Everything You Need to Know About Pickleball – And Then Some!
Pickleball is all the rage in America, so chances are you've at least heard of this fun and unique pastime. But you've come to the right place if you don't know much about this hybrid sport.
Pickleball marries the elements of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. It is high-energy, competitive, and, best of all, loads of fun. What's more, pickleball is a game for all ages. From neighborhood courts to indoor facilities, chances are you can find a pickup game of pickleball in your neck of the woods.
But if you're new to the pickleball craze, read on to learn all you need to know about this burgeoning sport.
The History of Pickleball
Invented in the mid-1960s just outside Seattle, Washington, pickleball was born of three desperate, suburban dads looking to keep their ever-bored children occupied. Who can relate?
With the dog days of summer well underway, their children were looking for something new and exciting to occupy their time. Thus, pickleball. What began as a rudimentary game with few rules and simple equipment has since evolved into a wildly popular sport throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Pickleball is a fun and competitive game that, much like tennis, is played socially and athletically. The game's rules are easy to learn and can be played casually or competitively.
Some of the basics of pickleball you should know before picking up this sport include:
- Played both indoors and outdoors
- Played with a racquet and a plastic ball
- Played in teams of singles or doubles
- Played by people of all ages and skill levels
Equipment & Apparel
Pickleball players can wear anything they want to play. However, it's common to wear moisture-wicking athletic apparel. Women typically wear apparel such as:
- tennis skorts
- golf skirts
- breathable shorts
- athletic tank or tee
- sports bra
- a pullover in cooler weather
Men typically wear clothing such as:
- athletic shirt
- light, breathable shorts
- polo shirt
As for footwear, a sturdy yet comfortable pair of low-top trainers are best for this game. Sneakers should be light, breathable, and suitable for the hard surface of a pickleball court. Many pickleball players opt for the support and dependability of tennis shoes which are typically flat-soled and designed to absorb and cushion the impact of the court's hard surface.
The equipment needed to play pickleball is minimal. First and foremost, you'll need a pickleball racquet, a cross between a tennis racquet and a ping-pong paddle; it's bigger than the latter and smaller than the former.
Pickleball racquets are light and made of materials such as aluminum and graphite. Though they feel like a tennis racquet in your hands, they look more like an oversized ping-pong paddle with a face that's solid instead of the woven head of a tennis racquet.
The only other necessary equipment for a game of pickleball is the ball. The balls used in this game are similar in appearance and size to a whiffle ball. They're made of plastic, just under 3 inches in diameter, and are covered in small holes.
Pickleballs come in various bright, easy-to-perceive colors and weigh under an ounce. Though they can fluctuate in weight and diameter, the Franklin X-40 pickleball is the official ball of pickleball's U.S. Open.
The Pickleball Court
A standard pickleball court is essentially the same size as the court used in doubles badminton and measures 20 x 44 feet, divided in half by a net 34 inches tall at its center. A pickleball court is marked by gridlines, like a tennis court, delineating the left and right service areas on each side.
A 7-foot area in front of the net is marked as a no-volley zone, colloquially called "the kitchen." When standing in "the kitchen," players are prohibited from volleying, which prevents them from slamming incoming shots.
The court is typically constructed of an acrylic surface that gives the ball optimal bounce and minimal wear and tear.
Whether playing singles or doubles, pickleball involves serving the ball to the opposing team. Received serves are hit with a "groundstroke," a hit off a bounce, or a "volley," a hit out of the air.
Each game point begins with a new serve which must be hit underhand. Gameplay begins and continues until a "fault" is incurred. There are three types of "faults" in pickleball:
- The serve doesn't clear the no-volley zone
- A shot is hit out of bounds
- A shot hits the net
A player or team can only earn a point on their own serve, and you continue to serve until you lose a point, at which time the serve passes to your opponent.
The first team to score 11 points wins a game of pickleball; however, to declare victory, you have to win by 2 points.
Other pickleball rules of play include:
- Teams can use a fair method of their choice to decide who serves first (for example, flipping a coin or rock, paper, scissors)
- The player on the right side of the court serves first
- The ball has to bounce before a player can volley
- When playing doubles, both partners serve during their turn
Many communities have public pickleball courts, with more than 10,000 across the U.S. Additionally, many fitness, sports, and racquet clubs have added pickleball courts to their indoor facilities in recent years.
Serious Luxury – and Pickleball – at Bella Collina
Bella Collina is as serious about providing its residents with the best lifestyle amenities as it is luxury homes. If you love pickleball or want to begin playing, we have you covered.
Take advantage of our three new pickleball courts, full-service Pro Shop, and Certified instructors. Sign up for one of the Pickleball Clinics, the monthly Pickleball Mixer, or enroll your child in our Kid's Program.
As a resident of Bella Collina, you can enjoy playing pickleball competitively in our Club Championship or socially with family and friends.
Bella Collina is one of the top luxury gated communities in Florida. Come see why so many choose to call it home.