There’s a Sport on the Rise in Orange County … and It’s Called Pickleball

From Corona Del Mar to Newport, the game is all the rage.

Pickleball, don’t laugh, is a real thing. Don’t believe us, just ask the social senior set of Orange County.

According to a story in the Orange County Register, the sport was invented way back in 1965 (or around that time) on Bainbridge Island off Seattle.

“The story goes that Joel Pritchard, a Washington state congressman, and friend Bill Bell returned to Pritchard’s cabin after golfing one summer day to find their kids complaining they had nothing to do. The men grabbed some pingpong paddles and a whiffle ball and went out to the badminton net. The goal was to invent a new game that everyone could play that very day—one that didn’t give an advantage to age or speed or strength.

“The result: A mashup of pingpong, badminton and tennis for two or four players.

“Pickleball remained a sleepy little something-to-do for years, creeping as slow as maple syrup to other lazy-summer-day outposts over the next few decades. Everyone bit by the pickleball bug seemed to pass it on, though—like a virus, but a good virus.”

Now it’s become a full-blown phenomenon, sprouting up in retirement communities from Arizona to Florida. The sport has a particularly strong following here in Orange County.

You can read more about it here.

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