Pickleball History and Origins – A Timeline

{Ed. Note. The following, more properly titled “Pickleball Timeline – History of the Game”, was written by Jennifer Lucore and Beverly Youngren. It is a small part of their book “History of Pickleball: More than 50 years of fun!” published by Two Picklers Press in 2018. It’s an excellent book that we highly recommend!)


1965   Pickleball was “born” in Bainbridge Island, WA.

1967    The first permanent pickleball court (built specifically for pickleball, not for badminton or a temporary court), was constructed at Joel and Joan Pritchard’s home in Magnolia Bluff, Seattle. Shortly thereafter, courts were constructed at the homes of:

      • Bob and Dorothy O’Brien, Bainbridge Island, WA.
      • June Rogers, Tilden Street, Magnolia Bluff, Seattle, WA
      • Barney and Carol McCallum, Bainbridge Island, WA

1972  A corporation was formed – Pickle-Ball Inc.-to protect the creation of this new sport

1975   The National Observer published an article about pickleball.

1976   Tennis magazine published the story “America’s Newest Racquet Sport.”

1976  The first-known pickleball tournament was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, WA.

1977  A pickleball tournament was held on the roof of the Rainer Bank Tower, Seattle, WA.

1978  The book, The Other Racquet Sports, was published, providing great exposure for pickleball. Pickle-Ball Inc. attended its first trade show.

1980  Pickleball began at Thousand Trails Resorts, a nationwide network of RV parks.

1982  Sid Williams started playing pickleball and organizing tournaments in areas across Washington State

1984   United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.) was organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball on a national level.

      • The first Executive Director and President of U.S.A.P.A. was Sid Williams.
      • The first rulebook was published in March.
      • The first composite paddle was invented by Arlen Paranto
      • U.S.A.P.A. hosted the first-ever National Doubles PIckleball Championships in Tacoma, WA.

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