More and more people are starting to pick up pickleball, but you’re still sitting there wondering what the hell they are on about. Courts are springing up everywhere, and travelers are gearing up for vacations in areas where they can play at.
It is considered to be the fastest-growing sport you have never heard about, but it is hardly a secret anymore. So many of us at least know one or two people who are enamored with the sport and are now wondering what it is, whose idea it was and how you even play.
Understanding the 5 most important rules of pickleball might help you make the conversation more with your pickleball-playing friends, but you know you will end up playing too, so, maybe it’s time we talked about it.
Don’t you think so?
What Is It?
So, what is pickleball to begin with? Well, it is as if ping-pong, tennis, and badminton all had a baby. It is the combination of multiple racquet-based sports, merged into one wild concept.
Pickleball has a back-and-forth play that looks a lot like tennis, but its smaller-sized courts are around the same size as a badminton court, but its paddles are a bit bigger than the ones used in ping-pong but look very similar.
It uses a hard plastic ball that has holes a lot like a wiffleball, which means the ball has less bounce than tennis balls do. This makes the sport a great one for everyone because thanks to the smaller court, it reduces how intense the sport is and how much running is involved.
The fact that you don’t have to run all over the court makes it much more appealing to a wide range of ages and for many people with different levels of skill. Pickleball used to have the image of being the retiree’s sport, but now it has gained much more appeal with young players too.
There are often multigenerational families playing pickleball at many complexes across the country.
How It Began
So, how did it all begin? Well, it can actually be traced back over 60 years now. Back in the 60s, 3 dads wanted to find a game that would keep their children happy and active.
The three of them had access to an old badminton court, but they lacked the things needed for badminton. So, they just went with what they had and played with a wiffleball and some ping-pong paddles instead.
Eventually, they decided it would be more fun to take the badminton net down, and experience the bounce of the wiffleball to ramp up the fun even more. Then the rules progressed, but the dads always noted the idea was always to come up with a game the whole family could play.
That means gran and kids alike.
By 1990, the sport was being played in all 50 US states, so you can definitely see how much the game took off and how well these three dads inspired people of all ages to get active and enjoy the game.
Oh, but what about the name? Pickleball? Well, there are many stories about why it is called pickleball, but the one with the most popular is that it was named after one of the dad’s family dogs, who was named Pickles.
What Are The Rules?
Those who play other racquet-based sports will usually notice a variety of similar rules between pickleball and other racquet sports, but there are differences as well.
The sport can be played in singles or in doubles, but doubles are more common. Each game is typically played by 11 points but must be won by 2 points ahead, and points can only be gained by serving the oppositional team.
A big difference is in the serve, in which pickleball is done via an underhanded arc. Whoever serves the ball must do so in an upward arc when the ball is struck.
Another rule which is very important is that when the ball is served, whoever is receiving the ball needs to allow it to bounce before returning, and then whoever serves must let it bounce before it is returned. Therefore, two bounces are required.
Oh, you will also need the appropriate gear. You just need a paddle, a ball, and good pickleball shoes. Competitive pickleball paddles will be made high tech and from a composite, they can cost from $50 to $150, but you can get cheaper beginner ones too!