A special pickleball tournament will be held in August, presented by the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum as one of their major fundraisers for 2019, and team registration is now open, officials announced earlier this month.
The tourney is expected to draw participants from across the Pacific Northwest, the museum’s executive director Brianna Kosowitz said.
“It is long overdue for our community to offer a tournament,” she said. “After all, this is where the sport was invented in the summer of 1965, by three enterprising individuals: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum.
“Joel and Bill have passed but Barney is still a very important part of this community and we look forward to working with him and the local pickleball group as the tournament takes shape,” she added.
To honor the three inventors, Kosowitz said the tournament will be called the Bainbridge Island Founders Tournament. It will be sanctioned by the National Pickleball Association and held at Bainbridge High School, where six tennis courts will be temporarily re-striped to create 18 pickleball courts.
Kosowitz also noted that in conjunction with the tournament, the museum will be assembling an educational display about the history of the game. She asked that if any locals have interesting early items to loan or donate for the exhibit (old paddles, photographs, etc.) to call 206-842-2773.
In addition to the tournament, the museum will be organizing free beginners’ clinics at the courts on Aug. 22 so more people of all ages can learn and appreciate the game.
Additionally, the museum will be offering tours to “Court No. 1,” the former badminton court at Pleasant Beach where the very first pickleball game was played.