Pickleball in the Basin

The Pacific Northwest Sport is taking off with a swing!


Meet Pickleball


Pickleball is a paddle sport that is played using a specialized paddle and an adapted wiffleball specially made for the sport.


Played on the same size court as doubles badminton, the sport feels like a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The pickleball is made of a hard plastic that produces less bounce than your standard tennis ball, and the paddle is larger than the one used in table tennis — you would hope so with a playing field more than six times the space! Your standard pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, with a three foot tall net in the center.


Because the pickleball is less bouncy than a tennis ball, and because of the holes in the pickleball that increase air resistance and slow the ball down, players find the ball easy to track and control. While tennis and related sports can be hard to get a hold of, anyone and everyone can play pickleball and pick the game up very quickly.

Play in the Basin

While the sport was created and popularized in the Pacific Northwest, it has spread all over the country. The Klamath Pickleball Association has a large membership base with dozens of court options.

Players, or people who want to try out pickleball can visit the website Playtimescheduler.com that helps local pickleballers find play times to meet up for drop-in play or schedule group play. Whether you’re learning or an experienced pickleballer, you can find someone to play with at a local court. Make sure you warm up before playing to prevent injury!

If you’re interested in the Klamath Pickleball Association, you can reach out via message at kbpickleball.com/message to learn more about the group.

The Origin of Pickleball


When we think of the origin of our favorite sports, we don’t usually look to politicians, yet Pickleball was created by a man who would later become a congressman and go on to serve as Washington’s Lieutenant governor — Joel Pritchard.

In the summer of 1965, Pritchard and two of his friends, Barney McCallum and Ben Bell, invented the game for their families. It all began when Pritchard and Bell attempted to set up a rousing game of Badminton but were unable to find the shuttlecock. The two and their families ended up at the court anyway and after playing around with different balls and rackets, the first version of the game we now call Pickleball was formed.

Despite its creation in 1965, the sport didn’t see it’s first tournament until 1976 at the Southcenter Athletic club in Tukwila, Washington — less than 450 miles away from us here in Klamath Falls!