And turning now to a sport that has soared in popularity during the pandemic pickleball the game that has celebrities pros amateurs all ready to paddle up sort of a cross between tennis and ping pong pickleball was actually started on bain bridge island in 1965 i love this by three dads that were bored with their kids on summer vacation so it's played.

With wooden paddles and a wiffle ball like ball well the game is easy for beginners it can be played just about anywhere since hence all the popularity right our next guest rachel simon started playing the game with her husband they have no fun at all and and her in-laws while they were quarantining during the.

Pandemic and now pickleball enthusiast herself she has a new book out it's called pickleball for all it dives into the rich history of the game how to play and how it has become america's fastest growing sport rachel thank you so much for being with us tonight how fun thanks so much for having me.

So you found the love for this game in the last few years but what inspired you to go as far as writing a book about it so i started playing about two years ago and over the last two years i've written a number of articles about it because i've just been so fascinated by how quickly pickleball has grown and just how passionate pickleball players are.

You talk to anyone who plays and they will they will tell you how obsessed they are with the game how it's changed their lives how it's helped them make friends meet their spouses even bring their whole families together so i just knew that it was something really special and then i was approached to write a book on it and i thought why not.

Why not dive deeper into this world of pickleball and look into how it started and where it's going in the future i mean it's really fun to learn about so for people that might be unfamiliar with the game how would you describe it i would describe it definitely as a mix between a lot of other sports it's like tennis it's like ping pong it's like.

Badminton it's like racquetball but at the same time it's also its own unique sport it has its own quirks to it it's so much fun to play i think a lot more i'll say than some of those other sports at least personally i would say and it's very easy to learn too i think that's something that really sets pickleball apart is that while it does.

Take a lot of effort to get very good at it of course it's not too hard to just learn the basics of it and get playing really quickly which makes it accessible for everyone i totally agree with that how how did pickleball get hit's name i've read a bunch of different things and i i find this so interesting.

Yeah so that's a fun story i get into in the book there are actually two competing theories for how pickleball got its name the main one the one that most people believe is true most people back up is that there was a dog named pickles who belonged to one of the founders and his wife and with the dog was of course there in the cabin in.

Washington when the gate was created so that would make a lot of sense that it was named after the dog however there are some other people who do believe that it was actually named after the pickle boats that are used in this room because these boats are kind of a mix of rowers from all different abilities and backgrounds just the way that pickleball.

Is a lot of other sports it's a good theory but the dog one is most likely accurate either way i love the name no matter where it came from i think and it's i mean it's so popular right now but this game has been around for decades we're seeing celebrities chime in right like ellen degeneres the.

Kardashians my parents by the way love the game now so why has the national and international growth of pickleball picked up in recent years and in your opinion where do you see the future of pickleball going so i think a lot of the recent growth is honestly due to the pandemic like and.

That's even for my own personal story of how i got into it you know when it was when we were quarantining at the beginning of the pandemic we were looking for things to do that were an activity that was fun that was a little different easy to learn and inexpensive and also something though that could really bring people of all ages together.

Because we were quarantining from people ranging from their 20s to their 60s and so pickleball really fit the bill there and i think so many people over the last year or two have realized that and just you know fallen in love with it and decided to make it a bigger part of their lives and i think you know to answer the second part of your question.

I think pickleball is just going to continue to get bigger and bigger there are some people out there who predict that it might even get bigger than tennis theoretically and you know i think that's a real possibility i think tennis isn't going anywhere but pickleball is not either and i think it's just going to continue.

To grow and explode in popularity i love that so you and your husband play against uh his parents who wins we did i have to say we very handily won well i think that picture you showed earlier was us doing a fun little tournament against them and we were the absolute winners there.

Oh that's so fun rachel thank you so much for being with us tonight no problem it was my pleasure hi everyone george stephanopoulos here thanks for checking out the abc news youtube channel if you'd like to get more videos show highlights and watch live event coverage click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel.

And don't forget to download the abc news app for breaking news alerts thanks for watching
ABC News’ Kayna Whitworth spoke with author Rachel Simon about her book, “Pickleball for All,” which dives into the game’s history, how to play, and how it has become America’s fastest-growing sport.

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