Friday, September 6, 2019

Fran (Frances) Myer

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2018


CITIZENSHIP:USA  
BORN:  June 5, 1946 in Seattle, Washington
PLAYS:  Right handed

EDUCATION:  
Garfield High School
Seattle, Washington

BA, Art
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
In 1999, Fran Myer created a website featuring information about pickleball. The website included basic rules, court construction tips, a list of places to play and upcoming tournaments. By September, 1999, the website became the first pickleball retail website, selling paddles and balls available from all known manufacturers at that time. Together with her husband Barney Myer, they sold equipment and supplies all over the USA and around the world.


For nine years, from 2001 to 2009, Fran and Barney were the Commissioners for the Washington State Senior Games pickleball event. They were Commissioners for the Greater Seattle Senior Games for eight years from 2002 to 2009. In addition, Fran assisted Barney (who was the USAPA Tournament Director) in putting on the first USAPA National Tournament in 2009. Fran was Co-Director for the USAPA National Tournament with Dennis Duey in 2010 and 2011. She was a Charter Member on the USAPA Board for eight years, serving from 2005 until 2013 as Secretary, Media Director, and as Vice-President.

COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
Fran’s major tournament awards:

National Senior Games Championship Festival:
     2008 Singles – gold
     Women’s Doubles – gold
     Mixed Doubles – gold

USAPA Nationals:
     2009 Mixed Doubles 19+ - gold
     2012 Women’s Singles 65+ - silver
     2016 Women’s Singles 70+ - silver

International Indoor Pickleball Championships
     2017 Women’s Doubles 65+ - gold

2009 USAPA National Championships Mixed Doubles 19+ Age Group with Jagan Subhas

In 2010, Fran and Barney received the Northwest Senior Games Phil Flash Inspirational Award for being Greater Seattle’s most inspirational athletes. In 2014, Fran was presented with the USAPA Pioneer Award.

BACKGROUND:
Fran grew up near Seattle’s Chinatown. Living with her family was her paternal grandmother, the adopted daughter of Goon Dip. He was a politician, entrepreneur and from 1909 to 1933, was Chinese consul to Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Fran studied ballet for seven years starting at age five. She studied the piano for nine years until graduating from high school and also played the clarinet and French horn during those early years. Aside from brief introductions to golf, tennis and bowling, Fran had no athletic training prior to taking up pickleball at age 42. She started competing in Sid Williams’ tournaments in 1992. By 2018, she had won close to 200 medals and awards.

While raising three daughters, Fran, who was Fran Uyeda at that time, formed the business Uyeda Sasaki Art (USA) with Jean Sasaki. The two women authored and illustrated two children’s books. They also painted large murals on the walls of schools and businesses.

Fran worked a variety of jobs that included offset press operator at Bellevue Community College, receptionist at Windermere Real Estate and Seattle Yacht Club, cashier at a toy store, server at Rainier Golf and Country Club, hospital records clerk at Children’s Hospital, ticket manager for the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and bookkeeper at a restaurant. She was also employed full time at the University of Washington, Center for Urban Horticulture as a Fiscal Specialist. Many jobs were held simultaneously and at one point Fran worked four different jobs, going to work seven days a week for eight years. It was during this time that she created the Pickleball Stuff website and business. She retired from the University in 2006 and was then able to devote full time to Pickleball Stuff until discontinuing the business at the end of 2018.

Earl Hill

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2018


CITIZENSHIP: USA 
BORN:  January 15, 1938 in Arborfield, Saskatchewan, Canada
PLAYED:  Right handed 

EDUCATION:  
High school graduate

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Earl was a charter member of the USAPA Board. He founded the Ambassador Program in 2005, serving for 13 years as Director and later as Assistant Director. Ambassadors are volunteer representatives and unofficial spokespersons for the USAPA whose primary responsibility is to promote and grow pickleball in the geographical area they represent. The explosive growth of pickleball was attributed to the fabulous success of the Ambassador Program. In 2018, there were 1,800+ Ambassadors working to promote pickleball and the popularity of the sport had grown from a few thousand players in 2005 to an estimated 2.8 million USA players by 2017.

