Pickleball Sweeps BCS...What is it?

Good to Know:

  • Pickleball was created in 1965
  • Played in all 50 states by 1990
  • If you're interested in playing the game the Lincoln Center in College Station has designated Wednesdays from 10-12 for pickleball play.

COLLEGE STATION - Pickleball.

It's a combination of ping pong, badminton, and tennis. And it's gaining in popularity.

It started in 1965, when a Washington State family got bored... and resourceful. They made up the game from whatever was laying around their garage.

"The first time I played pickleball it just grabbed me, it was really phenomenal. I found my sport," said Orlando Salas, who has been playing the game since last year.

Despite the name, no pickles are involved. The name is rumored to have come from the family's dog named "pickles" who kept chasing the balls when they would land out of bounds.

"Pickleball is not hard to do. I think anybody could do it if they just get out and try," said Peggy Francis.

Francis has only played the game for a couple of weeks. Tennis and Golf are her usual sports. With only one arm, she's picked up pickleball pretty quickly.

"I'm not going to give up doing what I've always done because I think I can do just as well, almost, with one hand," Francis said.

"This stuff we're talking about called healthcare isn't healthcare...it's sick care. Pickleball is my health insurance," competitor Karen Bauser said.

The rules are similar to most raquet games, except for the middle of the court. It's called the Kitchen and it's off limits.

If the game looks confusing, don't worry. The USA Pickleball Association has a website packed with information for players and those who are just curious.

The players have in common the desire to keep playing as long as possible.

"My female partner is 78-years-old and she's quite the competitor. I'm hoping to be able to at least get that far and keep playing this sport," said Michael Myc, a competitor who spends his winters here in Texas and summers in Canada, where he says he plays as much as he can.


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