Ross: Pickleball will soon be the official sport of Washington

Mar 25, 2022, 5:35 AM | Updated: 8:41 am
(L-R) Cecilia Dehlin and Pat Harrell play pickleball on March 11, 2021, in Pompano Beach, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The day has finally come.

Some time next week, the governor will sign a bill making pickleball the official sport of Washington state.

The bill is long overdue because no sport is so quintessentially Washington.

It was invented by a Lt. Gov., in fact – Joel Pritchard – who also served in Congress back in the day when people actually liked some politicians. And he was one of the likeable ones – he once told me, as he told so many others: “You can accomplish anything as long as you don’t care who takes the credit.”

And on a rainy day in 1965 at his little cabin on Bainbridge Island, what he needed to accomplish was a way to keep a bunch of bored kids busy.

So, he took some ping pong paddles and a whiffle ball, and sent the kids to the backyard badminton court with orders to have fun.

Today, pickleball is so popular people are starting to injure themselves playing it, which is the true measure of any sport’s popularity.

It’s intimate, easy to learn, it can be played by old people …

The only downside … is the sound. Pickleball paddles POP.

Indoors – no problem. But since pickleball can be played in any weather, cities, like Seattle, are putting in more outdoor courts. Next week, on March 30 at 4:30 p.m., Seattle Parks and Recreation will hold a public Zoom meeting on where the courts should go.

And the noise is bound to come up. Studies show a pickleball pop is about 25 decibels louder than a tennis ball, and you can fit four pickleball courts in the space occupied by a single tennis court.

Now the sound of one pickleball court is perfectly tolerable.

And two isn’t too bad – unless you get a grunter.

But then you get to three …

And by the time you get to four – if the players are any good – it’s like living next to a popcorn machine.

And if you have Millennials in their home offices trying to stream “Squid Game,” there are going to be lawsuits.

I just hope that once pickleball is officially the state sport we can all find a way to get along.

I have yet to play it – I figure if this Boomer is going to get a sports injury, I’m going to do it the old-fashioned way: dropping a bowling ball on my foot. Or putting the star on the Christmas tree while standing on a rocking chair.

By the way, if somebody invents THAT game, remember who had the idea.

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Ross: Pickleball will soon be the official sport of Washington