EDMOND, Okla. —
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 at Oakdale School, 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 families also can play it in the driveway. The court and net is set up similar to tennis, but the net is lower.