What is Pickleball?
They always say to go back to the basics for every complex question. This time, we are going back to the basics about Pickeball- a sport that we are sure you will enjoy.
Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer baseball-sized wiffleball with 26-40 round holes over a net. The sport shares features of other racquet sports; the dimension and layout of a badminton court, and a net and rules somewhat similar to tennis. With several modifications.
According to usapickeball.org, pickleball was founded in the summer of 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. Joan Pritchard (Joel's wife) came up with the name pickleball because the combination of different sports reminded her of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers from the other boats.
Why Play Pickleball?
It is a low impact sport, easy to learn and play at almost any age that it has become a fast growing sport worldwide. Since the game is designed for family enjoyment, it only takes a few matches to understand the rules.
It has a smaller court than a tennis court, but the game allows its players to practice, hand- eye coordination, test reflexes, socialise, making it easy to sweat and get a fun workout at the same time.
How to Play Pickleball?
To start playing Pickleball, let’s take a look at the court.
Pickleball is played on a badminton- size court 20’ x 44’ (6.1m x 13.4m). The Pickleball Net should be 36 inches (86 cm) at either end, and a little lower in the middle, at 34 inches. The Pickle Ball is served diagonally (starting with a right-hand service-square), and points can only be scored by the side that serves.
Players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed, and there is a seven-foot no-volley zone (kitchen) on each side of the net, to prevent “spiking”. The server continues to serve, alternating service courts, until he or she faults.
The first player or team to 11 points wins, but you have to be ahead by at least two points. You can only score points when you or your team are serving. The first server in a team continues serving until they make a mistake or fault, and then the second server in the team serves until they make a mistake. Then the other team gets to serve. When you’re calling the score, you say the server’s score first, then the receiver’s score and if you’re playing doubles, you then say either one or two depending on which server is starting the point.
The Pickleball Serve
Serves are to be made diagonally, starting with the right-hand service-square and alternating each serve. The serve must clear the seven-foot non-volley-zone in front of the net and land in the diagonal service court.
Serves should always be done underhand with the paddle below the waist, and the server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. The ball should be hit into the air without being bounced. The serving side will continue to serve until there is a fault on the service, at which point the service will be given to the opposing side. (However, if the ball touches the net but still lands within the appropriate service court, the serve may be taken over.)
The Server must keep both feet behind the back line when serving. The service is made underhand with the paddle contacting the ball below the waist. The Server must hit the ball in the air on the serve. The Server is NOT allowed to bounce the ball and hit it off the bounce. The service is made diagonally cross court and must clear the non-volley zone, including the line (A serve that hits the non-volley zone line is out) Only one serve attempt is allowed, except if the ball touches the net on the serve and lands in the proper service court,in this case the serve may be taken over. At the start of each new game, the 1st serving team is allowed only one fault before giving up the ball to the opponents. Thereafter both members of each team will serve and fault before the ball is turned over to the opposing team. When the receiving team wins the serve, the player in the right hand court will always start play.
To volley means to hit a ball in the air without first letting it bounce. In Pickleball, this can only be done when the player’s feet are behind the non-volley zone line (seven feet behind the net). Note: It is a fault if the player steps over the line on his volley follow-through.
Also called the Two Bounce Rule, each team must play their first shot off of the bounce. That is, the receiving team must let the serve bounce and the serving team must let the return of the serve bounce before playing it. Once these two bounces have occurred, the ball can either be volleyed or played off the bounce.
A fault is committed when the ball touches any part of the non-volley zone on the serve (including the line). Is hit out of bounds. Does not clear the net. Is volleyed from the non-volley zone or is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side
A team shall score a point only when serving. A player who is serving shall continue to do so until a fault is made by his/her team. If playing doubles, each player on a team shall keep serving until their team makes a fault, then the serve moves to the opposing team - this is called a Side Out. The game is played to 11 points, however a team must win by 2 points.
What Equipment Do I Need?
Pickleball doesn't require much equipment. Basically, all that's needed is a court, net, paddle, and ball. Generally, four courts can fit in the same space as a standard tennis court. A pickleball paddle is smaller than a tennis racquet but larger than a ping-pong paddle, usually measuring between eight and 15 inches (20 to 35 cm) long. Originally, they were made of wood, but newer paddles are made of lightweight composite materials like aluminum or graphite.
