How Pickleball Came to Be

A member of the long-standing organization, Business Executive Association, Stuart Urkov holds a managerial position at the Waterman State Bank in Illinois. There, he is charged with the responsibility of handling client relations and overseeing day-to-day operations. When he is not working, Stuart Urkov enjoys diving, boating, and playing pickleball.

In the summer of 1965, pickleball was born on Bainbridge Island. Congressman Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell returned to Pritchard’s home one afternoon after playing golf to find their families looking completely bored and sitting around. That prompted them to come up with a game that was both challenging and accessible.

An old badminton court already existed on Pritchard’s property. Not finding the complete set of badminton equipment, Pritchard and Bell decided to improvise with ping-pong paddles and a Wiffle ball. Initially, they played the game in a very similar fashion to badminton, but soon, they discovered that the perforated ball could bounce well on the asphalt court. Hence, they lowered the net to a height of 36 inches.

The following weekend, they introduced their friend, Barney McCallum, to the game, and together, they came up with a properly organized set of rules. Despite drawing ideas from badminton, they made sure not to deviate from the primary purpose of creating the game, which was to cater to everyone in a family setting.

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Stuart Urkov recently joined Waterman State Bank in Waterman, Illinois.