According to the United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA), it is “A paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple, and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.” It is named after creator Joel Pritchard’s dog, Pickles.
Combining court dimensions similar to badminton, paddles similar to table tennis, and a light ball similar to wiffleball, Pickleball is a unique experience. Unlike tennis, the ball is served underhand to begin the volley, and a point is scored when a team allows two bounces without a return. Casual games are customarily played to 11, while tournament play ends at a score of 15 or 21.
Why choose Pickleball?
Pickleball may share many traits with other, more established sports, but its benefits are wholly unique. Such benefits include:
It’s quick and easy to learn. All it takes to learn is a basic understanding of either tennis or table tennis, and about five minutes to adjust to the basic rules. The easy to learn rules have allowed it to become a popular sport among the mentally and physically disabled.
The health benefits. The size of a court is about one-third the size of its tennis counterpart. This allows for light aerobic exercise without putting too much stress on cutting motions, which can contribute to joint injury. Just make sure you stretch. The makeup of the ball, which is lightweight and hollow. This prevents the game from speeding up too quickly during the learning process and also helps to limit potential projectile injuries.
Cost-effective equipment. Aside from at least one willing competitor, the game only requires only a paddle, a ball, and of course a court. Consider that a decent tennis racquet costs in the neighborhood of $100, whereas a paddles start at around $25, and a pack of six balls costs less than $10.
Multi-generational appeal. Among the approximately 400,000 active players nationwide, approximately 70% were age 60 or older, with 24% between the ages 40-59. Rapid growth. At the conclusion of January 2013, the USAPA documented 1,666 places to play, and at the end of July 2013 that number had shot up to 1,900.
The social aspect. Pickleball is not as spread-out as tennis, which requires shouting in order to have a conversation. The size of the court and the low time investment per game make it the perfect casual game to help you exercise while having a conversation with friends or family.
How can I get involved?
Dates for Open Pickleball are updated regularly. Please check back! For $10, come in and play singles or doubles with some of the area’s fellow enthusiasts.