Golf, Tennis, Bocce and now Pickleball. Although its been around since the mid 1960’s, Pickleball’s popularity has soared in the last several years. It started back in 1965, Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell returned home from a golf outing to find their families just hanging out. With a worn-out badminton court and no equipment, they decided to improvise. They began using ping pong paddles to hit a plastic ball back and forth over the net.
How did the sport get its name? The Pritchards had a cocker spaniel named Pickles that was riveted on the goings-on of the game. Whenever the ball came in his direction, he would grab it and run away. With the boys continually saying, “Pickle” “ball” – the name was born and has stuck ever since.
Since the first permanent Pickleball court was constructed 40 years ago, the sport has gained followers. As of now, there are well over 4,000 places to play the sport in the United States alone, with Southwest Florida communities promoting on-going leagues and tournaments to meet the immense interest in the sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis.
Having said that, participants are using muscles and joints that incorporate all of these sports. Even further to the point, all those muscles and joints need to be properly warmed up, you really need to be flexible, and have the agility to maneuver around the court. As fun a game as it is, pickleball is not immune to causing injuries. Elbows, wrists, ankles, backs, knees, and shoulders can be affected if you’re not in shape and forgo a proper warm up.
We encourage you to go out there as often as you can and have a blast with this sport that continues to rise in popularity. Let’s just make sure your injuries don’t rise with it. TeamRPC’s specialized fitness programs will help keep you healthier and less injury-prone when you play the game…cocker spaniel on site or not!