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Friendship House creates indoor pickleball court inside its Rambeau Gym

The Friendship House of Jesus in Donalsonville has recently created a pickleball court inside its Rambeau gymnasium facility. Pickleball is one of the fasting growing sports in recent years with clubs converting some tennis courts to pickleball courts to meet the growing demand. The Friendship House facility provides an unique option for indoor pickleball that is not found anywhere near our community.  Friendship House Director Justin Gravlee commented “I want our facility to be used by the community and this is another way we can reach out and offer something new to a more diverse group of people”. 

The Rambeau gymnasium facility is located at 800 Moore Street in Donalsonville. 

The public is invited to an open play day planned for March 25th at 10:00 a.m., to gain community interest in future play. For questions or additional information contact Gravlee at 229-416-5920 or email him at

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.

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.

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