Posted by Leslie Kopp & Christi Arndt on Thursday, September 28th, 2023 at 1:25pm

The Start of it all

In the year 1965 on an island close to Seattle, WA, three vacationing fathers were faced with the ultimate Holiday challenge: bored children. With not a whole lot to do, it was up to the fathers to keep the kids entertained.

So the three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum – decided it was time to get innovative. They used the items at their disposal, including an old badminton court, some ping pong paddles, and a perforated plastic ball, and invented a new game for the kids to enjoy. What started as an elementary attempt to keep their children happy, has grown into what we all now know as Pickleball. From that modest start, the game has gradually evolved into a sport with official rules and significantly better equipment.

Good Housekeeping

The 2023 APP Pickleball Participation Report released details that 36.5 million people have played pickleball at least once in the last year. That's 14% of the adult population! Some of the popularity can be accredited to the Pandemic that began in 2020, but this sport was growing at a fast rate even before COVID-19.

So fast, that there’s a pro pickleball tour, with some matches airing on ESPN. Pickleball fanatics are even pushing for the sport to be included in the Olympic Games. The game has also captivated such celebrities as actor Leonardo DiCaprio, retired Arizona Cardinals player Larry Fitzgerald, and investor and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Here’s everything you need to know about the emerging sport with the quirky name. 

First things first, (if you didn’t already know), what is pickleball?

Pickleball is truly a combination of the games of tennis, ping pong and badminton. Each of these games can be played indoors or outdoors, as well as with single players or in pairs.

A pickleball court is 20 by 44 feet, which is the same size as a doubles badminton court. It’s played with a low net – 34 inches high at its center.

It’s very common for pickleball to be played on tennis courts that have been modified with lower nets and additional boundary lines. It is also become common for communities to alter their fitness amenities and accommodations to offer pickleball to residents.

Equipment used by players consists of perforated plastic balls and wooden or composite paddles that are about twice the size of ping pong paddles. Just like other similar racquet sports, the goal is to hit the ball over the net while staying within the boundaries of the court – and simultaneously preventing your opponent from hitting it back.

Why is it so popular?

The pickleball craze has been fueled to the point that it’s being played in at least 70 countries! It’s fun and social, and the rules are easy for players of all ages and levels of expertise to learn.

Players can pick up the sport in a single session and don’t need any expensive gear or special apparel – just sneakers and comfortable clothing. They can also play with friends and family, making it the perfect way to bring everyone together

Due to the petite size of the court, it’s a great game for all fitness levels. The sport has become significantly prevalent in elder players, whose abilities may be limited due to stiff backs or knee problems. Not to mention, the demand for activities that honored social distancing during the pandemic was a key aspect that helped the sport grow so much.f

Where can you play in the Bethany Beach Area?

While it's more common for pickleball to be available in 55 and over communities, we're happy to say that there are a handful of communities that cater to pickleball lovers.  Located South of Bethany Beach in West Fenwick, the community of Bayside is equipped with 6 outdoor pickleball courts, and 6 indoor courts!  The courts feature high quality netting and smooth playing surfaces, perfect for recreational play. They also offer permanent membership access, with reasonable monthly fees and special discounts for seniors.  Sea Colony in Bethany Beach has one of the best set ups for new and experienced pickleballers.  With 6 pickleball courts, customizable private lessons, as well as two pickleball professionals, Sea Colony is the spot for a pickleball aficionado. 

Bay Forest Club in Ocean View is a beautifully landscaped community comprised of high-end homes, and is very fitness-forward.  Bay Forest offers countless sports activities and amenities, and currently has four pickleball courts for its residents.   Ocean View Beach Club also boasts one pickleball court for its residents, along with Quillen's Point, also located in Ocean View, DE.

Bay Forest Club
pickleball courts

For those that are not in a community that offers pickleball, or are just looking to accommodate a large group or tournament, look no further than Evans Park in Millville.  With three pickleball courts, a shaded sitting area, and a place for the kids to play, it's a win win for large and growing families!

Evans Park at Millville - Manual Flight - YouTubeEvans Park

Leave A Comment

Format example: yourwebsitename.com