What is Pickleball?
“What is pickleball? Or what is pickleball game? Or what is the sport pickleball?”―are the different variants of the same question we often hear from newbies. Well, to simply answer this, Pickleball is a game played on a court size smaller than a tennis court. It is similar to badminton but different than ping-pong. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s a little hard to digest because there’s a lot to tell about this exciting sport. Pickleball was invented in 1965 as an activity for eliminating boredom. It has now become the most famous sport in the US, with over 3.3 million players, according to a report by SFIA (Sports & Fitness Industry Association) in 2019.
But wait, there’s more!
The pickle game has an interesting history, origin, strategies, rules, and court layout, which will be discussed in detail coming up. So settle down yourself and let us immerse you in the most exciting sport ever. It will help beginners to learn the basics and experts to become pro in competitive tournaments.
What Is Pickleball? – A Brief Introduction
Are you still thinking what is pickleball and how is it played? No worries!
Let us define Pickleball for you. Pickleball is a perfect mix of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played in both singles and doubles moвde; a ball (with holes) is volleyed over a 36-inch net with paddles.
The back-and-forth movement of the ball is supposed to score higher than the opponent when served. The one who scored 11 before the opponent is considered a winner (with two leading scores).
So, this is what Pickleball is, and it all started with a simple idea. Do you want to know the story behind Pickleball? Let’s move a little back in the past!
Origin of Pickleball: how it Began?
The year was 1965 when a state congressman Joel Pritchard lived with his family in Bainbridge Island, Washington. On one hot afternoon in the summer, Joel was heading back to his home with his friend Bill Bell. Upon reaching home, Joel found his kids and wife doing nothing and were bored, and it eventually urged him to do something productive that kept them entertaining.
The congressman had a badminton court in his backyard, but unfortunately, he didn’t have the complete racquet set. He found a pair of paddles and a waffle ball on searching, which he thought would be sufficient to pass the time.
With that being said, Joel and Bill stood on each side of the court a little closer to the net and started volleying the ball back and forth. Both of them invited their kids to participate and play against each other. Soon, Joel Pritchard found his kids having absolute fun. The practical approach to the game was so impressive that both introduced this invention to their other friend Barney McCallum.
And since then, Pickleball has gained massive popularity across the globe. The popularity of Pickleball began to spread vastly and has today become among the most popular sports in the world.
Why is the Game Called Pickleball?
You might be wondering, too, “Why is the game called pickleball?” Although the sport invented by the congressman and his friends was a gold mine, the history behind the name is quite complicated, even though it’s still a controversial topic.
There are two stories behind the name “Pickleball.”
According to Joel’s wife: “The name of the game became Pickle Ball after I said it reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”
Another saying is that Joel Pritchard’s family had a dog named “Pickle,” and the game was referenced after him. However, the research done by USA Pickleball claims that the dog became part of the Pritchard family two years after the game’s invention in 1967. So this is neither the reason why the game is called Pickleball.
Later after, a reporter inquired about it from Joel Pritchard in an interview in 1970. Joel believed it would be more convenient for the world to remember by relating to a dog than a pickleball boat.
So we can say that Pickleball is named after the dog of Joel Pritchard’s family, “Pickle.”
How Is Pickleball Played? An Easy Explanation
Pickleball is one of the simplest sports to learn, which is the key feature of its prominence.
Pickleball is usually played on a badminton court diagonally with an area of 20″ x 44″. Essential equipment includes paddles and a ball with holes, also known as a waffle ball.
A player on each side holds the position and serves the ball by volleying over 36″ net. There’s a 7 ft. area known as a no-volley zone to prevent players from spiking. Each player must let the ball bounce before volleying towards the other. Each round takes nearly 10-15 minutes, and any player that scores 11 points before the opponent with the leading of at least 2 points is considered as winner.
What are the Dimensions of Pickleball Court?
The diagonal area of Pickleball is 20″ x 44″, resembling a tennis court. However, the size of a pickleball court is less than 1/3 of a tennis court. The court is separated by a net height of 36″ from the sides and 34″ in the middle. Lowering 2 inches from the middle allows the ball to be volleyed over easily.
There is a 7 ft. no-volley zone from the net to the middle and sidelines on each side to avoid spiking. Similarly, a boundary marked 22 inches from the net is called the baseline. The baseline highlights the outer boundary of the court. A player should serve the ball between the baseline and no-volley zone.
