I learned something today that got me very excited. The fastest-growing sport in America was born here in Washington on Bainbridge Island on a sunny Saturday afternoon in 1965. The sport was created by two dads looking to fill the afternoon with some family fun. They didn't have enough equipment for badminton, so they improvised and brought ping pong paddles and a rubber ball with slats to an old badminton court at the edge of their property. Over the course of two weekends and with the addition of another dad, and I can only assume more than three beers, the invention of pickleball entered the world.  

 Why the Name? 

Why name it pickleball? Well, no one really knows. That's not exactly true; it's either because one of the creators' wives liked boat races in the area known as pickle races, or it's because the family dog was named Pickle and that little guy would run off with the ball any chance he got. I guess both are the real reasons why it's named pickleball, depending on who you ask, of course. 

  Corporation Time

In 1972, a corporation was formed to protect the creation of this new sport. Shortly after, in the spring of 1976, the first-ever Pickleball tournament was held at Southcenter Athletic Club in Tukwila, WA. In 1984, the United States Amateur Pickleball Association was organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball on a national level, with the first rulebook being published in March of 1984. 

 The Paddle 

Pickleball is so Washington that a Boeing Industrial Engineer was making the first composite paddle using fiberglass/nomex honeycomb panels that commercial airlines used for their floors and the airplane's structural system. Finally, by 1990, Pickleball was officially being played in all 50 states. 

Now, I have never played pickleball, but I gotta say, it looks pretty fun. I can see why it's the fastest-growing sport in the US and why it's Washington State's official sport. 

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