History of Pickleball – More Than 50 Years of Fun!

Yes, the first ever history book on the sport of pickleball is finally done! This three-year journey with my mom (co-author Beverly Youngren) has definitely been a challenge but we did it – Hellooooooo

History of Pickleball – More Than 50 Years of Fun!

If you love pickleball, you will love this book. If you wonder what the heck pickleball is or how this sport came to be the fasting-growing sport in America, then you will love this book.

If you’ve volunteered to make this sport run, this book is because of YOU.

Here are excerpts from the Introduction Chapter of History of Pickleball – More Than 50 Years of Fun!

In June 2015, at the inaugural USAPA Ambassador retreat in Lake Tahoe, CA, Jennifer and Beverly had a blast interacting with more than 140 Ambassadors who traveled from all over the US and Costa Rica. During a lively lunch conversation with the new ambassadors, it became apparent that many didn’t know much about the “pickleball pioneers” who had been so instrumental in championing the sport.

During their 6-hour mother-daughter road trip home after that retreat, they realized that there was so much to the pickleball story, yet there was no single source for those who, like them, were intrigued by it. On that trip home, they decided to write a book about pickleball’s beginning: its pioneers, its characters, and its early growth. It became their “calling” to capture the stories of the beginning of pickleball before those memories were lost forever.

Another important factor, and quite frankly one of the primary reasons it made sense to attempt this feat, was the relationship Jennifer had developed with Barney McCallum starting back in 2012 as Pickle-Ball Inc.’s first sponsored player. She had the unique opportunity to occasionally meet with Barney, do lunch, and just talk pickleball.

They knew it would take Barney’s input to pull off this book. When Jennifer first discussed the idea with him, Barney was both excited and supportive; he lit the flame for her and steered her passion for searching out the history. On several occasions, Jennifer’s doubles partner, Alex Hamner, and she sat around the table with Barney at his cabin on Bainbridge Island, sharing a drink and listening to his fond memories and observations of the evolution of pickleball. His recollections and timeless stories are priceless and, of course, shared throughout the book.

They have taken trains, planes, ferries, cars, RVs, and even bicycles to hunt down the stories, facts, and memories. Through countless interviews, emails, and in-depth research, they know they have dug deep. They know that you’ve seen bits and pieces about the history of pickleball on websites, YouTube, newspapers, magazines, blogs, books, and even TV coverage. But NONE tells the whole story.

Jennifer and Beverly have been allowed access to the founding families’ private archives and had interviews with legendary players who described the historical trends that have shaped the game. They were constantly reminded how wonderful it was that people freely shared their stories and time with them; for that, they are forever grateful.

If any of you reading this have volunteered to teach or promote pickleball in some form or fashion, then YOU are part of the sport’s growth. Whether a flat spot on a cul-de-sac, an asphalt lot, an unused tennis court, or a quiet gymnasium, each is an example of where volunteers introduced pickleball to others. Every community, town, and recreation center has a pickleball story, and it probably started with a volunteer introducing pickleball to others on whatever space they could find.

To purchase this book, visit Amazon.com

Because of Barney – I love this guy! … Beverly Youngren, Barney McCallum and Jennifer Lucore in 2016.

Last few rounds of edits before PRINT!






12 comments on “History of Pickleball – More Than 50 Years of Fun!”

  1. Hilary Hilton Marold

    Tell “Susan C” they are playing Pickleball in Santa Monica now! She should move back the 1/2 year:) I will be buying the book at the US Open this next week, AP. Save a copy! ?? Hilary

  2. Jen, I received your book today and couldn’t put it down! It is such a fascinating, informative, comprehensive journey into the genesis of pickleball! I am so grateful to you and Bev for writing this book and to all the people who invented and promoted this great sport! When my husband and I retired 7 years ago, we lived 6 mos. in Santa Monica and 6 mos. in The Villages. I never heard of pickleball until we moved to The Villages. I was immediately hooked on it and since they weren’t playing it in Santa Monica at the time, we ended up moving to The Villages full time. I really appreciate that you gave recognition to some of the great players and coaches here who have volunteered countless hours to teach this great game for all of us to enjoy. Again, many thanks and much appreciation! Susan

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      WOW, Susan, thanks so much for taking the time to write such a kind review. Keep loving your pickleball 🙂 HUGS!

  3. I just ordered six books today from Amazon.ca…………….great Canadian pricing and with no shipping.
    Can’t wait to see if Pickles is a Rotweiler or a little weiner dog?

    1. Jennifer Lucore

      Ha ha Roy, glad Canadian pricing is great, I was a bit unsure of the conversions and how that works. What is the retail price there? And YES, I too, love free shipping!

  4. Good stuff Jennifer; can’t wait until I get my hands on the Amazon.ca order…..in a few days.

    I think we should be able to take this information (‘history’) as gospel, especially with you meeting with Barney and living out there on the west coast with the other legends of pickleball. Did a dog named ‘Pickles’ get a whole chapter for himself?

  5. Diana Abruscato, CPTP - USAPA Ambassador Huntington Beach

    This is so needed and relevant, well done!

    Just placed my order….

    Thank you!
    Diana Abruscato, CPTP
    USAPA Ambassador – Huntington Beach, CA

  6. Hi pals! Thank you, thank you, thank you for ALL your efforts! Looking forward to reading your book!
    I remember Barney from way back when I was knee-high to a gherkin! Such a nice man he was!

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