Why Are Pickleball Players Wearing White

Why Are Pickleball Players Wearing White

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Pickleball is an exciting, fast-paced, and highly competitive sport that is quickly gaining popularity worldwide. The sport is played on a court that is similar in size to a badminton court, but with a lower net, and players use paddles to hit a perforated ball over the net. 

Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, and it is suitable for all ages and skill levels. However, one question that often comes up is, “Why are pickleball players wearing white?” In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this trend and uncover some interesting facts about the sport.

The Rulebook and the White Shirt Rule

The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) Rulebook states that players can wear any color shirt they want to play in during a match. However, it is widely accepted that wearing white shirts is the norm in pickleball tournaments and competitions. 

Rule 2.F.1 in the IFP Rulebook explains that there are no restrictions on the color of clothing or equipment, except for the color of the ball. The rulebook specifies that the ball must be yellow, and the only exception is for indoor play, where a white ball can be used.

The Tradition of Wearing White

Despite the lack of an official rule that mandates the use of white shirts in pickleball, the tradition of wearing white has become ingrained in the sport’s culture. According to pickleball enthusiasts, wearing white shirts is a nod to the tradition of tennis, where white clothing has been the norm for over a century. 

Some players believe that wearing white shirts makes the sport look more professional and dignified, while others simply enjoy the clean and classic look that the color provides.

Pickleball’s Rapid Growth and the Role of Fashion

Pickleball has seen tremendous growth in recent years, becoming one of the fastest-growing sports in America [NY Times]. As more people become interested in the sport, the fashion industry has taken notice, and pickleball apparel has become increasingly popular. 

Many pickleball clothing brands have introduced trendy and stylish designs, including colorful shirts, shorts, and skirts. However, the popularity of white shirts has not diminished, and it remains a staple in pickleball fashion.

Pickleball Myths and Misconceptions

There are several myths and misconceptions surrounding pickleball that have contributed to the sport’s mystique. One of the most common misconceptions is that young and fit players have an advantage over older players. 

While it is true that pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels, experience and strategy often trump athleticism [Pickleball Kitchen]. Another myth is that the sport is named after a dog named Pickles. While this is a popular story, the true origins of the name remain a mystery [CNN].

The Importance of Protective Eyewear

One of the most important safety precautions that pickleball players can take is to wear protective eyewear. Despite the risk of serious eye injuries, many players elect not to wear any protective gear due to factors such as style, fogging of lenses, uncomfortable fit, or cost [The Pickler]. 

However, with the availability of high-quality protective eyewear, there is no excuse for players to not wear it. Protective eyewear is designed to protect the eyes from impact and can prevent serious injuries such as retinal detachments or orbital fractures. 

In pickleball, the ball can travel at speeds of up to 50 mph, which is fast enough to cause severe damage to the eyes. It is essential for players to prioritize their safety and wear protective eyewear during matches and practice sessions.

Strategies for Winning in Pickleball

Pickleball is a highly strategic sport, and there are several strategies that players can use to gain an advantage over their opponents. One of the most effective strategies is to play the ball high over the net, making it difficult for the opponent to return the ball with power. 

Another strategy is to use the dink shot, which is a soft shot that lands in the opponent’s kitchen (the area close to the net) and forces them to hit the ball up. Additionally, players can try to anticipate their opponent’s shots and position themselves accordingly, allowing them to make easier returns and put their opponents on the defensive.

The Benefits of Playing Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport that provides numerous benefits for players of all ages and skill levels. One of the most significant benefits of playing pickleball is the opportunity to stay active and maintain physical fitness. Pickleball is a low-impact sport that is easy on the joints and can be played by people of all ages and fitness levels. 

Additionally, pickleball can help improve hand-eye coordination, balance, and agility, which are essential skills for many sports and activities. Pickleball is also a social sport that provides opportunities for players to make new friends and build relationships.


In conclusion, the tradition of wearing white shirts in pickleball is not a rule but a cultural norm that has become synonymous with the sport. Pickleball’s rapid growth has led to the development of new fashion trends, but the classic and timeless look of the white shirt remains a staple. 

Despite its popularity, pickleball is still a sport that is shrouded in myths and misconceptions, but it continues to attract players from all walks of life. With its many benefits and strategic gameplay, pickleball is a sport that is here to stay.

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