Looking to get in on that next demonstration sport for the summer Olympics?
Paintball, frisbee golf, miniature golf — whatever the latest trend, sooner or later it usually shows up in the Olympics.
Add pickleball to the list. What exactly is pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport similar to other sports that use a racket.
Matches consist of two or four players using a paddles to hit a ball over a net.
The game was invented in the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, at the home of Joel Pritchard, who returned with friends from golf one Saturday afternoon to find their families bored. They attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. They improvised with a wiffle ball, lowered the badminton net and fabricated paddles of plywood from a nearby shed.
Paddles were later fashioned by Pritchard’s friend, Barney McCallum, who, in 1972, incorporated Pickle-Ball, Inc. His son, David McCallum, now runs the business, headquartered in Kent, Washington.
How about local pickleball opportunities?
You know it’s a legitimate sport when pickleball on the North Coast has its own website, northcoastpickleball.org.
The site is a one-stop web page that tells you all you need to know about the local pickleball scene, complete with scheduling and best locations to play.
Two courts are available for play in Gearhart, at the corner of Pacific Way and South Marion Avenue.
Across the river, try the Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort, 12417 Pacific Way, in Long Beach, Washington. Action takes place every day from noon to 2 p.m. Cost is $5 per person. Call 360-642-3622 for more information.
A league is held Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. organized by pickleball pro Roman Sada who watches people as they play a game or two, then sets up the league based on skill level. More information about the league is available in the Facebook group “Cape Columbia Pickleball.”
And, maybe, even keeps an eye out for future Olympians.