The Fastest-Growing Sport

Dated: June 15 2022

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The Fastest-Growing Sport

Two couples playing pickleball

You may or may not have heard of it, but pickleball has picked up quite the following. Springfield has become a hub for the sport, with several courts around the city to play. It’s become so popular that Springfield won out over Milwaukee and Chicago to host the 2023 and 2024 U.S.A. Pickleball Middle States Regional. 

2022 Queen City Open

Murney Associates is excited to be a sponsor for the First Annual SRS Queen City Open to be held June 17–19 on the 34 outdoor courts at the Cooper Tennis Complex. Player matches are based on skill level and age group, ranging from 8 years old to 65+. Events will include men's and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles, a players clinic, and a pro exhibition match. Spectators are welcome. Find the schedule HERE.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball paddles with ball

Invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, WA, pickleball was the solution three dads came up with for their kids who were bored with the usual summer activities. The original game used a badminton net, ping-pong paddles, and a Wiffle ball. They created official rules and the game slowly spread across the country until in 1984 the United States Amateur Pickleball Association was formed and by 1990 the game was being played in all 50 states.

Pickleball is a fun game for all ages. Around ‘09 it caught on with the 55+ community in the Sun Belt states and over the last decade, the game’s popularity has grown exponentially. Parks and Rec departments installing pickleball courts have made it easily accessible.

What’s with the Name?

Probably the most asked question. The game has nothing to do with pickles. According to the wife of one of the inventors, “The name of the game became Pickle Ball after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” Pritchard, Joan. “Pickle Ball featured on Morning show,” News and Sentinel, July 27, 2008)

How to Play

The game can be played on a Pickleball court, a tennis court, or badminton court. Like tennis, it’s played by doubles or singles. The ball is served diagonally and must bounce once before volleys are allowed. The server continues to serve until they fault and the first side to score eleven points with at least a two-point lead wins. To learn more about the game, check out U.S.A. Pickleball.

Try It, You Might Like It!

Think you might want to give Pickleball a try? Beginner classes are offered at Cooper Tennis Complex and Doling Family Center.


About Murney Associates, Realtors®

Nobody loves the Ozarks more than Murney Associates. Our real estate agents are here to help you navigate one of the most important decisions you’ll make. We encourage you to look at our market updates which highlight real estate trends in Springfield, MO, and the surrounding area, as well as our rankings in home sales. Thanks to our clients for making Murney Associates, Realtors the number one real estate agency in Southwest Missouri.

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