What on Earth is Pickleball?

Photo by Ben Hershey on Unsplash

When we hear “pickle”, our first thought is of those sweet and sour cucumbers that come in a jar. If you do the same, then you are probably just as confused about “pickleball”. And yet, after becoming familiar with pickleball, we may enjoy that even more!

Initially invented as a children’s game in 1965, the sport has graduated to an activity that anyone can play. If you’re a fan of ping-pong or tennis, pickleball may be your new jam. The game combines those two sports with badminton, using a paddle that is between the size of a ping-pong paddle and a tennis racket to hit a Wiffle ball. The size of the court resembles that used for badminton doubles and is divided by a net. A small, non-volley area in the center is called “the kitchen”.

The player who begins the match serves the ball underhand, making it bounce on the other side of the net within the service box, beyond the kitchen line. The other player hits it back, but the ball is only allowed to bounce once per side. No one is allowed to step into the kitchen. 

Points are earned when there is a double bounce, someone hits the ball out of the lined court, the ball hits someone, or the ball hits the net, causing the round to end. Only the serving team can score a point. If you win a round as the serving team, you then switch sides of the court and the same server will serve in the opposite direction.

Pickleball improves muscle and core strength, reduces blood pressure, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. And because it can be played in singles or doubles, it also offers a fantastic opportunity to spend time with friends and family.