What Is Paddle Rackets?

Back in the early 1940's, a man named Joseph Sobek became bored with the sports he was playing. He liked to play on indoor courts. He had tried handball. In handball the competitors hit a hard rubber ball against the walls of an enclosed room with their gloved hands. He had also played squash. Squash is played by hitting a softer, "squishy" ball with rackets against the walls of an enclosed room. Nothing seemed to be the game that Sobek was looking for.

Sobek worked for a rubber manufacturer in Connecticut. Finding the material he needed to make a ball was not very hard. He set to work designing something new to hit the ball with. He came up with the idea of using paddles. The paddle was shorter than a tennis racket. He took some rules from the game of squash and a few from the game of handball. By 1949, Sobek had created a game he called paddle rackets.

Sobek introduced the game to members of the Greenwich, Connecticut, YMCA. The players seemed to like the general idea of the game. They just weren't too fond of the ball the Sobek had made. He solved that problem by buying cheap rubber balls that children used as toys. When this ball was accepted by the players, Sobek decided to set up his own company to manufacture the equipment needed to play his sport.

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