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Thoms Bros Landscaping Creator and Keeper of Fine Landscapes


Have you heard of pickleball?  Many people haven’t.  Many have just started hearing of it in the last few years.  So….what is it?  Pickleball is fun, social and friendly.  The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experience players.  Pickleball is played as doubles or singles on a badminton-sized court which combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.  It utilizes a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.

Oil Nut Bay Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

In 1965, after playing golf one Saturday during the summer, Joel Pritchard, congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, successful businessman, returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA (near Seattle) to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. The property had an old badminton court so Pritchard and Bell looked for some badminton equipment and could not find a full set of rackets. They improvised and started playing with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. At first they placed the net at badminton height of 60 inches and volleyed the ball over the net. As the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and soon the net was lowered to 36 inches. The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s home. Soon, the three men created rules, relying heavily on badminton. They kept in mind the original purpose, which was to provide a game that the whole family could play together.  Later in 1967, the first permanent pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of Joel Pritchard’s friend and neighbor, Bob O’Brian.

Agave Park Cove Club at Cabo Del Sol, Cabo San Lucas

In 1984, The United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.) was organized to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball on a national level. The first rulebook was published in March 1984. The first Executive Director and President of U.S.A.P.A. was Sid Williams who served from 1984 to 1998. He was followed by Frank Candelario who kept things going until 2004. The first composite paddle was made by Arlen Paranto, a Boeing Industrial Engineer. He used the fiberglass/nomex honeycomb panels that commercial airlines use for their floors and part of the airplane’s structural system. Arlen made about 1,000 paddles from fiberglass/honeycomb core and graphite/honeycomb core materials until he sold the company to Frank Candelario.

In recent years, the pandemic has led to growth in pickleball, and high-end homeowners want a piece of the action in their own backyards. According to Sports & Fitness Industry Association, in 2021, pickleball grew to nearly 5 million players in the U.S., an incredible two-year growth rate of 39.3%, and real estate developers are making sure to bring this popular new amenity to their current and prospective homeowners.  Hotels, resorts, retirement communities and parks across the nation continue to add pickleball courts to their amenities.  Many homeowners and communities also look to convert some of their older tennis courts to pickleball.  Pickleball is actually the fastest growing sport in the United States.  But pickleball is not just growing here, it is expanding across the entire globe.


As Michigan’s largest Veracourt dealer/installer, Thoms Bros can help you get your family or community into the sport.  We have many solutions including converting older tennis courts courts to pickleball, installing stand-alone courts, or combination courts.  Many clients want multi-sport courts which include the most common of basketball and pickleball.  VersaCourt Game outdoor court tile was designed and developed for outdoor multi-sport applications.  The innovative tile design and our unique six-point locking system creates a seamless playing surface that allows for consistent ball bounce and response and unmatched playability.

We offer several net solutions for pickleball.  Our premier portable net meets USAPA requirements, can be used both indoors or outdoors and has an adjustable straps to create perfect tension.  We also have our adjustable net system which can be great for multi-sport courts.  These nets can be attached to basketball goal poles, light poles, and/or stand-alone poles.  They can be quickly and easily removed while playing other sports.  They also can be adjusted to allow for tennis, volleyball and/or badminton play. Let Thoms Bros. design and install your next game court including Pickleball

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