Pickleball: The tennis-like racquet sport you’ve never heard of

pickleball

Photo Credit: Bob

You know about tennis, you know about badminton, you’ve probably heard about ping-pong — but when you hear about a pickleball game, you’re likely scratching your head. Pickleball is a rapidly growing paddle sport that is easy to learn and incredibly fun to play. Let’s talk about a few of the most crucial things to know about this fantastic game.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport, one that is easily picked up by people of all ages. No prior skill is required to get started with this great exercise! There are only a few simple rules to learn. However, don’t think that it isn’t also a highly competitive and fast-paced game as well! It’s accessible and fun for everyone.

What Equipment is Needed for Pickleball?

If you know how to play tennis, badminton, or ping-pong, you likely already have most of the skills you need to enjoy pickleball. Pickleball can be played inside or outside: it only requires a court that’s about the size of a badminton one. The net used for pickleball is very similar to the one used for tennis; only a few modifications will be required.

Other than that, all you’ll need is a pair of paddles and a pickleball: a small plastic ball with holes in it.

You can learn some great recommendations for equipment on pickleballguide.net!

How Do You Play Pickleball?

The game begins with a diagonal serve. Much like similar games, points can only be won by the currently serving side. In order for it to count, the serve has to clear a seven foot wide ‘no volley’ area on either side of the net. It can’t bounce, go out of bounds, hit the net, or touch any part of the ‘no volley’ zone.

Otherwise, the serve has ‘faulted’, which results in service going to the other team. Games usually last between 10-25 minutes, and require a lot of coordination with your partner. Choosing your partner and your paddle correctly will go a long way in being successful at pickleball!

How Do You Score in Pickleball?

You can only score when you’re serving — so, to play a successful game, you should try to make sure that you’re scoring most of the time! If you’re serving, you will be able to do so until you have committed a fault, at which point the service will go over to the other team.

How Do You Win a Game of Pickleball?

You win by scoring a lot, before the other team is able to! Typically, a game of pickleball goes on until one team has scored eleven points. However, you cannot win by less than two points, so if more points need to be scored to satisfy that condition, the game will go on.

Tips for Being a Great Pickleball Player

It’s a simple game, but getting to success takes a lot of skill and practice. If you want to up your pickleball game, here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Your Shoes. You’re going to want to make sure that your shoes have soles that don’t mark up the floor, and that they’re extremely stabilizing (as you’ll be moving around a lot!). Make sure that you bring water, too, to make sure that you always stay very hydrated.
  2. Your Paddle. If your paddle is too heavy, the game will be over quickly! Get one that feels right in your hand, with a cushioned grip, and mark your name with it immediately.
  3. Your Opponents. Gauging your opponents’ serves is the quickest way to ensure that you’re standing in the right area. Watch the ball carefully, and it will tell you if this will be an intense game played close to the no-volley zone, or if it’s safer to stand back at the edges of the court.
  4. Your Partner. Pickleball is a very partner-based sport, so make sure that you and your partner are good at communicating quickly. You should move around the court together, strategically, so that you have all of your bases covered.
  5. Your Warm Up. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of making sure that your muscles are warmed up prior to beginning a game. Pickleball requires you to be quick on your feet, so make sure that you’ve stretched and gotten ready to go before you step on the court!

Pickleball may be little known now, but it’s getting more and more popular every day — and for good reason. It’s a sport that is easy to pick up, requires little in the way of equipment, and can be played at any age or skill level. Pick up a paddle or two and play wherever you want — it’s a great, easy way to stay active and have fun with your friends and your family.

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