Pickleball was born in 1965 in the United States, specifically in Washington. It was developed by Congressman Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, Jordan Steranka, and Barney McCallum. His intention in creating Pickleball was to design a new sport that was fun, challenging, and that everyone could play.
Pritchard and his friends were looking for a recreational activity to play with their families. Not having enough players for a tennis match, they decided to improvise with a lower net and badminton rackets. Also, they wanted to use a badminton shuttlecock, but not having one handy, they used a perforated dog ball. And so, without meaning to, they created a new sport!
In the United States there are more than 6 million practitioners and more than 30,000 players are federated.
It's easy to learn, fast paced, and a lot of fun to play, with simple rules and fewer physical demands than other sports. It is played outdoors or indoors.
A major advantage over other racket sports is that it is played in both singles (two players) and doubles (four players).
How is the pickleball court?
Pickleball is played on a court very similar to the one we find to play tennis, although smaller. It is made up of the end lines, side lines, non-volley lines, non-volley zone, center line, and service box.
The dimension of the track is 6.10 m wide by 13.41 long. The total playing surface should have dimensions of 10.40 m wide by 19.50 m long, leaving a space around the court of 3 m at the end line and 2 m at the side lines.
What do I need to play pickleball?
Paddles: made of wood or a high-tech composite material (usually carbon). Its combined length and width cannot exceed 61 cm.
Balls: they are made of plastic and have small perforations. Their dimension is 7 and 7.5 cm in diameter and they weigh between 22 and 26 grams. They can be found in any color. The outdoor balls have 40 holes and those used indoors have 26 holes.
Net: very similar to the nets used for tennis or paddle tennis. Its length is 6.7 m and the height is 91.44 cm at each end and 86 cm in the center.
What are the rules to play?
. You can practice one on one or in pairs.
. The objective is the same as any other racket sport, that is, that the opponent cannot pass his ball over the net to the opposite field.
. Only one dribble is allowed within the field of play. If he bounces out, the shot will be invalid. If it touches the ground twice, the point goes to the team that took the shot.
. The serve is crossed and starts from the right.
. You cannot hit the ball without bouncing while you have at least one foot inside the “no volley” zone.
. Only the player can score points for the pair that is serving (like volleyball).
. The net cannot be touched with the paddle or the body.
. The set or game is won by the player or team that reaches 11, 15 or 21 points, with at least a 2 advantage over the rival. Each match consists of a maximum of 3 sets.
And having said all this, now all that remains is to start playing and tell us about your experience!!
Author: Nuria Chávarri (pickleball and padel player)