What is pickleball?!
In short, you can find the essence of badminton, tennis, and ping pong in pickleball which is getting famous with time and obviously for the right reasons.
This exciting game was started in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, and now it is part of many tournaments, especially in the United States.
How To Play Pickleball
Pickleball can be played by 2 players as a singles game, or by four players as doubles.
You need a tennis-like net to play this game.
There are two sidelines, two baselines, two centerlines (one on each side), and two non-volley lines which are known as the kitchen.
The “Kitchen” is officially known as the Non-volley zone = NVZ.
- Don’t get caught in the kitchen when you’re not supposed to be in there! (More later on pickleball rules.) 😉
- The player in the right service court starts the game by serving. You will serve from behind the baseline cross court to the opposite team’s service court (their right side court).
- Make sure the ball doesn’t hit the net, (although new rules say you return a let instead of playing it over).
- If you are returning serve, you must let the ball bounce once before hitting it. Likewise, the serving team must allow the returning ball to bounce once before hitting it back – you cannot volley it. This is when you will learn to master the third drop shot as an advanced player.
Why is this game gaining popularity so fast, and why is it so addictive? Let’s get into details to find these reasons.
Why Is Pickleball So Addictive?
- Easy to play
When it comes to having fun in their free time, people prefer things that are easy to understand. It takes two or three months to be able to play tennis competitively, but with pickleball you’ll be able to play relatively well within a few days. This is the leading reason why people love this game so much.
- It’s different/unique
According to psychology, it is human nature to get addicted to weird and unique things. This game has a court where players have to play with a tennis-like net using paddles and wiffle-type balls. Is it weird enough to get addicted? The name “pickleball” is also intriguing. What is pickelball?? I got to know!
If you’re willing to buy a set of paddles that include a couple of balls, you’ll spend around 25 to 60 dollars. A relatively inexpensive sport for a beginner that you can immediately start playing in your local park or driveway. 🙂
- Can be played at any age
When it comes to pickleball, it does not matter if you are 5 or 95. Since this game has a smaller court, older people can enjoy this game as a fun exercise, and children and teens also have fun playing this game. As pickleball has a smaller court, it is easy to coordinate your steps, movements, and eyes simultaneously. That is why it is getting popular among all ages. I’ve seen young families playing as well as grandchildren and grandparents playing together. High school and college students, middle age, any age!
- Not as physically demanding as other sports
Pickleball can be played by people who are in nearly all levels of physical condition. It is not a physically demanding sport, especially when played as doubles. You most likely won’t feel exhausted and sore the next day and will be looking forward to playing again as soon as possible.
Pickleball is probably the only sport whose popularity was not affected by the pandemic.
And people who started playing this game are now now addicted to it.
Pickleballers bought their own nets and started playing in their driveways and culdesacs when public pickleball courts were closed.
Covid couldn’t stop pickleball players! Nothing can!
Social Bonus of Pickleball
The pickleball court is so small that you can carry out a casual conversation with your fellow players.
Many countries have organized pickleball tournaments to increase social relations.
It is definitely more of a fun, social game where you can meet new friends.
It can be a very competitive game as well depending on your partner and opponents, but also can be just a relaxed, fun outing with friends and family.
We have been invited to play with others who we didn’t know several times when the courts were full and they were nice enough to rotate us in.
I’ve never had this happen when playing tennis.
What is Pickleball Summary
- Pickleball was created in the United States and has become a popular sport played by people worldwide.
- It is a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, and its name may sound weird at first instance.
- Instead of using the racquet or a tennis ball, players make use of paddles made either of wood or composite materials.
- Pickleball is a game of fun and enjoyment. It is one of those games that you tend to play with much enthusiasm.
- The game covers two important basic tenets of life: social and family. It is an excellent inter-generational sport that mingles the younger and older ages.
- As pickleball is an activity that can be played in a court smaller than a tennis court, it allows for significant social interaction.
- Also, if you are looking for some exercise for your mind and body, then there can be no better option than pickleball.
Pickleball is addictive because it’s easy to learn but still difficult to master all the skills so you always want to try and get better.
Pickleball is a fun and interactive game and can be played outdoors in parks as well as indoors in recreational centers. So in case you were skeptical about this game, worry not and get out and go play some pickleball!
Why Is it Called Pickleball?
There are two theories but no consensus. One is it was named after Joel Pritchard’s (Pickleball founder) dog, Pickles. I like that one and seems to be the best choice for marketing. The other theory is John’s wife, who used to be on a rowing team, named it after a pickle boat which has a thrown-together crew of whoever’s leftover. A nod to how the sport originated with odds and ends found around the house.
How is Pickleball Different than Tennis?
It’s on a smaller court – two pickleball courts can fit inside one tennis court. You use a wiffle type ball, you serve underhand, singles and doubles are played within the same boundary lines, and there is a non-volley zone (The Kitchen) where you can’t stand or step into unless the ball bounces there during a point after being dinked by your opponent. No, you can’t use a tennis ball to play pickleball.
What Do You Wear to Pickleball?
You can wear anything you want. Tennis or court shoes of any kind are good for stability and quick side-to-side movements, but there’s no reason you can’t wear any kind of athletic shoes. No heels though. Shorts, skorts, skirts, t-shirts, golf shirts, polo shirts, tanks, muscle shirts, whatever you feel comfortable in.
What are the Basic Rules of Pickleball?
You serve underhand diagonally across the court from behind your baseline. The receiver must allow it to bounce before returning it. The server must also allow the receiver’s return to bounce before hitting it. You can’t be in the no-volley zone (NVZ/kitchen) except when your opponent hits a ball that first bounces there before you can step in to hit it back over the net. Only those who are serving can score points.