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What is Pickleball & Why is it so fun?

Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that is gaining popularity across the United States and around the world. It is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and can be played both indoors and outdoors on a court that is roughly the size of a badminton court.

What is Pickleball?

In this article, we will explore the origins of pickleball, the rules of the game, and the benefits of playing pickleball for people of all ages and skill levels.

History of Pickleball

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington state, and his friend Bill Bell, a businessman. The two were looking for a way to entertain their families on a lazy summer afternoon, and began to create a game that would be fun and engaging for players of all ages.

Using a badminton court, a whiffle ball, and some handmade paddles, Pritchard and Bell developed the basic rules of pickleball. They named the game after Pritchard's dog, Pickles, who would often chase after the ball during gameplay.

Over the years, pickleball has evolved and grown in popularity, with players of all ages and skill levels taking up the sport. In 2021, pickleball was officially recognized as an Olympic sport, with plans to include it in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Rules of Pickleball

Pickleball is a paddle sport that can be played both indoors and outdoors on a court that measures 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. The court is divided into two sides by a net that is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high at the center.

The game is typically played in doubles, with each team consisting of two players. The objective of the game is to score points by hitting the ball over the net and into the opponent's court, without the opponent being able to return the ball.

The serve is the starting point of each rally, with the server standing behind the baseline and hitting the ball over the net to start the point. The serve must be made diagonally across the court to the opponent's court, and must land within the bounds of the service court.

Once the ball is in play, players must alternate hitting the ball over the net until one side fails to return the ball, hits the ball out of bounds, or commits a fault.

There are several rules and restrictions in pickleball, including:

  • The ball must be hit with a paddle, and cannot be caught or carried.

  • Players must allow the ball to bounce once on their side of the court before hitting it.

  • The ball must stay within the bounds of the court, and cannot be hit over the net and out of bounds.

  • The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is a seven-foot area on both sides of the net where players are not allowed to hit the ball in the air. Players can enter the non-volley zone after the ball has bounced on their side of the court.

  • Points can only be scored by the serving team.

Benefits of Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport that offers a range of physical, mental, and social benefits for players of all ages and skill levels.

Physical Benefits

Pickleball is a great way to stay active and improve your physical fitness. The sport is a low-impact activity that can help improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and improve coordination and balance. The fast-paced nature of the game also provides a great aerobic workout, helping to burn calories and improve overall fitness levels.

Mental Benefits

Pickleball can also provide a range of mental health benefits, including improved focus, concentration, and mental agility. The game requires players to think quickly and make split-second decisions, which can help improve cognitive function and mental sharpness.

Social Benefits

Pickleball is a social sport that can help players build new relationships and connect with others in their community. Playing pickleball in doubles teams also requires communication and teamwork, which can help improve social skills and build strong friendships.