How to Play Pickleball!

So you've probably seen or heard the news.  Pickleball is a game that is sweeping the nation. But what is it?  And how do you play? 

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, William Bell, and Barney McCallum. It originated on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. The three friends created the game as a means of entertaining their families during the summer. They combined elements of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong to create a new and unique sport.

Pickleball is a paddle sport that is played on a court similar in size to a badminton court. It is typically played as a doubles game but can also be played in singles. The game uses a perforated plastic ball (similar to a wiffle ball) and solid paddles. The objective is to hit the ball over the net, clearing it within the boundaries, while aiming to prevent the opposing team from returning it successfully.

Pickleball has gained significant popularity over the years, especially among older adults, due to its ease of learning and the ability to accommodate various skill levels. It is known for its friendly and social nature, making it a fun and inclusive sport for people of all ages and abilities.  

Here's how to play:

  1. Grab a Paddle: Find a pickleball paddle that suits your style and grip it like a champ. Don't worry, even if you're new to the game, anyone can join in on the fun!
  2. Pickleball Party: Find a pickleball court (or create your own mini-court) and gather your friends or fellow pickleball enthusiasts. It's time to bring the party to the pickleball court!
  3. Serve it up: Stand behind the baseline and get ready to serve. Underhand serves are the name of the game, so toss the pickleball up and give it a gentle whack to start the rally. Remember, easy does it!
  4. Dink and Dunk: Keep the ball in play by hitting it over the net and into your opponent's side. But here's the secret sauce: use the "dink" technique! Give the ball a soft touch, just like a delicate pickleball dance move, and watch it gracefully land on the other side.
  5. Mind the Kitchen: Don't forget about the kitchen! It's the magical no-volley zone located near the net. While you can't smash the ball from there, it's the perfect spot for quick reflexes and strategic plays.
  6. Rally Time: Once the ball is in play, volley it back and forth with your opponents. Get into the groove, embrace the rhythm, and let the pickleball party rock on!
  7. Score Points: Each time the ball hits the ground on your opponent's side, you score a point. Keep your eyes peeled for those open spaces and aim to outsmart your opponents.
  8. Switch Sides: When one team reaches 11 points (or any predetermined score), it's time to switch sides like a pro. Don't worry if you're trailing, the game can always turn in your favor!
  9. Have Fun: Remember, pickleball is all about having a blast! Laugh, cheer, and celebrate every shot, win or lose. Anyone can play pickleball and enjoy the thrill of the game.

So, grab a paddle, embrace the dinks and volleys, and get ready for a pickleball adventure filled with fun, laughter, and friendly competition!