Pickleball is now officially the state sport of Washington.

On Monday, Governor Jay Inslee signed a measure into law granting the game state status.

What exactly is pickleball?

Pickleball was invented as a game on Bainbridge Island for children in 1965 at the home of Joel Pritchard.

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It's a racket or paddle sport with two to four players using the paddles to hit a ball similar to a wiffle ball.

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You can play inside or outside on a court similar to a badminton court.

My first encounter with the sport was a few years ago when a co-worker shared with me that he and his wife love to play. Over the years, I've seen pickleball played at Lawrence Scott Park in Kennewick. New courts were constructed in 2019 at Tri-City Court Club

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A quick Google search turned up a few places locally to get in on the game, including Claybell Park in Richland, and Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick. You can get more information here.

Pickleball has gained popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic as an alternative to indoor activities.

How popular has pickleball become?

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A survey by the Sport and Fitness Industry Association found a 21.3 percent increase in the number of American respondents who started playing pickleball in 2020.[19] It was named one of the country's "fastest-growing sports" with a reported 4.8 million active players. As of March 2022, the International Federation of Pickleball has 70 member nations.

Tri-Cities has a Facebook group devoted to the sport. It's called Club 509 Pickleball Forum.

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