Hardly a day goes by when I don't see a mention online or in print about pickleball. The game has been around since its "invention" in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell are credited with devising the game (ostensibly after not being able to locate a badminton shuttlecock), challenging their children to use different types of balls and rackets. The rest is history. I became aware of the game because of a friend, Gigi LeMaster, who began play in 2011, and eventually became a world-wide champion. She is a member of the pickleball Hall of Fame and competes and teaches internationally. After originally using a whiffle ball, a ball unique to the game was developed. The polymer ball should measure between 2.87 and 2.97 (73-75 mm) in diameter, weigh between .78 and .935 ounces (22.1 and 26.5 grams) with 26 to 40 evenly-spaced holes. The paddle is hard-faced and should not exceed 24 inches wide (0.61m) and 17 inches long. The image below gives you a visual of both items.
Not knowing much about the game at all except that it is challenging enough physically and mentally, and just plain fun for people to quickly become obsessed by it. And is a game that fits any personality, body type, age, or competitive spirit. It can played with extreme intensity or at a more leisurely pace, which contributes to its popularity. I spent part of a morning photographing our friend, Ingrid, her fellow players, and others on the courts at the Ft. Marcy Recreation Complex in Santa Fe last week. Armed with both my Nikons with both the 70-200 mm lens and 18-55 mm lenses, I photographed only the second sport I have ever photographed (a rodeo in Aztec, New Mexico was the other). I learned a lot, including the facts that I needed just a slightly faster shutter speed (used 1/1600), and that there are ample opportunities to get shots of derrières.
On this particular morning, it did not take long to discover that the people who were playing were all quite competitive and very active in their play. I took over 200 photographs in half an hour, basically because I did not know what to look for, and I wanted to get some decent shots. I will continue to photograph pickleball play, but here is a sampling of my first foray into the game.
Thanks to Ingrid for allowing me to photograph her and the games, and to Barbara F. R., TTT, Steve, Catherine, Donna K., Phyllis, Ann A., Marilyn, Pater, and Lisa for commenting on last week's blog.
until next Monday,
a passion for the image©