There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of this sport even though it’s been around for over 50 years. This unpretentious sport with humble beginnings has an estimated 2.8 million players according to NPR and is growing in popularity. It has been described as a mixture of tennis, badminton and ping pong and is played with paddles on a badminton sized court with a modified tennis net.
Origins of the Game
The summer of 1965, two friends, congressman Joel Pritchard and businessman Bill Bell concocted the game after attempting to play a game of badminton. As they couldn’t find the needed equipment, they improvised by using ping pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. Later, a third friend, Barney McCallum got into the game and the three men created the rules and the method of how to play Pickleball.
Where Did it Get it’s Name?
You may be wondering, where do the pickles come into play? And what if I’m not a fan of pickles? No worries, as it only goes as far as the name. Although the origins of the name are debated, a commonly accepted story is that it was named after the family dog, Pickles, who would chase after the runaway balls.
The Rules of the Game
The beauty of Pickleball is that it’s rules are simple and it’s easy to learn over the course of one afternoon. Per the USAPA the game is played this way.
- Played as either doubles or singles and the play area stays the same for both.
- Only underhand serves are allowed and below waist level and must land on the diagonal side of the opposing court within the marked boundaries of play area.
- The first player serves and accumulates points when the opposing team fails to return a serve or hits the ball out of bounds. The server continues to play and accumulate points until they commit a fault. When the first player has a fault, it falls to the teammate to serve next until they commit a fault. Then, play falls to the opposing team.
- Game is played to 11 points and must be won by 2 points.
For more exhaustive rules, see the following Pickleball rules summary.
Why People are Loving it?
Pickleball is great for all ages. Parents can get out on the court with their kids and play as a family without any fears of anyone getting hurt or becoming overly frustrated with technical rules. For older persons or those with mobility limitations, playing doubles cuts down on how much ground has to be covered on the court.
Marcin Rozpedski, the 2016 Pickleball national champion shared some of the reasons people love Pickleball in an interview he did for GolfDigest. In addition to it being relatively cheap to play, he states, “Once you get people to play, it’s inevitable that they’ll love it because it’s very social.” With 4 people on a small court, there is plenty of opportunity to interact with the other players.
Get Out There and Play
If you are looking for a place to play, you can access a list of places that have Pickleball courts and their hours on the USAPA Pickleball website. Search by city and state and find information such as how many courts there are, whether indoor or outdoor, fees and other facilities are available. There are lots of places to play and North Carolina for example shows 289 different locations to play.
Now that you have somewhere to play, all you will need are some Pickleball paddles and balls. Omega Sports has everything you need to get you out the door and playing in no time. Look no further for great deals on Pickleball paddles, balls and more.