Pickleball: America’s fastest growing sport hits Maylands

Kim Mackean, Ross Cameron, Matthew Ogg and John Moyle enjoy a game of pickeball. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470438
Kim Mackean, Ross Cameron, Matthew Ogg and John Moyle enjoy a game of pickeball. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470438

AMERICA’S fastest growing sport has swept into Maylands, a mishmash of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

Pickleball has started being played at The RISE and organisers hope to start a weekly social competition.

The sport is played on a badminton court with a lowered badminton net, paddles, a wiffle ball and with rules similar to tennis.

City of Bayswater leisure program team leader Ross Cameron said the introduction of the sport to Maylands “came about by accident” after having a go with a miniature tennis kit as part of the children’s program.

Mr Cameron and City recreation facilities marketing and functions co-ordinator Matthew Ogg then discovered pickleball through a bit of research.

The pair play during their lunch breaks and have helped roll out casual Wednesday night pickleball practices.

Mr Cameron said the sport was “something different”, while Mayor Barry McKenna said The RISE was the perfect venue to host this “exciting new sport”.

The game, now played by millions around the world, originally started in the 1960s when US politician Joel Pritchard and businessman Bill Bell returned home from a game of golf to find their families sitting around.

They had a badminton court in the backyard but no equipment, so they improvised and started to play with ping pong paddles and a perforated ball.

The sport was eventually dubbed pickleball because Mr Pritchard’s dog Pickle continually ran off with the ball.

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