I keep hearing about pickleball and have wondered why it is getting so popular. I recently got the opportunity to try it out and I can see why people like it so much!
If you have played any sort of paddle or racquet sport (tennis, badminton, ping pong) the basics are pretty easy to pick up. If you have never played a racquet sport it’s ok. There aren’t too many complicated rules and you can start playing pretty quickly. The best part is the sport is most likely to have been named after a dog!
It is played on a court that is smaller than a tennis court and the net is lower too. The paddle is bigger than a ping pong paddle and the ball is similar to a wiffle ball. It can be played singles or doubles and there is one area of the court by the net that is called the kitchen. There are rules about when you can be in the kitchen (the green rectangle closest to the net) and when you can’t. There are a few rules about serving and the scoring is probably the most complicated part of it.
So after trying out the sport here are the reasons why I think it is so popular:
- It is a lot of fun! I got to join 3 of our participants for an afternoon to learn how to play. They were super gracious in letting me borrow a paddle and gave me pointers and encouragement the entire time we played.
- You stay active throughout the game. The court is smaller and the ball is lighter so you spend more time hitting the ball than chasing it. There isn’t a lot of time in between serves so you stay more active throughout the entire game.
- It is less harsh on your knees and joints than tennis. I remember chasing so many balls when playing tennis. The Pickleball court is smaller and the ball is lighter so you have more time to get yourself ready for a shot. Also playing doubles cuts down on some of the side to side dodging and moving than you have to do in singles.
- There are a growing number of places where you can learn to play. Some require memberships but a lot more communities are opening up indoor and outdoor courts where you can play for a night or as part of a team. There may be as many as 2,000,000 people playing Pickleball in the US.
- It’s great for all activity levels. It can be played by those looking to stay active or those who want to seriously compete.
- It’s played by people of all ages. People from their 20s to their 80s are playing Pickleball.
- There are a lot of resources out there to learn how to play and tips to improve.
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