Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the country — but its invention sprang from vacation boredom.
It’s now offered through Concord Recreation, with three courts indoors at the Hunt Recreation Center and six outdoor courts at Rideout Park.
“In this game there is less court to cover, so the ability for new players to become proficient happens quickly, the entry point is equitable as the cost to play is low because you don’t need fancy equipment, and the time to play is not outrageous,” said Sandy Nash, a pickleball aficionado.
The sport was actually created in 1965 by three dads — Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum — vacationing on Bainbridge Island off the coast of Washington. Lacking a complete set of game equipment, they combined elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis and, over time, developed rules and introduced it to others.
It is estimated there are now over 4.8 million players in the country.
There are a few reasons for this accelerated growth. During Covid, pickleball provided a safe outside social-distanced game and the time it takes to learn and become proficient is quite short. This racket/paddle sport can be played inside or out. The court looks like a small tennis court and each game can have either two or four players. The equipment needed is a solid-faced paddle and a ball.
This multi-generational sport appeals to a wide range of ages and fitness levels as many newbies are not intimidated the first day on the court.
The cost to join with Concord Recreation is $50 for a three-month session. In order to sign up go to concordrec.myrec.com and scroll down to adult sports. In addition, the Ridge in Acton is putting up a bubble for winter play and will have nine courts available. See their website ridgeptc.com.