Celebrating pickleball’s 50th anniversary

Across the United States, we have heard about many pickleball groups celebrating pickleball’s 50th anniversary. Here is a taste of the festivities that has been reported. Have you celebrated pickleball’s big anniversary? If so, send us a picture and/or a story to newsletter@usapickleball.org and we’ll post it below.

Indian Land, South Carolina

Thanks Barb Patrick, Vice President of the SCCL Pickleball Club for sharing these photos. Great use of the old pickleballs.

Frankfurt, Delaware

Thanks Cheryl Martin for sending us this great video of the First State Pickleball Summer Classic; those look like amazing courts! Players from Delaware showed their appreciation for pickleball’s 50th anniversary in a unique way before this year’s tournament. Check out the video to see!

 Grand Rapids, Michigan

This summer, the local pickleball club celebrated the sport’s 50th anniversary and was able to get the local television station to cover the activity. Great job by local USAPA ambassador, Linda Jirous, for coordinating the activity. (if the video above doesn’t load, here it the direct link to WZZM)

 Celebrate with Barney McCallum, Alex Hamner and Jennifer Lucore

A note from Jennifer Lucore from her blog
Happy 50th birthday pickleball! Just think 50 years ago pickleball was created by families having fun one summer day on Bainbridge Island, WA. To celebrate this milestone Alex Hamner and I made the trek to visit our buddy Barney McCallum – the last surviving founder of pickleball. We spent several days visiting, exploring, playing, laughing and of course – cherishing the pickleball stories of the last 50 years that Barney shared. Priceless!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


On September 19, the Northwest Pickleball Meetup Group in Philadelphia celebrated pickleball’s 50th Anniversary with an Open House at Water Tower Recreation Center in the Chestnut Hill community. The group has nearly 500 members as part of its Meetup Group with more than 75 participating in the event on the 19th. Organized by Dan Wheeler, the day’s events featured open play on 10 courts, instructional clinics for newcomers to the sport, music by the DJ group Steve and Company, and refreshments. All equipment was provided for beginners. Members of the Northwest Pickleball Meetup Group are big advocates of the Water Tower Recreation Center and hope that it will be a future home of dedicated pickleball courts. Connect with the Northwest Pickleball Meetup Group.

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis-area pickleball players enthusiastically celebrated the 50th anniversary of pickleball the weekend of June 26. The kick-off event on Friday included a free clinic for advanced pickleball strategies at Tower Grove Park followed by pickleball play. There was no cost for the clinic but donations for the Alzheimer’s Association were accepted. The main event of the weekend was a Round Robin Fun Tournament on Sunday, June 28, at CBC Cadet Park. It was a social round robin, meaning players were randomly paired with other players and randomly matched for play with other teams. The partners and opponents were determined by “luck of the draw”. Each round was timed for 12 minutes. At the end of 12 minutes, play ended, regardless of the score – win, lose, or draw. There was a lot of pickleball played, a lot of food eaten, and a lot of socializing with new players. Approximately 100 players from all over the metropolitan area participated and it was a huge success! Everyone agreed it will be a yearly event.

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