Pickleball In Santa Barbara

Pickleball is one of the most popular sports in the United States. During the past few years, it has gained popularity among people of all ages and levels of play.  Many avid tennis players, including myself, have taken up the game because it is easier on the body and is a great combination of athleticism, exercise and entertaining rallies.  Here is an example of a animated pickleball rally:

The Histroy of Pickleball

The first game of Pickleball was played in 1965. Washington congressman Joel Pritchard and his friend Bill Bell attempted to play badminton but could not find the necessary equipment, so they used table tennis paddles and a plastic ball. The game evolved over the next few days as the pair lowered the badminton net and Joel Pritchard’s friend, Barney McCallum, helped develop the rules for Pickleball.

The first Pickleball court was built in 1967 and The National Observer wrote an article about its development. In 1976, Tennis magazine covered the first Pickleball tournament held at the South Center Athletic Club in Washington. As more players became interested, the game continued to develop.

New players practiced with wooden paddles and a Wiffle ball. The first Pickleball paddle was designed and created by Arlent Paranto, an industrial engineer. He made the Pickleball paddle by using nomex honeycomb panels and fiberglass. By 1990, Pickleball was a sport played in all fifty state. Pickle-Ball, Inc. made Pickleballs and in 1999 the first Pickleball website, Pickleball Stuff, launched.

The USA Pickleball Association was created in 2005 and their Rules Committe created and published the official rulebook in 2008. Media companies began recording segments devoted to Pickleball and its popularity among many different people in the United States. Pickleball was becoming more mainstream every year.

The initial Pickleball Association National Tournament was created in November 2009 with 400 players from 26 states and Canada. Millions of players now take part in Pickleball tournaments across the globe. More than 40,000 members are part of the Pickleball Association. Upwards of three million individuals play Pickleball on a regular basis in the United States.

How to play Pickleball

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. The short and easy to manuver paddles are graphite or wood. The ball used is plastic. It can be played by two or four players. It is played on a badminton court, which is smaller and has a lower net than a tennis court. The serve is underhand and diagonal, and the ball must bounce before the other player can hit it. The ball must bounce before the serve can be returned also. After that, the ball can be hit without bouncing, which is called a volley, if the hitter is behind the volley line. Only the serving team can score points and they keep serving until they fault. The first team to reach 11 points, and have a minimum two-point lead, wins the game.

Pickleball in Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara Pickleball association has 12 dedicated courts maintained by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Annual charity tournaments, Round Robin’s, and other tournaments are held annually. There are also Pickleball courts in a few of the city parks, the Hagerman Sport Complex, Goleta Valley Community Center, and at some of the local clubs in the area, such as the Montecito Club and Birnam Wood.  Additionally, many local residents have built courts on their Santa Barbara properties and Montecito estates.  Some of us are fortunate enough to experience this popular sport on a private court at a Santa Barbara home.

If you are interested in relocating to an area where outdoor sports are popular, Santa Barbara could be the place for you. It is a coveted location with pristine beaches, ocean & mountain views, beautiful sunsets, and a Mediterranean climate. It is ideal for a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, boating, volleyball, tennis and especially pickleball. Chris Palme is an experienced real estate agent who knows the area well and is happy to answer your questions. Your dream home and favorite outdoor adventures await!


Chris’ seasoned counsel, local perspective and market knowledge are essential elements for accomplishing your real estate goals.

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