What Is Pickleball?


Have you heard about pickleball yet, which is the fastest growing sport in the country?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that is commonly referred to as a mix of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic, perforated ball—kind of like a whiffle ball—on either an indoor or outdoor court that is the same size as a badminton court and a net that is four inches lower than a tennis net. This means that a pickleball court can be created, and pickleball can be played, just about anywhere—like a gym, a dedicated outdoor court, or a driveway.

Pickleball is a sport for all ages and skill levels, that can be played as either a doubles game or singles game, is easy to learn, and comes with an amazing and welcoming culture and community of people. Although pickleball may be played as both a doubles game and a singles game, it is most commonly played as a doubles game. So, there will be two people set up on each side of the pickleball court to start a game.

To start a pickleball game, one team will serve. The pickleball must be served crosscourt into the service box. Unlike tennis, the serve in pickleball must be underhand.

Also, unlike tennis, both the serve and the return of serve must bounce. This is called the two-bounce rule. After the serve and return of serve, either team may volley the pickleball. In other words, after the serve and return of serve, either team may hit the pickleball either in the air or after a bounce.

Each rally will continue until someone makes a fault—for instance, there is a double bounce, someone hits the pickleball out of bounds, the pickleball hits someone anywhere other than below their paddle-side wrist, someone hits it into the net, etc.

What makes the sport of pickleball truly unique is the part of the pickleball court called the Non-Volley Zone, which is also affectionately called the “Kitchen.” The Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen is the 14-foot area in the middle of the court, which extends seven feet on either side of the pickleball net.

You may not volley (i.e., hit the pickleball in the air and without a bounce) the pickleball while making contact with the Kitchen. Contact with the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen includes standing in the Kitchen, or allowing your momentum to carry you into the Kitchen after you hit the pickleball.

Singles pickleball generally has the same rules as doubles pickleball, except that each player only has one serve.

So, are you ready to play pickleball?! Jump on a court, and get ready to join a movement that is more than just a sport.

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