Earl also served as the Pickleball Commissioner of the Arizona Senior Olympics from 2001 to 2008. The tremendous growth of this tournament was the impetus to the creation of the national organization in 2005.

COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
2003 National Championship at The Villages, Florida
            Promotion Award –  “You Have Touched Us.  We Have Grown”
            Gold Medalist – Men’s Doubles 65-69

2009 USAPA National Championships at Sun City Festival, Arizona
            Pioneer Award as Founder of the USAPA Ambassador Program
            Gold Medalist – Men’s Doubles 70-74

2011 USAPA National Championships at Sun City Festival, Arizona
            Gold Medalist – Men’s Doubles 70-74

2013 USAPA National Championships at Sun City Festival, Arizona
            Gold Medalist – Men’s Doubles 75-79

2014 USAPA National Championships at Sun City Festival, Arizona
            Gold Medalist – Men’s Doubles 75-79

2015 USAPA Pioneer Award for Outstanding Achievement in the National Development 
            of pickleball.

Earl playing in the 2009 USAPA National Championships

BACKGROUND:
Earl spent his formative years in Prince Albert Saskatchewan.  Following high school, he was employed with the Royal Bank of Canada.  In 1964, Earl and his wife Gladys moved to Tacoma, Washington where he began a 31 year career with the National Bank of Washington.  In the early and mid ‘70s, Earl became interested in the local government process in Buckley, Washington.  In 1975 he became a U.S. citizen and was elected to a City Council position.  Earl then served as the 26th Mayor of the City of Buckley from 1977 to 1983.

During his youth Earl played many sports – mainly baseball, softball and golf.  In his 30s he began mountain climbing after reading about it for many years.  He climbed Mt. Rainier (14,410’) several times, once as a leader and also climbed several other Northwest peaks.  Earl also ascended Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340’) in Africa and Mt. Huayna Potosi (19,970’) in Bolivia.  He was also an avid hiker and began skiing at age 50.  At his bank retirement party, Earl did a tandem sky dive from 11,000’. At age 58, he walked across the Cascade mountains from Buckley to Spokane, Washington – a distance of 300 miles for a Kiwanis charity.  Earl is also an active Duplicate Bridge player with a ranking of Bronze Life Master. He says he plays pickleball for his body and bridge for his brain.

 Earl, Gladys (his wife of over 50 years) and their three daughters

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Robert (Bob) Lanius

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2018


CITIZENSHIP:USA  
BORN:  March 28, 1952 in Dallas, Texas

EDUCATION: 
Woodrow Wilson High School
Dallas, TX

BA, Math and Computer Science
University of Texas
Austin, TX

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Bob Lanius is the creator/developer of PickleballTournaments.com software, which enabled the growth of tournaments worldwide with online registration and administration.  Beginning in 2006, the system was used primarily at the Happy Trails Classic tournament in Surprise, AZ and the Arizona Senior Olympics.  For the next few years, the program was used by tournament directors to manage registrations, charts, and results. 

After the 2008 games, Bob implemented live tournament operations.  In February 2009, during the Arizona Senior Olympics, the system was used for the first time live at a tournament to enter results and generate score sheets.  Also in 2009, other tournaments started using the system including the Huntsman World Senior Games, USAPA Nationals, West Valley Senior Games in Arizona, Sun City Grand Skill Tournament (AZ), Sun River Spring Tournament (UT), San Diego Senior Olympics and California Senior Olympics.  In 2010, the Volunteer Management feature was added. In 2011 the system was re-branded as PickleballTournaments.com.  In 2012 the Court Management feature was implemented, allowing matches to be assigned to specific courts. During these developmental years, Bob volunteered his time and allowed tournament directors to use his program without charge.  He often paid for equipment used to run the tournaments and for his own travel expenses to help train users and to help run tournaments.  In 2014 with about 100 tournaments a year, the system ownership and rights were transferred to PaddleUp to be operated as a true business and to continue its growth. By 2018, the system was handling over 600 tournaments per year.  

