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Pickleball: The Basics You Need to Know

Pickleball: The Basics You Need to Know

Have you heard of the fast-growing sport called pickleball? Is a pickle used as a ball for the game? Or is the ball pickled? Unusual name right?

If your curiosity is killing you, read more below and you’ll learn more about pickleball basics and how to play pickleball.

What is Pickleball?

If tennis, badminton, and ping pong had a child, it would be pickleball. Just like the other mentioned sports, pickleball also uses a racket, however, it uses a plastic ball with holes instead of just a ball or a shuttlecock.

Pickleball has been around for decades, but it’s only getting all the attention it deserves now. It is a fast-growing sport in the United States. It was one summer afternoon in 1965 when pickleball was invented by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell. It was a boring afternoon and their family wanted something to do. With leftover ping pong and badminton equipment, pickleball was born. 

Why is it Called Pickleball?

There have been theories about why pickleball is called its name. Some say that it was named after Joel Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who would chase the balls.

Another theory of the name’s history was that it came from the creation of the game itself. Joel’s wife, Joan, was a competitive rower before and knew the term “pickle boat”. Pickle boat is the last boat that finishes in a rowing competition and usually consists of leftover crew that was just randomly thrown together. Thus, the name pickleball was born. The game consisted of random leftover equipment from different sports. 

Who Can Play Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun game to play that is appropriate for all ages. From young to old, anyone can play the game. If you want to get fit and stay active but don’t want a rigorous sport, pickleball is the one for you. Older folks with conditions or problems that might cause movement limitations can also enjoy the game.

Old people playing pickleball
Young adults playing pickleball

It is beginner-friendly if you haven’t tried it before. It can be played as a simple game for fun, exercise, as a bonding moment, or even as a competitive sport. The rules are simple and easy to follow, anyone can play it

The Court

When pickleball was first created, a badminton court was used. They first used it as it was, at a height of 60 inches, and just volleyed the ball (hitting the ball without it touching the ground). They then found out that the ball bounced off the ground, so they lowered the net to 36 inches.

A pickleball court today is the same size as a badminton court and has similar stripes as a tennis court. Its net’s height is still 36 inches on the sides and 34 inches in the middle. Since the rise of the game, courts have been specifically made for pickleball. However, if you don’t have access to one, you can use a badminton or tennis court. A tennis court can be converted into four pickleball courts.

Pickleball court

Indoor or Outdoor?

Pickleball indoor court
Pickleball outdoor court

Pickleball can be played both as an indoor and outdoor sport. Pickleball is perfect for you whether you prefer to play under the sun or inside where there’s shade. The rules are still the same whether you play inside or outside.

Indoor and outdoor pickleball courts are generally the same. Concrete and asphalt are used for both indoor and outdoor courts. For indoor courts, wood and rubber flooring can also be used. The problem with wood and rubber, though, is that they can be slippery and may cause injuries.

Different kinds of pickleballs are also used in indoor and outdoor pickleball. Indoor pickleball uses a lighter ball with fewer and bigger holes. Outdoor pickleball uses heavier balls with more and smaller holes. This is so that it can’t easily be affected by wind.

On the left is an indoor pickleball, on the right is an outdoor pickleball

At this point, hopefully, you have more understanding of the basics of pickleball. If you’re still wondering whether or not the sport is for you, there’s no harm in trying it right? After all, pickleball is a simple, easy-to-understand sport and beginner-friendly. Come and start loving a sport that you will love and keep you active.

Topic Details
What is Pickleball? A sport combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, using a racket and a plastic ball with holes.
History Invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell using leftover ping pong and badminton equipment.
Name Origin Named either after Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, or from the rowing term “pickle boat,” referring to a mixed crew.
Who Can Play? Suitable for all ages, beginner-friendly, and can be played for fun, exercise, or competition.
Court Same size as a badminton court with similar lines to a tennis court; can be played indoors or outdoors.
Contact For more info, email
How Pickleball Started
modern day pickleball 2024 NYC

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