The sport of pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island by Joel McFee Pritchard, who went on to be elected lieutenant governor and member of Congress for Washington, along with two of his friends, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball similar to a wiffle ball. The national governing body for pickleball, USA Pickleball, has approximately 40,000 registered members and estimates that over four million people play pickleball at nearly 8,500 locations nationally. The International Federation of Pickleball has 67 member countries.
Pickleball is designated as the official state sport.