Melissa McCurley with Bob after she became the new head of PickleballTournaments.com

In 2003, Bob started the club website for AZ Happy Trails Resort that supported pickleball across the country with places to play, tournament listings, tournament results and news until 2015.

In 2005, Bob got involved with Earl Hill and the Arizona Senior Olympics managing a second venue, teaching referees, handling registrations, and eventually succeeding as commissioner.  In 2010, the Arizona clubs voted to move pickleball to the Grand Canyon State Games with Bob as commissioner.

COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
Commissioner of the year by Grand Canyon State Games
Recognition award by the Phoenix Regional Sports Commission
2013-present – Tournament of Champions ‘Lanius Cup’ awarded annually
2018 Pickleball Impact Award by US Open Pickleball Championships, Florida

Bob receiving the Tournament of Champions award

BACKGROUND:
Bob’s early athletic interests centered around swimming.  He lettered in swimming during high school then competed in United States Master Swimming from 1983 to 1995 and internationally in 1988.  

At the beginning of Bob’s career, he was a computer programmer for Wadley Institutes of Molecular Medicine, a system analyst for Sperry Corporation, and Assistant Director of Computer Services at Wadley Institute, all in Dallas, Texas.  Later, he moved on to be a Developer for Spectrum Scientific in Dallas, Texas.  He then worked for Microsoft Consulting Services as a Senior Consultant, supporting Microsoft clients in the southern region: Virginia thru Texas, and Mexico.  This was followed by working as Program Manager at Microsoft Consulting Services in Redmond, Washington to support foreign offices and customers across the globe.  From 1996 to 1999, Bob was self-employed as a consultant for Fortune 100 companies in the United States and worldwide.  He did software and web development onsite.

A year after his marriage to Jettye in 1998, Bob retired and the two became full-time RVers.  In 2000, they were introduced to pickleball by Keith Bisel at an RV campground in Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, marking the beginning of their transformative involvement in the sport.
Bob and wife Jettye playing pickleball in La Conner, Washington

Mark Friedenberg

CONTRIBUTOR AND PLAYER
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP: USA  
BORN: May 11, 1947 in Hollywood, CA 
PLAYS:  Right handed

EDUCATION:  
Fairfax High School
Los Angeles, CA

BA, Mathematics
California State University, Northridge 
Northridge, CA

MS, Computer Science
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

MILITARY:    
Mark served in the U.S. Navy Reserves for 20 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
As the owner of Pro-Lite Sports from 2004-2010, Mark developed some of the earliest lightweight, composite and graphite paddles.  In 2011, he passed Pro-Lite Sports on to his son, Neil Friedenberg.

In 2005, Mark organized the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and served as its first president.  He served as Past President from mid 2008 – 2010 and later served in a consulting capacity on the Board through 2017. The huge growth and expansion of pickleball was the result of the USAPA and its stated mission “to promote the growth and development of pickleball, not only on a national but an international level.”  This organization also provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings, and promotional materials.  Four years after its formation, the USAPA hosted its first National Tournament, drawing almost 400 players from around North America.  

He is the author “The Official  Pickleball Handbook” and  “Winning Pickleball.”  


COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
Mark started playing pickleball in 1989.  He is a National Champion multiple times over and has won more awards and medals than most players in the history of pickleball.   

Some of Mark’s major tournament gold medal awards:

USAPA Nationals:​               Open Men’s Doubles 
2009​​                                    Men’s Singles 60+
                                            Mixed Doubles 55+

USAPA Nationals:               Men’s Doubles 60+
2010

USAPA Nationals: ​              Mixed Doubles 55+
2011

USAPA Nationals:​               Men’s Singles 70+
2017

In addition to the gold medals he received many silver and bronze medals in the 2009-2018 National tournaments.

Mark received the Northwest Senior Games Phil Flash Inspiration Award in 2007 for being Greater Seattle’s most inspirational athlete.

