Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It’s a paddle sport that can be played indoors or outdoors. This makes it a great option for all climates and seasons!
The rules are simple to learn, so anyone can get started playing in no time. Plus, the sport is growing in popularity which means more and more people are getting into it. If you’re curious about pickleball and want to know what all the fuss is about, read on!
We’ll give you an overview of the sport and some tips on how to get started.
In This Post
How It All Started?
The sport was invented in the 1960s by Joel Pritchard, a congressman from the state of Washington. His fellow Congressman Bob Chase had a badminton court in his backyard and Pritchard enjoyed playing so much that he wanted to create a similar game for summertime play.
There are several slightly different versions of the story, but the one thing they all agree on is that Pritchard wanted to create a game for people who weren’t interested in traditional tennis or badminton. The result was pickleball!
Is Pickleball Similar to Tennis, Badminton, and Ping-pong?
Yes! Pickleball’s rules are similar to tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. However, the equipment is different.
Pickleball vs Tennis:
- The court dimensions are similar to tennis. It’s usually around 78 x 27 feet, which is bigger than badminton and smaller than tennis.
- Players use a perforated plastic ball that gives them lots of control. These balls are also slower than tennis balls so you can play on surfaces other than grass.
- Players hit the ball against a solid backboard in pickleball, whereas in tennis they play against a net.
Pickleball vs Badminton:
- The court dimensions are similar to badminton (usually 44 x 17 feet) and you’ll also use a shuttlecock.
- In pickleball, you hit the shuttlecock against a solid backboard. In badminton, you hit it over a net.
Pickleball vs Ping-pong:
- As it mentions above, pickleball uses a perforated plastic ball and players hit it against a solid backboard – just like ping-pong!
- The difference between these sports is that the court size in pickleball is bigger than ping-pong, so you need additional equipment.
What You’ll Need To Play Pickleball
Pickleballs – Unlike tennis, badminton, and ping-pong balls, pickleball are perforated so they can’t hurt people or damage property.
Pickleball Paddles – The plastic ball doesn’t bounce as high, so the paddles are smaller than those used for tennis and ping-pong. They’re usually around 8 inches wide.
Pickleball Nets – If you want to play outdoors, you’ll need a pickleball net that will attach to a fence or structure.
Pickleball Court Markings – This is for outdoor play and includes things like boundary lines, serving areas, and scoring sections.
How To Play Pickleball: The Basics
So now that you know what equipment you’ll need, let’s talk about how to play pickleball!
There are two players on each side and you take turns hitting the ball with your paddles, trying to hit it over the net so your opponent can’t return it. Shots that go outside of certain boundaries count as out and serve as a turn for your opponent.
If the shuttlecock hits the ground before it crosses over into your opponent’s side, it counts as an out. If the shuttlecock hits your paddle, it also counts as out.
Scoring in Pickleball
Scoring in pickleball is a little different from other sports because you have to win by two points – just like tennis! For example, if you’re playing a game and the score is 5-3, you have to win the next point to win. If it’s 6-4 and your opponent wins, then you’ll go into a tiebreaker game.
Tiebreakers in Pickleball
If the score is tied after 11 points (e.g., 8-8), the players will play up to 21 points tiebreaker with the following rules:
- The first player to score 11 points wins.
- If neither player reaches 11, whoever gets to 10 first is the winner.
These are just a few of the most basic pickleball basics. Pickleball is a fast-growing sport with more than 4 million players around the world. As you keep reading about pickleball, you’ll learn lots of interesting facts and rules that will help you enjoy this game even more!