If you combine tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, you get the exciting lesser-known racquet sport that is Pickleball. Are you interested in forming a pickleball Mobile AL sports team, or are you just looking for something active that your family can do for the weekend? Either way, below is a brief history of this sport, some quick facts, and a list of places in Mobile where you can try your hand at pickleball right here in Mobile Alabama.
The Origin of Pickleball
The game was invented at the home of Joel Pritchard, a former lieutenant governor and congressman from Washington. One summer afternoon, his family found themselves with nothing to do. It just so happens that they had an old badminton court on their property, so they thought a friendly game of badminton could stave off their boredom.
They soon realized that they didn’t have a full set of rackets for the game. With a little improvisation, they started playing with ping-pong paddles, a lowered net, and a perforated plastic ball. Joel’s wife, Joan, a former competitive rower, came up with the name “Pickleball” as she said it reminded her of pickle boat oarsmen, a crew typically composed of leftovers from other boats.
They loved this game so much that they named their dog “Pickles” after it. The sport eventually caught on, and by the 90s, all 50 states were playing it. Pickleball is a great way to stay fit and socialize. It’s an especially fun activity for friends and families because it can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.
Quick Pickleball Facts
- To play pickleball, you need a unique paddle that looks like a beefed-up table tennis racket. These paddles used to be made of wood, but now they’re available in lightweight materials like aluminum and graphite.
- Pickleballs are very much like Wiffle balls. They’re holey and roughly the size of a baseball. Traditionally, they come in yellow and white colors.
- Pickleball has a governing group that regulates professional play, the America Pickleball Association (USAPA).
- The sport allows for wheelchaired players.
- Based on a survey conducted by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, more than 2.5 million people play pickleball in the US as of five years ago.
- Pickleball is a popular sport among folks above 60 years of age, which accounts for 68% of its players.
- The first permanent pickleball court was constructed in 1967.
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Where to play pickleball in Mobile Alabama
Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center
1717 Dauphin St. Mobile AL 36604
Phone: (251) 478-3311
Christ United Methodist Church
6101 Grelot Rd. Mobile AL 36609
Phone: (251) 432-0462
Seals Community Center
540 Texas St. Mobile AL 36603
Phone: (251) 438-7498
Springhill Ave Recreation Center
1151 Spring Hill Ave. Mobile AL 36604
Phone: (251) 438-7415
Copeland-Cox Tennis Center
851 Gaillard Drive Mobile AL 36608
Phone: (251) 208-5181
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Why play pickleball?
Pickleball is a great social activity because its court is small enough to hold conversations between players. In fact, you can turn one tennis court into four pickleball courts. Not only is it an awesome way to bond, but you also get a lot of exercise out of it. You can practice your hand-eye coordination, balance, and reflexes. It doesn’t matter if you’re younger or older, everyone can participate!
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