Phil Flash presenting his Inspirational Award to Mark in 2007

BACKGROUND:
From the time he was young, Mark’s life constantly revolved around sports. Besides pickleball, Mark played baseball, basketball, football, racquetball, softball, tennis and table tennis.  He coached Little League and Boys and Girls Club chapters for several years when his children were young.  


Mark taught Computer Science courses at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and Microsoft Office at Green River Community College, Auburn, WA and South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA.    

Billy J. Jacobsen

PLAYER
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP: USA  
BORN:  October 15, 1962 in Seattle, Washington
PLAYS:  Right handed and Left handed

EDUCATION:  
Kennedy High School
Burien, Washington

BA, Psychology
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

BS, Computer Science
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle, Washington

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Billy was responsible for suggesting several rule changes that were eventually adopted as part of the USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook. One - was the double elimination format for tournaments.  Prior to the adoption of this format, tournaments followed the single elimination format with the winners’ bracket playing for silver and gold and the consolation bracket playing for the bronze medal. Two - was to change tournament matches from always being played 2 out of 3 games to 11 points, to matches of one game to 11, 15 or 21 points in order to save time.  Three - was to have regular time outs and for them to be no longer than 2 minutes.  Prior to this, players could call a time out and actually leave the court to eat food, go to the bathroom or stall around.

RECENT COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
International Indoor Pickleball Championships
2019                       Open Senior Men’s Doubles – 1 Gold

USAPA Nationals:  Open Singles – 1 gold, 2 bronze medals
2009 – 2015           Open Men’s Doubles – 1 gold, 2 silver medals
                               Open Mixed Doubles – 1 silver medal

Tournament of Champions:
2013                       Open Men’s Doubles – 1 gold medal

Canadian Nationals:
2010 - 2012            Open Singles – 1 gold, 1 silver medal
                               Open Men’s Doubles – 2 gold, 1 silver medal

East Coast National Indoor Championships:
2015                       Open Singles – 1 silver medal
                               Open Men’s Doubles – 1 gold medal

Billy and his wife Darcie in 1991 at one of Sid Williams' tournaments

Billy dominated the sport for over 34 years starting in 1981.  His record includes winning 17 straight Open Singles titles during a period of four years.  For 13 years, from (1995 – 2008) he competed in Open Singles and never finished lower than second place.  For 27 straight years, in every year from 1981 – 2008, he won at least one Open Tournament in either doubles, mixed doubles or singles.  He is the only player to have won both Open Division Singles and Doubles playing 100% right handed and 100% left handed.  He’s one of very few players who have won Open Singles and Open Doubles on three different surfaces; cement, carpet and wood and with five different balls; Cosom Fun Ball, JUGS Bulldog Polyball, Onix Pure 2, Onix Fuse and Seamless DURA Fast 40 Pickleball.  His record over the years includes over 50 Open Men’s Singles and Open Men’s Doubles medals.  Overall Billy has played in at least one Open tournament a year for 37 straight years.

BACKGROUND:
Billy started tennis at the age of eight.  He was ranked #2 in the Pacific Northwest at age 10, #2 at age 12 and #1 at age 14.  He played in the 18 year old bracket as a 15 year old and held the #1 spot for four years.  He played in every major USA National Tennis Tournament between the ages of 12 and 18 at least once.  He defeated Jim Pugh, Jim Grab and Pat Galbreath who all went on to be ranked #1 in the world in professional doubles.  Billy won the Father and Son Pacific Northwest Championships with his dad at age 15 and was awarded a free trip to the US Open with a free stay at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  His dad went the year before with his sister when the two won the Father and Daughter Pacific Northwest Championships.  Billy also played tennis for four years at the University of Washington, mainly as #2.  After college, he was a high school tennis coach, coaching for 11 years at Sumner High School and 8 years at Bonney Lake High School.  