What is the Equipment Used in Pickleball?
A pickleball is played with a pair of paddles and a ball. USA Pickleball (USAP) and the International Federation Of Pickleball (IFP) have specified exceptional standards for both paddle and ball.
Let us enlighten them each briefly.
Although the waffle ball was used initially in the earlier days, since the developments and recreations, USAP and IFP have sanctioned standard parameters for a pickleball. The ball used in the game should be made of a durable molded material that weighs between 22.1 and 26.5g.
Similarly, the ball must be evenly holed between 26 and 40.
Paddles used in pickleball tournaments should be of durable, non-compressible material without texturing. The paddle’s width shouldn’t exceed 26″, and the length should not be more than 17″.
Pickleball Explained: Some Basic Rules You should know
Let’s explore the rules and gameplay to give you a quick explanation about Pickleball. Score counts for the serving team only.
- Before reaching the receiving team, the ball should bounce once.
- A player can hit the ball in the air once it bounces.
- To win the game, you’ll require 11 points with at least two leading points.
- The ball is rallied back from one to the other until one of the players misses.
- Hitting the ball in the net is considered a mishit.
- The zone 7 ft. from the net is called “Kitchen” and considered a “Non-Volley zone.” This means a ball cannot be served into this zone.
Pickleball is Life: Let us answer WHY?
Pickleball has gained massive popularity over the years, and the number of players is increasing rapidly. What makes this sport so popular among everyone? The answer is simple―” It is for everyone.”
Pickleball is not just an ordinary sport like others that are played to win. In fact, it’s a lifestyle and a healthy community activity— promoting social obligations.
Pickleball allows a person to get rid of boredom and helps him to become productive (remember what Joel Pritchard did for his kids?) It allows every generational group to participate and take pleasure in life. It gives an excellent opportunity to make new friends and team.
During gameplay, the players stay close enough to each other, which allows them to exchange words. You don’t get tired, and you don’t get bored; you don’t feel like just getting done.
Interestingly, a player doesn’t realize the time once he steps onto the court. Your body moves in perfect rotation, which helps with your reflexes, balance, and agility. In short, it’s also a great healthy workout for aged persons with physical limitations like joints, shoulders, and knees.
Whether you’re young or aged, a boy or a girl, Pickleball is equally remarkable for everyone. General Pickleball Concepts: let’s Summarize Everything
Since Pickleball includes a portion of all racquet court games like tennis, badminton, and ping pong, some concepts are generally accepted. Here they are as follows:
- You can play the Pickleball game in two modes; both singles, and doubles.
- A ball with holes and paddles is its basic equipment.
- Interestingly, you can also play Pickleball on a badminton court.
- It is known among the favorites sport in the US.
- You’ll require 11 points to win the match with two leading scores.
- You can play the pickleball in both indoors and outdoors.
- It’s a decades-old sport.
FAQs about Pickleball
Pickleball is a racquet sports game played on a badminton court that looks like tennis but is slightly different from ping-pong. It was initially invented as a fun activity to quit boredom; however, it has become one of the trending sports in the US.
Wondering, “pickleball, what is it?” Irrespective of floating stories like “pickleball boat” and “dog name,” “Pickle” refers to the mixture of all racquet sports. It is a little spicy and exciting to play; the best part is that you never get bored of it.
Don’t let the solid historical background make you think it’s a challenging game. In fact, it is one of the quickest sports to learn. There are no hard and fast rules to get a hand on this sport.
Anyone can quickly learn if they’re aware of other racquet games, including tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
You cannot serve the ball in the non-volley zone. A non-volley zone is marked 7 ft. from the net and sidelines on each side.
The number of players has grown massively since its inception, but the year 2010 was mentioned as the fastest growing year in the US.
Keeping the ball low to prevent your opponent from striking an aggressive shot is the hardest thing to do. A player has to maintain the bounce height so that opponent doesn’t get the opportunity to score.
The other name for Pickleball is “Paddleball.”
We have discussed the exciting sport in detail. We have covered the origin of the game and the dimensions of the court, as well as the equipment and basic rules needed to play. Now we believe that this information has given you a better understanding of “what is pickleball” and “how is pickleball played.”