You have likely heard about pickleball, it is getting increasingly popular over the years. You may have heard it talked about in the news, a magazine, from your family or friends.
Maybe you have decided it is time to see what all the hype is about, but you have no idea where to get started. How do you begin with pickleball?
We have popped together a beginners guide to get you started with pickleball. You will never need any more information on pickleball than we have right here to get you on track with how this awesome sport can change your life!
Get set. Go!
What Is Pickleball?
You could easily describe pickleball as being a mixture of badminton, tennis and ping pong.
Those who play pickleball do so on a badminton size court with a tennis next (a couple of inches smaller) and they use a paddle similar to the one used in ping pong.
It seems a bit wild, doesn’t it? A literal combination of the three sports merged into one.
Pickleball is a low impact sport that people of all ages enjoy. The kids can give it a go, but so can grandma!
It is a game structured to allow for limited movement on the court so no one has to worry about running from one side of the court to the other.
Thanks to the unique structure of the game, and its rules, it is a fast growing sport, since anyone of any age can play it, and it is suitable for people of all fitness levels, anyone can play with anyone.
It is the all-inclusive sport you have been waiting to find.
So, how do you play? Well, let’s take a look at the general overview and the rules of scoring to help introduce you to this unique game.
- Pickleball is easily played as a singles game or as a doubles game.
- Points can be scored by only the serving side.
- The first team who makes it to 11 points, and is leading by 2 points will end up winning the game.
Okay, but how do you score? Keep track of score, and understand score altogether?
- The score can be called out in 3 numbers. The first number should be the serving team’s score, the second number should be the receiving team’s score, and the third number should be the number of the server, either one or two.
- In order to start a match the score will be called out in a form such as (three, four, one).
- In typical doubles play, each and every player on a team will get to serve before the serve ends up switching over to the opposite team. On the first serve of play, only a single player from one serving team will be allowed to serve before it gets switched over to the other team. This is why the first player to end up serving will call out the numbers to show they are the last server on their team before the switch.
- Should a point be scored, the server will move to the left side of the court, and they will serve again. The serving team will end up alternating as points are accumulated.
Learning To Play
Learning how to play pickleball is not actually that difficult, it just takes time to get the hang of it. Most people will learn it over time as they play, but you should just have fun as you learn.
When you play with those who have played before, make sure you take advice as you play, and you’ll end up getting used to it.
Try to not worry so much about the specific rules, and enjoy yourself.
However, always ensure you bring water to a game, you need to stay hydrated as you play.
It will be easy on your body, in comparison to some other sports, but you can get worn out having fun, so staying hydrated is so crucial.
You should also stay aware of the kitchen rule, this is the rule about the non-volley zone of the court which is 7 ft from the net on either side.
Also be aware of the double bounce rule which means that the ball needs to bounce once after the serve has been made and once in the return serve.
Court & Equipment
All that is required to play pickleball is some paddles, a wiffle ball, and a net (see also ‘What Do You Need To Play Pickleball?‘).
You could even draw up your own court with some chalk. Although it is really better to just find a pickleball court, which thankfully are quite common nowadays.
You can often find them at playgrounds, clubs, and community centers.
These courts are usually around about ⅓ the size of a typical tennis court. They will be laid out in the format of a badminton court. Measuring around 20 ft by 44 ft.
A net will divide the court as expected, hung around 26 inches high, and at either size of the net there is a 7ft area which is called ‘the kitchen’.
The playing area is 20 ft by 15 ft and will be divided into 2 rectangles made equal.
The primary reason for the ‘no volley zone’ aka. The kitchen is to reduce opportunities for smash volleys, or even drop shots (see also ‘What Is A Drop Shot In Pickleball?‘), which makes the game rely more on carefully placed shots.
This also creates opportunities for the other side to make a mistake or fault.
Pickleball is literally a mashup of badminton, tennis and table tennis, it is a fun game which people of all ages can play and enjoy.
If you have played any of these three sports before, you will have a little understanding of how pickleball works.
But make sure you understand the rules before you start playing and get the right equipment to play.