Playing pickleball in all 50 states

Couple travels across all 50 states to accomplish amazing feat


On October 25th, 2015 USAPA District Ambassadors Mary Lou Gallup and Jay Readinger from Fort Collins, Colo., searched for a place to play in Oklahoma with the help of local ambassadors; it was not to be so. Undaunted, they stopped at a truck stop and jury-rigged a net on a commercial truck scale (the only place with some good lines) and in heavy wind played some ‘sidewalk’ singles. It was the 50th US state in which they have played pickleball.

According to Readinger, the quest to play in all 50 states (and other odd places) started a few years ago when they were sailing around Newfoundland visiting the eastern most point in North America – Cape Spear, Newfoundland. They decided to pull out their portable net (an old fishing net) and play a few games of singles. Having learned to play in Florida, then playing on a trip to Hawaii, and then in Maine, the quest was on. A couple of driving trips from Colorado to New England to visit children and grandchildren provided lots of opportunities to traverse the country playing the game they love. Some recent travel in the west and to Florida filled in the rest of the United States.

In June 2015 on a trip to the Ambassador’s Retreat they played in Oregon, California, Nevada, and Utah, which left only 13 states in which they had not they played. In August of this year Jay and Mary Lou played in the Alaska International Senior Games in Fairbanks. On their way home they made a quick stop in Bellingham, Wash., the day they got off the ferry from Alaska, which made only 11 to go! A fall driving trip to New England and down to Florida provided a chance to play in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Six to go! On the way home from Florida to Colorado it was logical to play in Alabamaa, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and finally Oklahoma. Playing in all 50 states was the culmination of what started out as a loose plan made one gray, foggy day in Newfoundland.

USAPA Sponsors