Billy is a right handed tennis player and is now also a right handed pickleball player.  However, when he was a youngster, he loved ping pong.  He hit the ping pong ball with a lot of topspin.  When he started taking tennis lessons around age 9 or 10, his tennis pro got angry with him about the topspin because in those days, no one really hit with exaggerated topspin.  Billy’s dad told him he had to stop playing ping pong, but Billy loved ping pong so much that he didn’t want to quit.  So he started playing ping pong and all other racquet sports (including pickleball) left handed.  His intent was to eventually become a tennis pro and he didn’t want any other racquet sport to possibly screw up his tennis strokes.   

Deaf since early childhood and a type 1 diabetic throughout his competitive career, Billy always displayed great sportsmanship and class on and off the court.

Billy at the 2019 International Indoor Pickleball Championships where he won gold with partner Chris Miller.

Barney McCallum

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP: USA  
BORN:  September 3, 1926 in Davenport, Washington
DIED:  November 18, 2019 at age 93
PLAYED:  Right handed

EDUCATION:  
Davenport High School 
Davenport, Washington

Studied Business and Political Science
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

MILITARY:
Barney joined the US Navy in 1944 and served aboard the USS Grafton (APA-109). In 1946, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Seaman First Class.

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:  
Barney was one of the three original creators of the game of pickleball.  Early in the game’s development, Barney was introduced to the game by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell. Barney helped to solidify the game’s rules and balance by introducing features such as the non-volley zone and the double bounce rule. 


Known as the “man behind the business,” Barney was a successful inventor and entrepreneur in the envelope industry who applied his marketing know-how to pickleball.  In 1968, Barney formed “Pickle-Ball, Inc.,” the first company to manufacture and market pickleball paddles.  The company’s mission was “to develop the game of Pickle Ball and to sell and promote said game in a lawful manner.”  The first paddles were fashioned out of plywood in Barney’s home wood shop.  As demands grew, Barney employed workers at the Pacific Northwest Center that taught and helped people with disabilities to learn trades.  They made the first mass produced Diller plywood paddles, the first paddles that were available in stores.  


Around 1992, Pickle-Ball, Inc. started manufacturing the first ball designed specifically for the game of pickleball.  It was named the DURA 56 Pickle-Ball because it had 56 holes.  By the mid-1990s, Pickle-Ball, Inc. began ball production overseas in Asia.  They reduced the hole pattern to 40 holes to create a ball with greater durability. This ball was named the DURA Fast 40 Pickle-Ball and remains one of the most popular balls for outdoor play and tournaments.

COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
During the 1980s, Barney and his partner Jim Weller competed in and won many tournaments sponsored by Nalley Pickles.  He was the first player to experiment with the third shot dink as a means to advance to the non-volley zone line.  This is a strategy that is considered key to gaining advantage over the opponent.     

BACKGROUND:
Barney was active in high school athletics where he played football, basketball and ran track.  After his discharge from the Navy, he attended the University of Washington and was just several credits short of earning his degree. He then went to work for Griffin Envelope Company.  After ten years, he left Griffin Envelope Company and started his own company, McCallum Envelope & Printing Co.  After the invention of pickleball, Barney sold balls and paddles from his office at the envelope company.  He is proud of the fact that he helped to create a game that people without any athletic background can easily learn.  His slogan, which appeared on Pickle-Ball, Inc.’s boxed sets, was “Say Goodbye to the Sidelines.”  Over time, this slogan has proven to be an attractive feature of this sport, as people all around the world have gotten off the sidelines to find enjoyment, exercise and new friends with this easy to learn game.

Barney pictured in 2018 with one of the original boxed pickleball sets.  The famous slogan is on the side not visible.

