Pickleball is a sport that’s almost like playing badminton, ping-pong, and tennis. It can be played either indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with a net that's almost like a tennis net. Pickleball is almost like tennis because players can play singles or doubles.

Pickleball was first invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Wash., and the game was created by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. When they created Pickleball they where also having trouble finding equipment for their badminton court and improvised with ping pong paddles and a whiffle ball. It started off with Joel Pritchard’s wife calling it pickleball because of combining different sports that reminded his wife of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.

Two years after it was invented, the first permanent pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of Pritchard’s friend and neighbor, Bob O’Brian. In 1976, the first known Pickleball tournament in the world was held at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Wash. In the early 1990s, pickleball was being played in every state in the U.S.

As of today, pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in America. The game is played by millions of people of any age and skills levels. What made the game popular is the small court size.

Pickleball has been around Porterville for about four years” said local educator Shelby Lozano.

The city put two pickleball courts on one of the tennis courts at Zalud Park. When pickleball came to Porterville in 2017 there was a small group of about five people to come out and play pickleball. There are now up to 40 people playing on the two courts.

On the tennis court at Zalud Park only a maximum of eight people can play at the same time.

The city allows pickleball to be played at Zalud Park on Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Standard matches are best two of three games up to 11 points.

Many pickleball players who are Porterville residents have to go to a different city for pickleball tournaments in cities like Visalia, Hanford and Corcoran that have permanent courts.

People have also played pickleball at Porterville College. PC has had four tennis courts that can be used for pickleball.

The city does not provide nets on designated area,” said Lozano. If people want to bring nets and equipment for pickleball, they have to contact the city. When pickleball first began in 2017 the residents had to take their own pickleball equipment.

Many local players have been to pickleball tournaments around the Porterville Area. They have also played in Hanford, Fresno, South Dakota, Colorado, and Southern California to play in pickleball tournaments.

One possible alternative is the multi-sport arena complex that's being built adjacent to the Heritage Center. The complex will have five small arenas and one of the sports the arenas could be used for is pickleball.

It will be very great for the arenas to have pickleball because it is the fastest growing sport in America,” said Shelby Lozano, who has introduced pickleball to middle and high school. 

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