Pickleball is by far one of the quickest growing sports in the United States. There are people in more than 70 countries who have started playing this very easy to understand sport.
One way it may even end up becoming an Olympic sport, who knows?
There is probably a pickleball league in your local community, so why not get started and give it a go?
It can be such a fun sport to get started with. It is well worth trying, as it is easy to play, and you do not need to be in good shape or have much fitness to start it.
It’s an easy-going sport for everyone from the kids to grandma!
So, why not take the family to go and try it out? That could be a new fun family activity, right?
But, how many people do you need to play? Well, it is good for 2-4 players, depending on how you want to play!
What Is Needed For Pickleball? – What We Know!
Pickleball came to be in the 1960s, but interest in the sport had peaked in recent years. The game got its name from a dog who was named ‘Pickles’, belonging to one of the inventors of this game.
It is a game that combines different aspects of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton with a few minor edits here and there.
You need four main things: a court, a ball, a net, and rackets.
- You need a court, which will be much smaller in size than a tennis court. You can get pickleball courts that are indoors or outdoors.
- You will need a ball, the ball is plastic, and much unlike the typical felt-covered ball used in tennis, it has holes that make it easier for the ball to fly through the air when hit.
- You need a net, these nets are much shorter than tennis nets by around 6 inches, and they are typically 2 inches more narrow than a tennis net.
- Finally, you need rackets, or paddles to play with. They are more like ping pong paddles than tennis rackets, but they are longer and have a more square shape, with no rounded tip.
How Do You Play Pickleball?
Much like a great deal of other racket based sports, pickleball is a game designed for 2 to 4 people, don’t forget it is a merging of aspects of other racket sports, so it is designed for the same amount of players.
One player will serve the ball, and then it will be hit back and forth across the net for points to be earned, just like in these other aforementioned racket based sports.
Here are some tips on how you play:
- Serving will always be done underhanded and needs to occur without the ball hitting the ground. When played, only the side who is serving can earn points in play.
- After the ball is served, it needs to bounce off of the ground one time before it is hit over the net.
- The ball will also need to bounce once before it returns to the server, as well as the play when the serve is returned.
- Players will need to stay out of the area noted as the ‘kitchen’, which is a 7ft area found on their side of the net.
- Whichever team or side reaches 11 points first is the winning team, however, they only win if they are leading by 2 points.
Remember you can play this game with 2 or 4 players, so these rules apply for both singles or doubles.
Here are some rules you need to note when you play:
- Your arm needs to move from low to high and the contact with the ball needs to be below the waist.
- Your paddle must be below your waistline when contact with the ball is made.
- You can bounce the first drop serve, or you can hit it without a bounce as well.
- You only get one serve attempt per point made.
- The ball can only bounce once on each side.
- The ball can touch the net, but it has to bounce beyond the ‘non-volley’ zone line only on the serve.
- You should serve to a diagonal quadrant across the net beyond the non-valley line.
- Picture imaginary lines which extend from the center and sidelines just past the baseline-ball contact as this needs to happen within these boundaries.
- You need to start your sequence in the right quadrant on either side of the net.
- The team (whether singles or doubles) who starts a sequence will get a player inside the right quadrant to begin.
- If the serving team makes a point then the server will switch quadrants with their partner in doubles (see also ‘What Is Stacking In Pickleball?‘) and will serve from the left instead.
Need To Know
Pickleball is pretty easy to play, even if you are not in the best shape. It is also not as competitive as other similar sports, so it is ideal if you are looking for a game that is more fun and social.
However, no matter how many people you play with, if you want to play doubles or singles, you need to ensure you have appropriate footwear.
Your shoes need to be broken-in and comfortable shoes, so you do not get blisters or sores. Tennis shoes are ideal for this as they will support movements from side to side.
Do remember to check the soles of your shoes on a regular basis, if the soles are smooth or worn down they will need replacing.
Equipment You Need
You will obviously need a ball and a racket/paddle as well as a net and court in which to play. However, you need to be reasonable and ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothing.
This is more than just shoes, though.
There is no strict dress code for pickleball, but ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothing, such as athletic apparel, polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, or even tennis wear.
This is just to ensure that you are safe and are less likely to hurt yourself while you play.
While hurting yourself is not as likely as in some other sports, it is still wise to take precautions against any potential for self injury.
Pickleball – A Final Thought
Pickleball can be played with 2 or 4 players just like other racket based sports such as tennis, table tennis, badminton, and so on.
Before you play pickleball, whether you are playing with 1 or 3 other players, always ensure you are aware of the rules, and how the game works.
But, most importantly.
Ensure that you are taking care of yourself and that you look after your health first and foremost, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear, and ensuring those you are playing with do the same.
Safety comes first in any sport, so ensure you are safe to play, and that your team and opponents are safe whenever you pick up your pickleball paddle. It is a fun sport for people of all ages!
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