EDMOND, Okla. —
EDMOND — To begin their grand-opening events in Edmond, Boulevard Paddles, America’s second pickleball storefront, will be hosting a “Night of Pickleball” Saturday from 6-9 p.m. at Oakdale School.
“We are hoping to introduce this fun and exciting game to everyone,” said Sherry Prince, President and owner of Boulevard Paddles.
A “Night of Pickleball” will be held at Oakdale School, which is located at 10901 N. Sooner Rd. in Edmond. USA Pickleball Ambassadors and the OKC Pickleball Club will be present at Saturday’s event and will provide free training and demonstrations to the public on how to play the game. Courts and equipment will be provided by Boulevard Paddles. Participants must wear gym shoes and comfortable clothing is encouraged. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening. To register for the event, visit www.facebook.com/BoulevardPaddles.
“Hopefully, Edmond embraces this,” Prince said. “I hope to see them on the court.”
According to documents provided by Prince, pickleball was created in the summer of 1965 by Congressman Joel Pritchard and businessman Bill Bell at Pritchard’s home in Brainbridge Island, Wa. The two, along with their families, were sitting around with nothing to do, so the two men went to the badminton courts with wood paddles and a perforated ball. They also lowered the net to 36 inches. Later that weekend, another man, Barney McCallum, was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s residence and the three men began making rules for their new game.
Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, became interested in the game, too, and whenever a stray ball came his way, he would take the ball and run off with it, and so the game got it’s name.
Prince said pickleball is essentially a mixture of ping pong, tennis and badminton.
The game can be played on a badminton court or it can be played on one-third of a regulation-size tennis court. Prince added that families can also play it in the driveway. The court and net is set up similar to tennis, but the net is lower.
Participants use pickleball paddles, which are made from composite graphite, wood or aluminum and the face and the handle on the paddle can vary in size depending on each player’s preference. A Wiffle ball is used for the game as well.
Participants have to be serving in order to win a point and the two-person receiving team must let the serve bounce once and the two-person serving team must let the return of the serve bounce once before playing it. Once the two bounces occur, then the ball can be volleyed, which means it can be played in the air, or it can be played off the bounce. The first team to 11 points wins, however, you must win by two. Prince said the score can be tweaked based on how many people want to play the game in a given amount of time.
“It’s not as much running around as tennis,” she said. “It’s a multigenerational game. That’s why you see young children and grandparents playing together. It’s also a very social sport. If you’re not playing and laughing at yourself, you can’t help but watch.”
After Prince became “hooked” on playing pickleball herself, she said that’s when she decided to open the business.
“It’s about fitness, faith, family and fun,” she said. “I just really love the family aspect of it … even my family loves to play.”
Boulevard Paddles sells pickleball paddles, nets, balls and sportswear, as well as offers staff with a wide range of knowledge on the sport.
Prince said she has big hopes for her company, which includes Boulevard Paddles and Courts.
“I have big dreams,” she said.
Boulevard Paddles will celebrate its grand opening Nov. 11 and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the business’ first two weeks. After that, the store will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.
TO MAKE an appointment with Boulevard Paddles or to learn how to set up a clinic or tournament, call (405) 562-4885. Boulevard Paddles is located at 204 E. 2nd St. in Edmond.