Fun, social, friendly…these are three of the reasons pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but it can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.
With four brand-new pickleball courts, a local pro, and equipment on-site, Ford has everything you need to enjoy the game.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities are credited with creating the game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.
The USA Pickleball Association touts the basics of the game:
- A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
- Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.
- Played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.
- Played as doubles or singles.
- Can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.
Learn from a Pro
The best way to learn a new sport is by playing it and taking lessons from a pro, both of which you can do at Ford. Our racquet pro Alan Davies has hosted several Pickleball Clinics this summer to get newbies familiar with the rules, scoring, and strategy and to give them a chance to play.
“I knew pickleball would bring the entire community together,” says Alan. “I’ve been having an absolute blast! People have been curious and excited to have pickleball—they have heard how easy it is. I like to describe it as ping pong scaled up. It’s just a fantastic new sport to pick up and play.”
Alan is available for private pickleball instruction, and he plans on launching a regular pickleball play schedule this fall.
What You Need to Get Started
All you really need to play pickleball is the court, a paddle, and a ball, and we’ve got all three, including enough paddles, in a variety of options, for all four courts. Most people who play quickly find they want a paddle of their own, so these demo paddles are a great way to test the options.
We also have tennis/pickleball shoes available for purchase, although Fitness Director John Lindsey says that tennis shoes work perfectly for pickleball, and a flat athletic shoe would work well too.
Didn’t You Say “Multipurpose?”
Even though pickleball is all the rage, and the four courts have been getting good use, the new multipurpose court at Ford also has a basketball hoop, so one pickleball court can easily be converted for some pickup shooting.