Perhaps you’ve been introduced to pickleball by a friend. Or maybe you saw some players out on the court hitting a ball with paddles, having a great time, and wondered what game they were playing.
You’re not alone. More than 2.8 million Americans play this oddly named sport. Furthermore, just in New York State, it is estimated that pickleball is included in over 500 schools’ curricula.
Let’s dive in to read about Pickleball: America’s Fastest-Growing Sport in 2019 to discover why it’s so popular.
What is Pickleball?
Essentially, pickleball is a lively indoor or outdoor sport combining the features of tennis, ping pong, and badminton.
It is played on a badminton-sized court, with a tennis-height net. The bat looks like an oversized ping pong paddle is used to hit something that resembles a whiffle ball.
Why is Pickleball So Popular?
Places to play pickleball are rapidly growing in number, with about 85 new locations per month.
What’s so special?
- It gives tennis players an alternative sport to test their skills
- It’s easier to play than other paddle or racquet sports
- It’s open for all ages, shapes and skill levels
- It’s a low-impact sport
- It can be played for recreation or competition, indoors or outdoors
- There are a vast number of locations to play
- It’s FUN!
Equipment Used to Play Pickleball
The Pickleball Ball
Players can freely choose what type or color of pickleball they use.
The most well-known brands for outdoor use are TOP, Onix and Dura. These balls are made of hard plastic with small holes drilled into them. All have been approved by the USA Pickleball Association for tournament play.
Indoor pickleball players prefer to use the large-holed ‘Big Hole Dura Ball’ or ‘Jugs.’
Top-quality paddles are made of lightweight fiberglass. This material allows for a lighter paddle with effortless maneuverability and higher durability.
The court measures in at 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. The net is 36 inches high on the outer edges, and 34 inches in the middle.
Thanks to the smaller size of the court, younger and older players who have mobility restrictions can still participate and enjoy the sport.
Volleying (hitting the ball into the air) is prohibited within 7 feet from the net (the non-volley zone). This rule equalizes play and lowers the chance of powerful smashes at the net.
If you find yourself wishing to create an impromptu game of pickleball on a tennis court, concrete surface or road, court line tape creates semi-permanent court lines so you can take the game anywhere.
Just like tennis, pickleball can be played as singles or doubles.
Nowadays, many parks and recreation departments are working hard to meet the demands of the public by repurposing tennis courts for pickleball games.
Ready to add an exciting new program to your recreational calendar?
Due to its convenience of indoor and outdoor locations, pickleball is an accessible option at any time of the year. It’s an affordable and frequent choice.
Now that you know the basics of pickleball: America’s fastest-growing sport in 2019, are you ready to play?