Arlen C. Paranto

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP:USA  
BORN:  July 21, 1930 in Mott, North Dakota
DIED:  August 31, 2019 at age 89
PLAYED:  Right handed

EDUCATION:  
Lemmon High School
Lemmon, South Dakota
    
MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Arlen greatly advanced the sport of pickleball with the development of the first light weight non-wood, composite paddle.  As an industrial engineer at Boeing, Arlen was familiar with the use of light weight panels with nomex honeycomb cores that were used extensively throughout Boeing aircraft interiors.  In 1984, Arlen purchased some of these panels through Boeing’s surplus store and fashioned the first light weight paddles.  They were a huge improvement over the wood paddles. Because of player interest, Arlen formed the Ultra-Lite Paddle Company and began making the Pro-Lite line of paddles to fill growing demands for this new product.  Ultra-Lite was the second company to make and sell pickleball paddles, but it was the only one with composite paddles for the next 14 years.  Within a few short years after the introduction of Pro-Lite paddles, almost all pickleball players in the Pacific Northwest were using them in competition.  By 2018, there were over 100 companies making composite paddles, almost all mirrored the construction model of the original Pro-Lite paddles.  


COMPETITION AWARDS AND RECOGNITION:
In the 1970s and 1980s, Arlen played in many pickleball tournaments and won numerous championships.

BACKGROUND:
During Arlen’s high school years, he participated in football, basketball and track.  He was an avid fisherman.  In 1984 he caught a 6 lb 9 oz Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) on the Uganik River, Kodiak Island, Alaska that was listed in The International Game Fish Association World Records Database for line class M-06 kg (12 lb.)  In 1985, Arlen earned a 300 bowling ring in Tacoma, Washington. Other sports activities included skin diving, kayaking, bow hunting and model boat racing.

Arlen was an inventor and developed a number of items like a device to eliminate water from seeping into skin diving wetsuits.  He applied for a number of patents for items such as his novelty ball toy for children.  Arlen was an innovator who started a cable TV service for his community in Eatonville, Washington.  He owned a vending machine business selling colognes from Bellingham to Chehalis, Washington from the 1960s to the 1970s.  He also owned and operated laundry and dry cleaning services in Eatonville and Sumner, Washington for a time.  

Arlen spent most of his working career with The Boeing Company, starting in 1950.  In 1954, he went to Witchita, Kansas to work on the B52 and met his wife there.  He returned to the Seattle area after six months.  After a number of years he was named head of the Cost Improvement Program.  Arlen and his wife Johnnie designed and built their Ohop Lake, Eatonville home in Washington which also included one of the few private home pickleball courts at the time.  In 1985 he was honored as Supervisor of the Year for the Cost Improvement Division and awarded a trip to Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea.  During the remainder of his career, Arlen worked as an industrial engineer in Boeing’s Fabrication Division.  Arlen retired in 1990 after 39 years with Boeing.

Arlen and Steve Paranto in 1984 at their home on Ohop Lake with the first Pro-Lite paddles.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sid Williams (Sidney Arnette Williams)

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP:  USA  
BORN:  August 29, 1936 in Tacoma, Washington
DIED:  January 24, 2018 at age 81

EDUCATION:  
Garfield High School
Tacoma, Washington

Lincoln High School
Tacoma, Washington

Bates Vocational Technical Institute
Tacoma, Washington

MILITARY:    
Sid served in the U.S. Air Force.  He later became a civilian hydraulic inspector at McCord Air Force Base.   

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
In March, 1984, Sid organized U.S.A.P.A., the first governing body of pickleball. Initially, the first “A” in U.S.A.P.A. stood for “Amateur.” Then sometime in 1986-1987, Sid changed it to “America,” which is the name we have today. Under Sid’s leadership as Executive Director and President, the U.S.A.P.A. created a national rating and ranking system for players. They developed and expanded official rules for tournament play and published the first rulebook. From around 1984 – 1995, Sid and the U.S.A.P.A. hosted around ten tournaments annually. Many were benefits to help the Emergency Food Network and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. In total, he directed over 90 tournaments.

Some of Sid's tournament flyers

He published a quarterly newsletter and initiated the requirement to have referees for every match. Players who lost a match were required to referee the next announced match. The U.S.A.P.A. also offered instructional clinics and seminars, promoted intercollegiate and intramural competition with the school districts and formally requested to become an active member of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In the mid 1980s, Sid acquired Nalley Fine Food Company as their sponsor, making Nalley Fine Food Company the first commercial backer of pickleball.


