It’s the ’60s…you’re on a long Labor Day weekend with the local families with whom you always spend these weekends. You return from golfing to find some “We’re bored” teenagers who want you to alleviate their boredom for them. You tell them that when you were bored as a youngster, you made up a game to play! They tell you, “SO! Make us up a game!”

Challenge accepted! You scrounge around the garage and house and find some ping pong paddles, an old badminton net, a wiffle ball slightly chewed by the dog (we’ll get to her a little later), and take a look at the driveway where a 20 x 40 badminton court is laid out. After some experimentation with the height of the net, and due to the poor bounce of the wiffle ball, you decide on 36″ height and voila! WE HAVE A GAME! Over the years, adjustments to the court and scoring have been made to make the game more confusing, but from its inception, it has been an easy-to-learn, fun social activity, and now it is the fastest-growing game in the world!

Now back to the dog… the story of how the game got its name varies, but one story is that Pickles thought that the wiffle ball was hers, and she became part of the game…so, why not name the game after her? Get it? Pickle’s ball! The other story of the naming is not nearly as entertaining and involves crew racing… boring.

Our FBG Pickleball story is simpler. Carol Cox fell in love with the game, and she and my wife, Mary, would travel to Mauldin Senior Center to play. Carol asked me if we could set up courts at FBG in the Practice Gym, and since I had already taped down lines twice at other venues, we went to Caleb with a proposal. We fund-raised enough to buy nets, balls and paddles. (Thanks, FBG members! You know who you are!) We are now operating three days a week, MWF, from 11am-1pm, and we have a very loyal group of 20-30, of whom about 50% are not members of our church. All equipment is provided, and lessons are FREE! All you need is some free time and a desire to have some fun. Stop by the Practice Gym on the floor below the Fellowship Hall to observe anytime, and then come join us! All ages are welcome!

—Rob Pyett

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