Pickleball, the Fastest Growing Sport in the Northern US

The 2019 Canadian Pickleball Championships was recently being hosted at the Invista Centre in Kingston. Pickleball is currently considered as the fasting growing sport in the Northern parts of the United States. Based on the over 500 athletes who entered to play at this national championship stretching over than three days, it seems to be a valid assumption to make.

Pickleball, the Basics

Pickleball started during in the summer of 1965 when the family of later on Lieutenant Governor Joel Pritchard, was bored one Saturday afternoon and couldn’t manage to get the badminton net up. They lowered the net and made some changes to the Wiffle Ball and with some homemade paddles from plywood in the shed, they played pickleball.

The sport is a combination of elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis and can either be played with two or four players. Wooden paddles are used to hit a polymer ball over a net and is played on a court based on a badminton court’s layout.

The game is challenging in the sense that you are required to react quickly with shots being fired at the net rapidly. Some characteristics of the game are underhand serves with the ball having to bounce on both sides of the net. Teams can score only when serving, and each player needs to get a turn at this before the other hand, have their turn to serve. The net in pickleball is a bit lower than the one in tennis.

Growing Popularity

Since that day in 1965, the popularity of pickleball caught on and even expanded to Canada. This game wasn’t only popular among the younger crowd, but also seemed to take off very well in retirement communities. Many older adults didn’t feel fit to run on a tennis court anymore but were still keen on being involved in a sport.

This resulted in more pickleball courts being opened up to the public. Currently, Brampton is busy with final preparations to open seven new pickleball courts in two different locations. The one being at Centennial Park opening up three courts which will be open for play from May to October on a first-come-first-served basis.

The other being Flower City Community Campus with four pickleball courts located in the lacrosse box during weekdays. During other times players are welcome to bring their nets and also play according to the first-come basis.

The National Pickleball Championships

The staff of Kingston Pickleball Club is extremely excited to be the hosts of this national event. They are only in their third year of existence, but since opening up, the club’s numbers have tripled.

The club had the support from a large number of volunteers to assist them in preparing the 28 courts needed to be able to host the event. Matches were organized over the entire weekend and to make it more accessible; there were no entry fees applied.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.