Pickleball is an American paddle game that was developed in 1965. Pickleball rules are similar to badminton, but it has different equipment. And it’s ALL THE RAGE right now; with about 4.8 million players, the number of Americans playing the sport has doubled in the last five years! It’s fun with friends, easy to play and it’s healthy for you, so why not see what all the fuss is about and explore what the game has to offer.
What You Need for Pickleball
A game of pickleball is extremely easy to set up; all you have to do is find flat ground to play on.
Here’s what else you need:
- Portable pickleball net. Nets should only hang 36 inches above the ground on each sideline and 34 inches in the center
- Pickleball paddles. Wood paddles are better for advanced players, while composite paddles are ideal for beginners.
- Pickleball balls. Balls for outdoor use are thicker, while indoor balls are made with lighter and thinner plastic.
And that’s pretty much all you need to get started.
Each team- made up of two to four players- stays on either side of the net and attempts to land the ball over the net so that the other team is unable to return it. The serving player needs to have their feet behind the backline and serve underhand without bouncing the ball.
Serves always needs to be from the right side of the court and only one “fault” is allowed per serve. This means that the other player can serve if there’s a fault. If they mess it up, the opposing team gets the right to serve. These are the faults to avoid while serving and in general:
- The ball touches the ground within seven feet of the net on either side (this is the non-volley zone- an area where passing the ball between players of the same side is against pickleball rules)
- It’s hit out-of-bounds of the court
- It hits the net
- The ball gets volleyed in the non-volley zone
- One or both of your feet move in front of the backline during the serve
The ball must bounce once during the serve (and outside of the non-volley zone) before the opposing team hits it back and also ensures one more bounce. After the two bounces occur on each side, the ball can be volleyed and hit back and forth as usual.
Pickleball = Great Exercise
Pickleball will absolutely improve your mental and physical agility. The short bursts of running definitely count as a form of interval training (HIIT), a type of cardio exercise. It has numerous benefits:
- Interval training burns more calories. It can burn up to 25-30% more calories than some other forms of exercise.
- If you are inactive to begin with, it will increase your muscle mass.
- It will improve muscles’ oxygen consumption. Usually, there is only a significant improvement with endurance training, but interval training can get you the same benefits in a shorter amount of time.
- It can help reduce high blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese.
Unrelated to HIIT, Pickleball has some unique characteristics that make it appealing to people who are new to sports:
- It’s played on a relatively small court, so it’s easier to play
- The ball moves slower than a tennis ball
- You only need two people on each team
- Improves your hand-eye coordination
- It’s been shown to improve the mental health of older adults. Finding fun social activities is incredibly important as you age.
- Lighter rackets are easier on the joints in the hand and arm
- The fast footwork involved will improve your balance. Pair the right pickleball shoes with an Orange full length for alignment and support. If the liner does not remove from your shoe use the lightweight, durable Orange Light insoles and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Getting some much need exercise with this sport is sure to bring family and friends of all ages together. Pickleball rules are super easy to follow and a court can even be made right in your own driveway!