Clarendon Hills, Illinois: Pickleball Coming to Prospect Park?, by Chuck Fieldman/Pioneer Press:

After several residents inquired about bringing a pickleball court to the parks in Clarendon Hills, the park board directed staff to find out the cost of building a pickleball court.

“I really didn’t know much about it, but I know it’s gotten very popular and seems to be something more mature and older people enjoy playing,” said Don Scheltens, executive director of the Clarendon Hills Park District.

If the district does put a court in, Scheltens said it would be where the sand volleyball court is located, behind the community center and school.

“The sand volleyball court has been there for more than 20 years, but it’s not used very often anymore,” he said.

Hinsdale introduced pickleball at Robbins Park, Seventh and Vine streets, in 2017 by striping two resurfaced tennis courts with lines for both tennis and pickleball. Six pickleball courts are being built at Brook Park, Third street and Columbia Avenue.

Pickleball was created in 1965 when Joel Pritchard, a former U.S. representative from Washington State, and Bill Bell, a businessman, said their families were at loss for something to do while staying on Bainbridge Island, according to the USA Pickleball Association website.

They had a badminton court, but couldn’t find a full set of rackets, according to the association. They resorted to making up their own game using pingpong paddles and a perforated ball. Not long after, the two made up the rules for the game, that was named after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles.

The first permanent pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of a neighbor of Pritchard’s in 1967. A corporation was established in 1972 to protect the creation of the sport. By 1990, it was being played in all 50 states, according to the USA Pickleball Association, which also reports there are pickleball associations in India, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Twitter @chuckwriting

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