Growth of Pickleball
The sport of pickleball, believe it or not, has exploded in popularity. The number of places to play in North America has more than doubled since 2010, now totaling more than 4,000 locations on the USA Pickleball’s Places to Play map. The growth of the sport is attributed to its popularity within community centers, physical education classes, YMCA facilities and retirement communities.
In June 2016, the AAU announced a partnership with the USA Pickleball Assocation that landed an educational exhibition of the sport at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Detroit, Mich.
The AAU will host its first indoor and outdoor national championship event this year. The AAU National Indoor Pickleball Championships will be held at Orlando Sports Center on Aug. 15-19 (registration is open now!) and the AAU National Outdoor Pickleball Championships will take place in Punta Gorda, Fla. in November.
Why is it Called Pickleball?
The question you’ve all been waiting for – why it is called pickleball? Truthfully, no one really knows for sure. Joan Pritchard, Joel’s wife, has stated that the game was so named because it reminded her “of the Pickle Boat crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”
Others have stated that the name resulted from the Pritchard family dog, Pickles. Rumors suggest that Pickles would often chase after balls they used to play the game.
Ultimately, nobody really knows. Your guess is as good as ours.
For more information, visit www.aaupickleball.org.