As pickleball continues its rise in popularity, it's time to give some well-deserved recognition to the legends of the game. And what better way to do so than through the "Pickleball Hall of Fame"?
But wait, hold your paddles! Before we dive into the Hall of Fame, you may be wondering how it was established, and who has been inducted. Fear not, we've got the answers to all your pickleball questions.
In this article, we'll be your pickleball tour guides, taking you through the ins and outs of the Pickleball Hall of Fame and how you too can become a part of its honored halls.
But before we go on that journey, let us share our own list of legends with you. Get ready to serve up some pickleball knowledge!
Origin of Pickleball
Pickleball was created on Bainbridge Island, Washington in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.
The sport was created by combining elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis, and it was named after the Pritchards’ dog Pickles or because it reminded Joan Pritchard of the pickle boat in a crew.
The first permanent pickleball court was built in 1967, and Pickle Ball Inc. was incorporated in 1968 to promote the sport and sell equipment. The first pickleball tournament was held in 1976, and the first governing body, U.S.A.P.A. was formed in 1980 with Sid Williams as the Executive Director and President. In 1984, the first non-wood composite pickleball paddles were developed, and the sport has continued to grow in popularity since then.
Who Can Be Nominated To The Pickleball Hall Of Fame?
Nomination to the Pickleball Hall of Fame is open to anyone and can be made by anyone. Nominees should have exceptional results in pickleball play and have made contributions to the growth, development, and leadership of the game.
A form highlighting the candidate's achievements must be submitted to the chair of the nominating committee. The committee selects 10 players in the competitor category and 3 in the contributor category, who are then considered by the selection committee. The maximum number of inductees each year is 3 players and 1 contributor.
Get the inside scoop on the Pickleball Hall of Fame by watching this informative video! Learn about the criteria for induction and the nomination process.
Pickleball Hall of Fame: Who's Who
The Pickleball Hall of Fame, USA Pickleball, and the USA Pickleball Hall of Fame have come to an agreement to merge and form one Pickleball Hall of Fame.
This will result in a stronger and enhanced organization with representatives from all three groups working together to produce enhanced bylaws and a brand-new Board of Directors.
The goal of this effort is to create the best Pickleball Hall of Fame, where all of our Pickleball legends and future stars can be honored and celebrated. This is a major step forward for Pickleball and we're thrilled to see what the future holds for this exciting sport.
On November 10, 2022, the Pickleball Hall of Fame celebrated four deserving individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport. Let's give a warm round of applause to these talented inductees!
In the Competitor Category:
Pat Kane - Pat was a force to be reckoned with in the pickleball world from 1991-2019, Pat amassed an impressive 288 medals and awards. Among his many accomplishments, Pat was one of the original members of the USAPA Rules Committee and won 15 National titles, including the first-ever money prizes at the National Tournament in The Villages, Florida in 2002 & 2003 with partner Mark Friedenberg.
Larry Moon - Larry is a 16-time National Champion, earning the coveted triple crown titles in 2016 & 2017. He made a great first impression, winning gold in the 55+ singles division at the 2012 USAPA Nationals. This player has achieved multiple titles at both the U.S. Open and the prestigious Huntsman World Senior Games and also holds victories at the Tournament of Champions.
Wes Gabrielsen - Wes has made a name for himself, winning 11 USAPA National titles since 2011 and being a founding member of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association. He's also an impressive player on the court, earning 6 Canadian National Championships with a triple crown in 2015.
In the Contributor Category:
Norm Davis - Norm was a dedicated member of the USAPA board and made a significant impact during his 10 years with them. He was instrumental in creating a template for teaching pickleball in public schools, launching the USAPA Grant Program, and setting standards for a paddle and ball performance. Additionally, he consolidated various sources to create a comprehensive and interactive list of 50,000 "Places to Play" that is widely used today. Congratulations to these legendary four who have made a lasting impact on the pickleball community!
To Wrap This Up
The Pickleball Hall of Fame is a significant institution that recognizes individuals who have excelled in pickleball play and have made exceptional contributions to the growth and development of the game.
From the open pickleball championships to the Hall of Fame championships, the honorees are selected through a rigorous process that involves both a nominating committee and a selection committee.
The Pickleball Hall of Fame serves as a testament to the dedication and hard work of those who have devoted their time and energy to this exciting sport. Whether you're a seasoned player or just getting started, it's worth taking a moment to appreciate the achievements of those who have helped to make pickleball what it is today.
Dreaming of making it to the Pickleball Hall of Fame? Then it's time to start practicing like a champion! Check out our expert tips and tricks to help you play like a pro.
So, let's all raise a paddle in salute to the legends of the game who have earned their place in the Pickleball Hall of Fame!