THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PICKLEBALL (IFP)
The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP), the world governing body of pickleball, was established to perpetuate the development and growth of the sport throughout the world. The IFP’s goal is to introduce pickleball to all nations so that they may embrace the sport as one of their national sports, and ultimately to achieve official recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in order to establish pickleball as an Olympic sport.
The IFP is a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to promoting international play and competition, maintaining the official rules for pickleball, and providing a worldwide code of conduct for pickleball athletes. The IFP focuses its resources on supporting organizations that foster the sport around the world for all ages and ability levels.
The IFP offers all national and regional pickleball associations and federations who desire to join in membership for the advancement of pickleball an opportunity to participate and contribute to that growth. These purposes are fulfilled through the aims and objectives of the IFP.
The sport of pickleball was invented in the summer of 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum of Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. In 2005, the United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) became a non-profit corporation with a mission to perpetuate the growth and advancement of pickleball on a national level. The first official rulebook of the USAPA was adopted by the USAPA shortly after its incorporation.
Since 1965, the sport has grown significantly each year in popularity. In the U.S., organized competitions at local, state and national levels have emerged. Additionally, several countries around the world have started their own clubs and are engaged in building their national associations.
The first National Open Pickleball Competition was conducted at Surprise, Arizona in 2009. In early 2010, a committee was formed to advance the concept of an International Federation of Pickleball (IFP). The IFP is organized under this Constitution to perpetuate the international growth and development of pickleball. The IFP officially established its Constitution, Bylaws and Officers in 2015 with the following inaugural member countries: USA, Canada, Spain and India. The IFP has since expanded its membership to include the following Associations: France, the United Kingdom and Great Britain. Membership is expected to grow each year as the sport continues expanding to new countries throughout the world.