The Basics of a Fun and Relatively New Paddle-Based Sport

Those who enjoy playing paddle-based sports like ping-pong, tennis and badminton may like a newer sport developed in Washington state in 1965 which combines some aspects of each of these games. This sport, called Pickle ball, has spread across the United States and Canada and is now played in some areas of Europe and Asia as well.

Equipment and Courts

To play pickleball, you’ll need to find a court with the proper markings for the game. These courts are the same size as an official doubles badminton court, but they have markings more similar to those on a tennis court, including an area called the kitchen that forms the non-volley zones stretching 7 feet in either direction from the net. The same court is used for either single or doubles pickleball matches. You’ll also need a ball, which is similar to a wiffleball in that it has holes, and paddles. The paddles are in between tennis rackets and ping-pong paddles in size and have a squarish shape. You can purchase paddles here, as well as any other game equipment you may need.



Illustration for article titled The Basics of a Fun and Relatively New Paddle-Based Sport

In this game, only those who are serving can score points and the game usually lasts until one side reaches 11 points and has at least 2 points more than the opposing team, although in tournaments the games may go up to a score of 15 or 21. The server starts on the right-hand side of the court and serves diagonally across the court. Serves must be underhand and must be hit below the waist with neither foot touching the baseline or the court.

The ball must bounce once before the other team can hit it back, and it must bounce once again before the serving side can hit it to continue the volley. Once the server scores a point, they then serve from the left-hand side of the court and continue alternating until they commit a fault. In the first service sequence of a new game, the other team then gets a chance to serve, but starting with the second sequence of the game, once the first player commits a fault, the other player on that same team gets a chance to serve before play goes to the other team.

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