A good paddle can have a pretty big impact on how well you play and how your body feels after a game. The four main things to look at are weight, grip size,materials and price.
Weight is one of—if not the—most important factors when choosing a pickleball paddle.
In fact, you can put weight in the same category as "feel." How does it feel when you have been holding it through an entire game? How does it feel when you swing it? If in doubt, consider selecting a mid-weight paddle between 7.5 ounces and 8.5 ounces (approx 225 grams).
The next factor to look at is grip size.Choose a grip size that fits your hand.
Smaller grips give you more wrist action, which in turn leads to more control and spin.
A larger grip can provide more stability but may place more pressure on your forearm. Grips are measured as follows: Small 4 ¼ inch grip, Medium 4 ⅜”, and Large 4 ½" grip. If in doubt, choose a smaller grip, as you can always make a grip larger by using an extra overgrip.
Pickleball paddles are made out of three main materials: wood, composite, graphite and carbon fiber.
Finally, pickleballs are similar to whiffle balls, with holes throughout, but they're much more durable. They are about the same size as a baseball. Balls are made of plastic and vary based on indoor or outdoor use (outdoor pickleballs have smaller holes). They're traditionally white or yellow in colour.
Benefits of Pickleball
Pickleball is probably easier for beginners to learn than tennis. Pickleball is played on a smaller court, the ball is slower, and you must serve underarm. It's a great sport for mature adults. Three generations of a family can play together, with children joining in with parents and grandparents. Just like tennis, you'll learn more advanced techniques and strategies the more you play. Pickleball is growing in popularity in Australia as it is a very social sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and abilities.
Playing pickleball can boost your mood and overall mental health, you burn calories, and fewer injuries occur due to the low impact nature of the game. Pickleball specifically works on your balance and agility while it also offers the same benefits of other regular exercise.
It offers aerobic exercise, giving players the chance to move around on the court at any level of intensity players like. Since pickleball moves at a slower pace than tennis (by that I mean - less running), it is easier on the joints while also improving balance, coordination and agility.
Pickleball offers you a sport that can help you improve your physical health, which is why it is a favorite sport among adults. Adults aged 60 and above should maintain moderate exercises in their daily routine to keep themselves healthy. Pickleball is a great activity alternative to long walks. A 10-minute Pickleball match provides you with the same benefits that a 75-minute long walk will do. Here are more specific ways where Pickleball is helpful to your body:
Stress comes from work, isolation, and other places that are already part of our daily lives. To eliminate stress, you can engage in sports like Pickleball. The advantage of playing Pickleball is that you can quickly learn the rules while playing it. When you are coming from a rough day at the office or taking a break from the toxic life in the city, you will need a way to release stress. A friendly match with your friends will help you release tension and feel positive. So if you are looking for a game that will be easy to learn and reduce stress, you can try playing Pickleball.
Most of the people suffering from obesity will blame it on a lack of physical activity. Pickleball is a great way to help you burn calories. You can also have fun with it by setting weight goals as you play. If you love to eat, you can balance your body by playing Pickleball with your family in your backyard. The pure racquet sport will help you combat obesity if you include it in your daily routine.
Aside from the many physical benefits you can get, Pickleball also engages you in mental challenges. Losing a match will challenge you to improve your skills to beat your opponent the next time you face each other. The sport also challenges you to figure out the areas where you need improvement and aspects of your game that you must maintain. Pickleball provides you with a way to break mental barriers and reach your limits. Same as a young athlete trying to break his or her ceiling, you can achieve mental strength and surpass expectations while playing Pickleball.
A lot of sports have requirements for athleticism and physical capacity. When you reach a certain age, you will notice that your body can no longer support the physical needs of sports like basketball, soccer, tennis, or football. However, the drive and competitive nature of an athlete will not disappear quickly. If you still love the feeling of competition, Pickleball will provide you with a chance to feel that again. Since Pickleball is a sport for all ages, seniors can engage in a friendly match with a couple of 20-year olds and still find themselves on the winning side. However, children may also have a chance to beat you in the game. The unpredictability of Pickleball makes it much more fun to play, and you do not have to get in peak physical shape to get competitive.
In conclusion, Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Australia. People of all ages are starting to turn the fun racquet sport into a hobby because it is easy to learn and cheap to maintain. Everyone can engage in this racquet sport, and everyone can gain the many health benefits that it can provide.