“We can now add Pickleball to our long list of membership benefits,” said Greg Smith, Lakewood Racquet Club tennis pro. “It is easy for beginners to learn, but the game can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. We are so grateful to Max Thomas.” Longtime LRC member Dr. Max Thomas provided a generous donation to the club from his estate.
Pickleball could be called a ping-pong game played on a badminton-sized court using wood paddle racquets and a perforated plastic baseball (similar to a whiffle ball). The game is played with two players or four players.
The game originated on Bainbridge Island in 1965. Co-inventors Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum have been quoted that the purpose of the game was to provide a sport for the entire family. The game is named after Pickles, the family dog, who would chase after balls and hide in the bushes. Over forty years later, the game has adopted into thousands of school P.E. programs, parks and recreation centers, tennis clubs, camps, and retirement communities.
The game begins with an underhand serve and each team must play their first shot off the bounce. After the ball has bounced once on each side, both teams can hit the ball in the air, called a volley, or play it off the bounce. No volleying is permitted within the seven foot non-volley zone. Pickleball is a game of shot placement and patience, not brute power or strength. Games are played to 11 points.
In 1984, The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was organized to promote the growth and development of Pickleball, on a national and an international level. This organization and its predecessor have provided players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials.
Lakewood Racquet Club offers several levels of membership ranging from a fitness single membership at $28 monthly to a family full membership for $127. Initiation dues are also applicable. The club is located at 5820 112th Avenue, Lakewood, WA Phone (253) 582-6311.