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How fast is the sport of Pickleball growing

Posted by Josh K on

You might have already heard about this new sensation called pickleball. This fun and contagious game is considered one of the fastest growing sports in the USA. Pickleball is spreading like wildfire, and this is happening internationally as well. People of all ages enjoy this sport because it’s both simple and very exciting at the same time.  


Pickleball basics

Pickleball is a very fun sport that mixes elements of ping-pong, badminton and tennis. You can practice this sport both indoors and outdoors, and all you need is a paddle and a plastic ball. Pickleball can be played by people of all ages because it’s very easy to learn and it doesn't require any special skills or excessive mobility.


Basic rules

Pickleball can be played in both singles and doubles. A coin toss determines which of the players or teams will serve first. Players serve the ball below the waist, underhand, and diagonally across the court. Pickleball has a double-bounce rule which means that after the serve, both sides have to let the ball bounce once before they return it. After the ball has bounced in each side of the court, players can choose to volley the ball or hit it off a bounce. It is forbidden to volley the ball in the non-volley zone, i.e. within 7 feet of the net in the court area. Points in pickleball are scored by the serving team, same as in ping-pong. If the serving team makes a fault, it loses the serve. If the receiving team makes a fault, it results in a point for the serving team. Games are usually played until 11 points are made, and you win by two. Tournaments can be played up to 15 or 21 points. A pickleball court is 20x44 feet, with a net 36 inches high at the posts, and 34 inches high in the middle. The court size is same as the court for badminton and it’s striped as a tennis court. Therefore, pickleball courts can be easily created on existing badminton or tennis courts. 


Pickleball paddles are flat sided, they are bigger than ping-pong paddles, usually made of wood or other lightweight materials. The ball is made of perforated plastic and it has holes like a wiffleball. The pickleball is usually 3 inches in diameter and it travels around 1/3 of the travelling speed of a tennis ball. Pickleball requires comfortable clothes and shoes. The usual male and female tennis clothes are suitable, as well as any kind of shorts, sweatpants and t-shirts. For playing outdoors in the cold weather you can also wear a light jacket or a sweatshirt.  

The growth of pickleball

Pickleball was invented nearly 50 years ago, in 1965 near Seattle, WA. The game came about from the imagination of three gentlemen - Joel Prichard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. Trying to entertain their families with the equipment that was available to them at the moment, the three men created a new sport. The first game of pickleball was played with improvised, hand-made equipment and badminton-based rules. Two years later, in 1967, the first pickleball court was built. In 1972 there was already a corporation formed to protect this sport. The first pickleball tournament was organized in 1976 in Tukwila, WA, with mostly tennis players as participants. In 1984, The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) was established and it published the first pickleball rulebook. By 1990, people were playing pickleball throughout 50 states. Today, pickleball is played worldwide and people are forming international clubs. The sport is still most popular in the USA, and its popularity is constantly growing. Pickleball is played in more than 2,000 locations registered by the USAPA. More than 150,000 people nationwide are currently actively playing pickleball. 

Why is pickleball so popular?

Thanks to its simplicity, the game is played by people of all ages. Kids and teenagers play pickle ball in physical classes at school, and seniors play it in retirement communities. Experienced ping-pong and tennis players enjoy the competitive nature of the sport and play it more actively, participating in various tournaments. The sport is especially attractive to seniors because the elderly can (through pickleball) enjoy the thrill of playing a racquet sport without excessive strain. Thanks to the dimensions of the court, pickleball doesn’t require running for the ball, especially when playing in doubles. Even people with disabilities can engage in this sport.  

Pickleball is contagious

Why is pickleball contagious? It’s easy - new players can easily learn and follow the rules of the game, and the more experienced players can enjoy its competitive nature. All that pickleball requires is a desire to try it and you will most certainly become addicted to it. The sport combines the best aspects of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, so it’s almost impossible not to love it. As soon as you play your first game of pickle ball, you will see that there is no reason to stop playing it. You will love the health and social benefits that this sport will bring into your life. 

Pickleball brings people together

The greatest advantage of this sport is that it brings people together. That’s probably what made pickleball grow so fast. The small court creates a cozy atmosphere where people can socialize and interact while enjoying the competition. Therefore, many retirement and building projects have put construction of pickleball courts in their plans. Pickleball courts are built in parks, gyms, and everywhere they can fit. It is estimated that around 40 new venues are being opened every month. At the venues there are usually instructors who offer lessons and a play of beginner-level game.  


Pickleball is a fun and stimulating exercise

If you are looking for a fun way to exercise and socialize at the same time, you should put pickleball on your list. Having the opportunity to play the game both outdoors and indoors, you will never again have excuses for not exercising. Moreover, you will look forward to building your skills and competing with other people. Although playing pickleball may seem like a light and easy workout, it helps a lot in developing the skills of balance, agility and reflexes. It’s a great choice for better fitness and a good cardiovascular workout. People who practice pickleball on a regular basis are impressed by the benefits it brings to their body.

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