What is Pickleball? And How do You Play it?
Pickleball is a sport that's sweeping the nation and winning hearts of many. Maybe you've heard the name, maybe you're completely new to it. Either way, let's dive into the ins and outs of this intriguing game.
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a sport that beautifully blends elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It’s played on a badminton-sized court, with a net that resembles tennis, and uses paddles (larger than those in table tennis) and a plastic ball with holes in it, much like a whiffle ball.
Why do they call it Pickleball?
The name "Pickleball" is as peculiar as it is memorable. Legend has it that the game was named after Pickles, a cocker spaniel who loved to chase the ball during the early days of the sport. However, a contradicting version by one of the game's creators suggests that it comes from the term 'pickle boat', a term in rowing that describes a boat crewed by oarsmen left over from other boats.
Regardless of the origin, the name 'pickleball' has certainly stuck and become a beloved term in the world of sports.
Why is Pickleball So Popular?
Pickleball's popularity can be attributed to its easy-to-learn, hard-to-master nature. It’s a sport that is accessible to all ages, all fitness levels, and doesn’t require a large financial investment to start playing. The rules are simple, and the game emphasizes strategy and placement over power, making it a sport where youth and experience can compete fairly against one another.
Moreover, pickleball encourages social interaction, making it more than just a game. The smaller court size promotes conversation and camaraderie, leading to a strong sense of community among players.
How Do You Play Pickleball?
At its core, pickleball is about serving, returning, and volleying the ball. Here's a basic breakdown of how to play:
The Serve: The game begins with a serve, delivered underhand from behind the baseline. The ball should be served diagonally, landing within the opposing team's service court.
The Double Bounce Rule: After the serve, each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys (hitting the ball before it bounces) are allowed. This is known as the double bounce rule.
The Non-Volley Zone (Kitchen): A seven-foot zone on either side of the net, known as the 'non-volley zone' or 'kitchen', prohibits players from volleying the ball while standing in this area.
Scoring: Points are scored by the serving team and occur when the opponent faults (fails to return the ball, steps into the non-volley zone etc.). The game is usually played to 11, 15 or 21 points, with the winning team needing to lead by at least 2 points.
Doubles Play: Pickleball can be played in singles or doubles format, with doubles being the more popular. The rules remain largely the same, with some slight modifications to serving and receiving rules.
And there you have it! Your introduction to the ever-growing world of pickleball. A game of fun, strategy, and community that's as interesting to learn as it is to play. So grab a paddle, find a local court, and join in on the fun. Looking for a pickleball paddle? Check out the best pickleball paddles for beginners, and be sure to subscribe to SelkirkTV or download the app for more tips and educational pickleball content! You might just find your new favorite sport!