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What is pickleball?


Have you heard about pickleball? Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in North America? Right now the Sports and Fitness Industry Associations Participation Report states there are roughly 2.46 million pickleball players right now in the world and rapidly growing. Pickleball combines the best of tennis, badminton and table tennis into one fast paced game using a whiffle like ball called a pickleball, solid paddles, and a net system. 

The best part about pickleball is that anyone can play this sport. People of all ages and athletic abilities will find that pickleball is a fun and past paced sport with straightforward rules. The game of pickleball has everything you could want and more! It truly is a great american family sport that you can play almost anywhere there is a court and friends to play with.

Pickleball History

Ever wonder what pickleball (or some say Pickle Ball) is and how it started? It was the summer of 1965 when Joel Pitchard and his two friends Bill Bell and Barney MccCallum decided to play badminton to pass time on a long Saturday afternoon after golf. Having no shuttlecock, they improvised with a Wiffle ball and paddles of plywood from a nearby shed. Thus the game of pickleball began.

The year was 1965 and the original intention of the game was to have fun with family and friends. It was invented by 3 fathers that wanted to create a game for their bored children. The game caught on extremely fast and spread around the local area with neighbors catching on to the endless fun you can have in pickleball. Eventually, people began making their own style paddles using plywood and different materials and the end result seemed more like ping pong paddles than our now current modern paddles. Nevertheless, it was a game that drew in crowds of neighbors and fun for the whole family. Today Pickleball is played all over the world and it is estimated that there are over 2 million players and rapidly growing. Its no wonder the media is constantly posting articles about this great source of fun and competition!

Although some sources claim that the name "Pickleball" or "Pickle Ball" was derived from that of the Pritchard's family dog, Pickles, other sources state that the claim is false, and that the name came from the term "pickle boat", referring to the last boat to return with its catch.  According to Joan Pritchard, Joel Pritchard's wife, the name came "after I said it reminded me of the Pickle Boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. What’s important is that today we have a fun and engaging racquet sport called Pickleball. 

Pickleball Court Layout

The sport shares features of other racquet sports such as the dimensions and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules similar to tennis, with a few modifications. The games is played on a 20’ x 44’ badminton-sized court. The game starts play when the ball is served from the right-hand service square. The serve must clear the seven-foot non-volley-zone in front of the net and land in the diagonal service court.


Pickleball Rules

Serves should always be done underhand with the paddle below the waist, and the server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. Meanwhile points are scored by the side that serves. Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net, to prevent “spiking.” The server continues until he or she faults. The first side to score eleven points and leads by at least two points wins. This game can be played with singles or doubles.