PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pickleball is a sport that combines badminton, tennis and ping pong.
“In the last ten years or so, it’s just caught fire,” said Pickeball Tournament Director Lou Sherfinski.
There’s no denying it’s growing popularity. The United States Pickleball Association says membership has grown 900 percent since 2010. The David l. Lawrence Convention Center plays host this weekend to a big tournament, where you can see some of the best compete. The first GAMMA Pickleball Classic— which will benefit the Parkinson Foundation of Western Pennsylvania— will host 250 players from nine states.
“First time I’ve been to a tournament. My first match I’m playing two gentlemen from Naples, Florida. So people from all over the country traveled to play in this tournament,” said player Bill Csonka.
Competitors in this weekend’s tournament range in age from 19 to 70 years old. 20 courts are set up to showcase the tournament. Competition is taking place Friday, Saturday and Sunday with matches starting at 9 a.m. But there still is one question— how did this growing sport get it’s name?
The people who invented the game had a dog named Pickle. While they were playing the game, the dog kept running and grabbing the ball and taking it away. So they called it Pickleball after their dog.