Pickleball is a fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong. It is played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court with the rules and net being similar to tennis, with a few modifications. Solid paddles made of composite materials or wood are used to play with along with a perforated plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball.

Pickleball was invented in the mid 1960s in Bainbridge Island, Washington as a children’s backyard game but quickly became popular among adults as a fun game for players of all levels. Although some sources claim that the name “Pickleball” was derived from that of a family dog, Pickles, other sources state that the claim is false, and that the name came from the term “pickle boat”, referring to the last boat to return with its catch.

Pickleball was brought to St. Paul UMC in 2007 by member Bob Kear. Bob transformed the basketball court into a single pickleball court, which faced east and west, using tape as the lines. Brashaber Hall was used for playing during the winter months and when it was raining. As time went on more players came and with it was the need for another court. An additional court was poured with the help of Gary Cain,fellow pickleballers and other church members and the basketball goals were taken down. Tape was still used to mark the court lines until it was decided that the courts needed to be painted green with permanent white lines. It was also decided that the courts needed to face north and south as they are now. Bob is credited with starting the pickleball movement in Bloomington which began in the street in front of his house with his wife Linda and neighbor Gary Chrzastowski.