Pickleball: What it is and How It’s Played


Are you looking for a fun and social sport to play with friends and family? Look no further than Pickleball! This fast-paced game has been gaining popularity in recent years and is quickly becoming a favorite amongst people of all ages.

Pickleball was created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum in Bainbridge Island, Washington. They combined elements from badminton, table tennis, and tennis to create a sport that was fun for all ages. The name “pickleball” comes from Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball during games.

Since its creation over 50 years ago, pickleball has seen a huge increase in popularity. It is now played in over 5,000 parks across the United States and has a strong following in Canada, Asia, and Europe. As the baby boomer generation ages, pickleball is becoming a go-to sport for those looking to stay active and socialize with friends. In fact, it is the fastest growing sport in North America. Large entertainment venues somewhat the equivalent to golf’s Topgolf centers are popping up all over the United States creating an environment for competition, fun and dining.

How It’s Played

So, how is pickleball played? The court is similar to a doubles badminton court and is divided into two sides by a net. Players use paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a plastic ball back and forth over the net. The game can be played as doubles or singles, and the first team to score 11 points (by a margin of two) wins the game.

There are a few specific rules to keep in mind while playing pickleball. First of all, the serve must be made underhand and the ball must clear the net and land in the opposite service court. After the serve, both teams must let the ball bounce at least once on their side of the court before hitting it back. Once this “dink” is made, players can hit the ball directly out of the air or let it bounce.

Another important rule is that the ball must land in bounds for the point to count. If the ball hits the net on a serve and lands in the proper service court, it is called a “let” and the serve is retaken. Finally, players must stay out of the “no-volley zone” or “kitchen,” which is a seven-foot area on both sides of the net. This ensures that players do not get hit by an opponent’s paddle during a high-speed exchange.

7 Essential Skills for Playing Pickleball

1. Dinking

Dinking is an essential skill in pickleball as it involves gentle shots that fall just over the net. It is a perfect technique for maintaining control of the game and for setting up a successful point. To perfect dinking, you should practice hitting the ball with a soft, controlled touch, keeping your wrists and arms relaxed.

2. Serving

Serving in pickleball is vital, just like in other racquet sports. A good serve sets up the tone for the entire point and helps you gain control over the game. You should practice consistent and reliable serving to improve your game. Try different serving techniques like high, low, hard, and soft, to throw off your opponent’s game.

3. Volleys

In pickleball, volleys refer to hits made without letting the ball drop and bounce. When your opponent hits the ball towards you, you should use a volley to hit the ball back as quickly as possible. This technique requires hand-eye coordination, quick reflexes, and a sense of anticipation when it comes to the ball’s trajectory.

4. Footwork

Footwork is an essential element of any racquet sport, and pickleball is no exception. You must have good movement skills to maintain agility and balance on the court while making quick turns and changes in direction. Practice various footwork drills, such as the shuffle, cross-step, and lunge, to improve your mobility on the court.

5. Spin

Adding a spin to the ball when you hit it can add more variety to your game and make it challenging for your opponent to return your shots. Practice spin shots by using your wrist to add side spin or top-spin to the ball’s trajectory. This technique is particularly helpful when hitting the ball away from your opponent’s reach and into the corners of the court.

6. Control

Pickleball requires precision and control when hitting the ball. You must be able to hit the ball softly or hard, depending on the situation, to make the best shots. Focus on controlling your racket and maintaining a steady pace when swinging your arm to increase accuracy.

7. Strategy

Finally, strategically planning your game can help you win more points and gain an advantage over your opponent. Assess your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and adjust your shots and position accordingly. Plan your game to take advantage of your skills, your opponent’s weaknesses, and the current game situation.


In conclusion, pickleball is a fun and social sport that is perfect for all ages and abilities. Its unique history and rapid growth in popularity make it an exciting sport to try out! Remember, basic rules include serving underhand, letting the ball bounce once on each side of the court, and hitting the ball in bounds. If you’re looking to stay active and socialize with friends, give pickleball a try – you won’t regret it!

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