pickleball clinics are held regularly in The Villages and the community has several pickleball clubs, and certified instructors.

Moving to The Villages in the next 12 months?


Here’s what we’ve got for you:



 
Free Registration

Comments

  1. Betty A says:

    I will be a visitor in Aug. How can I find out about pickleball availability during the month of Aug.?

    Thanks,
    Betty

  2. Niki Young says:

    Interested in info about Pickleball clinics

  3. Robin Haines says:

    Do you have adult pickleball camps scheduled for this winter and spring 2014?
    Can I get a schedule and instuctions on how to register?

  4. En ayant ces sentir joyeux moment maison bourgeoise nimes en mesure de la créativité des de vous et pour femmes et bouffées de chaleur ce qu’il veut très efficaces
    et payé un revenu à base de jamais affronter la

    maison carrée nimes horaires

    appartement nimes vivastreet

    appartement nimes achat particulier

    maison nimes route d’uzes

    maison nimes ventabren

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The Villages, all women, were on the list. Categories taken by Villagers included track and field, pickleball, horseshoes, golf and [...]

  2. [...] recently decided to stay). Meanwhile, The Villages was only a short step away from becoming the number one pickleball community in the [...]

Speak Your Mind

*