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What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is....

  • a paddle sport
  • played on a court comparable in size to a badminton court
  • played indoor or outdoor
  • played with a net that is similar to a tennis net
  • played with a pickleball (a glorified wiffleball)
  • played as singles or doubles
  • played by both men and women
  • the fastest growing sport in the nation
  • fun and competitive for all ages
  • focused on precision and hand-eye coordination
  • the best sport ever created
Pickleball Court Dimensions
The Basics

You may or may not be familiar with the word pickleball. Pickle what? Pickleball. That's right. It is trending right now, as far as sports go and is the the fastest growing sport in the nation. If you have never seen or heard of it, you soon will. So what is this sport that has such an odd name? Pickleball is a hybrid sport of tennis and ping pong, but has a few key differences. The game is played on a court that is about half the size of a tennis court — or the same size as a badminton court. The net that stretches across the court is very similar to a tennis net, although it is slightly shorter. Just like most racquet or paddle sports, pickleball is generally played by two or four players. Unlike Tennis, but like Table Tennis, pickleball is played with a paddle, not a racquet. Paddles are on average, about 15 inches long and made out of everything from wood and plastic to proprietary polymers and metal. Pickleball paddles are required to have a fairly smooth, solid surface. Pickleball is played on both indoor and outdoor courts. The only variations are the balls and the playing surface. The indoor pickleball is slightly smaller than the outdoor and is made out of slightly softer plastic to help grip on the wood floors on which it’s played. The outdoor pickleball is made of harder plastic and is comparable to a wiffle-ball, having holes in the solid, plastic exterior. Outdoor courts are often made by converting old tennis courts, thus having the same, rough texture. Here is a little video with multiple levels of pickleball being played to visualize all we have talked about so far.

The History of Pickleball

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by congressman Joel Pritchard at his home on BainBridge Island near Seattle WA. The game was first played with Ping Pong paddles and a wiffle ball on a badminton court with the net lowered. From there, the game has slowly evolved into what it is today. There are a number of different theories as to how pickleball got its name. The most common theory is that it was named after the Pritchard’s dog, Pickles. Other sources say that pickleball was named after the pickle boat — the boat where the oarsmen were picked from what was left over from other boats and that the dog was named later, after the game. Since the game was played with parts from other racquet / paddle sports, the comparison is easy to see. Today, pickleball is played by hundreds of thousands, and by some estimates, millions of people around the United States and around the world. Regardless of its origin, pickleball’s unique name hints at the fun atmosphere that is experienced by all who play.

When Was Pickleball Created
Why is Pickleball becoming so popular?