Pickleball is a popular paddle sport that is easy to learn and can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. It is a great way to stay active and socialize with others while enjoying a fun and competitive game. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the basics of the game, including its history, rules, equipment, and techniques.
History of Pickleball
Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington state, and his friend, Bill Bell, who was trying to create a new game to entertain their families. They used a badminton court, lowered the net, and used paddles and a plastic ball to create a game that combined elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. The game was named after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball and hide it in the bushes.
The game of pickleball quickly gained popularity among their friends and neighbors, and soon spread throughout the country. Today, it is played in all 50 states and in over 50 countries around the world.
Rules of The Game
This game is played on a court that is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, the same size as a doubles badminton court. The net is 36 inches high at the ends and 34 inches high in the middle. The game can be played as singles or doubles, but doubles are more common.
The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and land it in the opponent’s court without them being able to return it. The serve must be hit underhand and diagonally across the court, and the ball must bounce once in the opponent’s court before it can be volleyed. The non-volley zone, also known as the kitchen, is the area within 7 feet of the net where players cannot volley the ball. Points are scored when the opponent is unable to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.
Equipment for Pickleball
Pickleball paddles are usually made of wood, graphite, or composite materials and are between 6 and 8 inches wide and 15 to 16 inches long. They have a grip similar to a tennis racket and are used to hit the ball. The ball is made of plastic and has small holes in it, which makes it slower and easier to hit than a traditional tennis ball.
The shoes you wear while playing pickleball are also important. You will want to wear shoes with good traction and support that are specifically designed for court sports. This will help you move quickly and avoid slipping on the court.
Techniques for The Game
One of the most important techniques in pickleball is the serve. The serve should be hit underhand and diagonally across the court, similar to a badminton serve. It is important to aim for the opponent’s backhand, which is typically weaker than their forehand, to gain an advantage.
Another important technique is the volley. A volley is when you hit the ball before it bounces on the court. This can be a very effective way to put pressure on your opponent and win points quickly. However, volleys must be hit outside of the non-volley zone, or kitchen, which requires good footwork and positioning.
Footwork is also important in pickleball. You should always be ready to move quickly and adjust your position on the court. This will allow you to get into position to hit the ball and avoid getting caught out of position.
Remember to always play with good sportsmanship and respect for your opponents, and have fun! Whether you are playing for exercise, socialization, or competition, pickleball is a great way to stay active and engaged. So grab your paddle, find a court, and start playing!