April is National Pickleball Month.

The sport was invented in Washington but an informal study appears to show participation is surging in other states and exceeds interest here in Washington..

Pickleball is a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis, and continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in America.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation designating Pickleball as Washington's official sport in 2022.

The game was invented in the summer of 1965 by then WA. Congressman Joel Pritchard at his Bainbridge Island, WA. summer cabin.  Using ping pong paddles, a whiffle ball, a badminton net and court, Pritchard and two friends created a game anyone could play.

Congressman Joel Pritchard Image; Pickleball USA
Congressman Joel Pritchard Image; Pickleball USA
Pickleball was invented on this court in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA. YouTube
Pickleball was invented on this court in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA. YouTube

According to Pickleball USA, a corporation was formed to protect the newly created sport in 1972 and the first known tournament was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, WA. in 1976.  By 1990, the sport of pickleball was being played in all 50 states.

An article published on Rotowire tracked Google trends to determine which states have the most fans and which ones are starting to develop a passion for pickleball.

You could argue the other 49 states hitched onto the Pickleball bandwagon behind Washington but here are the published findings based on Google searches;

Past 30 daysPast 12 monthsPast 5 years
1. Utah1. Utah1. Utah
2. Arizona2. Arizona2. Arizona
3. HawaiiT3. Minnesota3. Hawaii
4. MinnesotaT3. FloridaT4. Idaho
5. Florida4. HawaiiT4. Minnesota

An interesting video shares the story of how the sport of pickleball was invented one summer weekend in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA

Read More: Chelan PUD Adds More Pickleball Courts

LOOK: 50 Washington Innovations

Invention and innovation happen all over the world, all the time - but there's no denying that Washington State has contributed a distinct collection of ideas that have changed the world. Here's a look at over 100 years of innovations created in Washington, as chronicled in part by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

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