OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee just signed a bill into law that made pickleball the official state sport of Washington.
The game was invented Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum and Bill Bell on Bainbridge Island back in 1965, according to USA Pickleball. It’s a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis, and continues to be one of the fastest-growing sports in America.
“On behalf of USA Pickleball, and our members, we want to congratulate and thank Gov. Inslee, Sen. Lovick and the local Bainbridge Island pickleball community for bringing this bill forward to make pickleball the official state sport of Washington,” said Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball.
The Senate bill passed the House 83-15 on March 7. The signing comes just before the beginning of April, which is National Pickleball Month.
“From youngsters and college students to the senior sporting community, people from all walks of life can play pickleball—and they do!” said Senator John Lovick, the bill’s prime sponsor. “When I first introduced this bill through to passage, from the very beginning until today, I have met just about everyone you could think of on the pickleball courts. Pickleball is for everyone.”
Pickleball paddles were also signed and donated to museums to record the historic day.
“Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports today, and Washingtonians are appropriately prideful in its origins right here in the Evergreen State,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “The first serve in pickleball is always made from the northwest corner of the court to honor the game’s roots, and this legislation plants those roots even deeper.”