BACKGROUND:
Sid Williams took up racquetball in 1966 at the age of 30. He helped to form the Washington Racquetball Association and was elected its first president. He was also the Regional Director of the American Amateur Racquetball Association (AARA) and an Ektelon sponsored player. He won numerous senior, master's and golden master's racquetball titles. In 1980, Sid was introduced to pickleball and around 1982 he started organizing tournaments and teaching the game to others.


Joel M. Pritchard

CONTRIBUTOR
INDUCTED IN 2017


CITIZENSHIP:  USA  
BORN:  May 5, 1925 in Seattle, Washington
DIED:  October 9, 1997 at age 72

EDUCATION:  
Queen Anne High School
Seattle, Washington

Attended from 1946 - 1947
Marietta College
Marietta, Ohio

MILITARY:    
Joel served in the U.S. Army.  He was drafted in 1943, served during World War II and was discharged in 1946 with the final rank of Sergeant.  


MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:
Joel Pritchard is the inventor and “Father of Pickleball.” In 1965, Joel was at his summer home on Bainbridge Island, Washington. He and his friend Bill Bell had returned from playing golf to find their families sitting around complaining that there was nothing to do. Joel replied that when he was a youngster, they would go make up games to play. His son Frank said, “Okay, why don’t you go make up a game?” After surveying their backyard badminton court and rounding up some broken paddles, racquets, and a whiffle-type ball, they had the beginnings of what would eventually become the sport of pickleball. A short time later, Joel went up to the workshop at the back of the property and started fashioning paddles out of plywood. Since Bill Bell and his family were staying on the property, Bill and Joel began the process of working on the game together. Frank thinks it was that same day that his father said, “You know who we need? We need Barney.” Barney McCallum lived a few doors down from the Pritchards on Bainbridge Island. So they called him and he came down. From the beginning, the three of them worked on it together. That’s how it started. They decided that this game had so much potential that they needed to formalize it and make it a real competitive sport and set down some rules. In creating the first set of rules, they drew heavily on badminton rules. The original purpose was to provide a sport for the entire family. On February 13, 1968, articles for Pickle Ball, Inc. were filed by Joel and several others. This new corporation was “to develop the game of Pickle Ball and to sell and promote said game in a lawful manner.”

The first pickleball court on Bainbridge Island, Washington

There is debate about how “pickleball” got its name. According to Joel’s son Frank Pritchard, the name Pickleball was created by his mother Joan (pronounced Jo-Anne). Her alma mater, Marietta College, had an active rowing program and she was a fan. When she came to Seattle after marrying Joel, she followed the University of Washington’s rowing program. Evidently, they had a “Pickle boat” that was made up of oarsmen that didn’t make the first or second boat. Joan thought that since their game was made up of different aspects of other games, "Pickle Ball" would be an appropriate name. Many have given credit to their dog Pickles for inspiring the game’s name, but Frank says that the dog joined the family in 1966 and was actually named after the game.

BACKGROUND:
Joel was the 14th Lieutenant Governor of Washington from January 11, 1989 – January 15, 1997.  Prior to that, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years and a member of the Washington Senate for four years. He was also a member of the Washington House of Representatives from the 36th district for four years.  

Joel Pritchard (R) pictured with Dan Evans, 16th Governor of Washington State 

Joel was very athletic.  He played team sports from grade school on and remained physically active throughout his life.  He played on the football, basketball and tennis teams all through high school.  He was an excellent swimmer and at one point was a lifeguard.  He was the quarterback for Queen Anne High School’s football team and a running back for the Marietta College football team.  As an adult, he continued with tennis, badminton, squash and skiing.  He was an enthusiastic mountain climber and climbed all the major peaks in Washington.  He was also a very competent pickleball player.  Despite a long list of weighty accomplishments as a politician, pickleball remained at the top of his list.  Joel’s daughter Peggy Pritchard-Olson recalls what he said at a party in his honor just before he died in 1997.  “He said that out of all the things he’d done in his life, he was most proud of that game.  It’s made such a lasting impression on so many people.  It’s made people healthy and happy.”