Photo via Forbes

Learn | 12.09.2021

Guide To Pickleball: The Sport That’s Exploding Across America

What is Pickleball, and why has it recently become so popular?

Three dads invented Pickleball in 1965 on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, one of which was Rep. Joel Pritchard. The sport seems to be all the rage in California right now.

Pickleball is a unique combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and it gained incredible popularity over the past few years, especially during the pandemic when those at home wanted ways to stay active outside of their regular workout routines.

Why Is It Called Pickleball?

There are two equally known stories as to where the name Pickleball came from. The first story says the game was named after Pritchard’s dog named pickles. The dog allegedly had a habit of picking up Wiffle balls and playing with them.

The second story comes from his wife, Joan, and her daughter. Joan was a competitive rower and said she named the sport since it reminded her of the pickle boats she would compete in. We’re not entirely sure which story had to do with the sport’s name, but it could be a combination of the two since both stories came from Pritchard’s family.

How To Play Pickleball And The Rules

Photo by Getty

A detailed YouTube video by Triple S Games helped us get a better understanding. The game’s objective is to be the first player or team to reach 11 points, but one side must win by a 2 point lead. On a badminton-sized court, a net will stand in the center at 36 inches high in between sections that are called “the nonvolley zone” or “the kitchen.”

Beyond that, the remaining space behind the kitchen is divided into two sections on each side, called the left and right service areas. Each player uses a pickleball paddle and a regulated pickleball ball, varying from indoor to outdoor.

Serves must be made diagonally, starting with the right service area and alternating between each serve. The server must keep both feet behind the backline of the court. Serves are made by dropping the ball and hitting it with an underhand paddle swing. Players are only allowed one bounce and one hit to get the ball back over the net to the diagonal service area.

Volleying means to hit the ball before it bounces on the ground, which can only happen after the ball has bounced once on both sides after a serve. Players may volley a ball anywhere but the kitchen, or it’s seen as a fault. Players can only enter the kitchen if the ball bounces there first, but they must leave the kitchen right after.

A team wins one point when it’s their serve and the opponent’s fault. The server will continue serving until their team makes a fault. Each server must state the score before serving, for example, 6-3.

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