Pickleball is a famous indoor or outdoor paddle sport. It’s gaining popularity day by day. It’s calories burned playing sport. It’s played in two formats the singles (two players) and the doubles (four players). Both teams hit the ball repeatedly after one bounce until one commits a fault.
What is Pickleball and How Is It Invented?
Does everyone want to know what is pickleball and in what year was it invented? This game was the invention of three dads, Joel Pritchard(Congressman from Washington DC) and Bill Bell( a renowned and successful businessman) in 1965, at their friend Pritchard’s home who lived in Bainbridge Island is quite near Seattle, Washington DC, USA.
They wished to play badminton on an old court to entertain their boring children at home but couldn’t get playable equipment. So they devised a plan and began playing with table tennis paddles and a plastic ball with holes. They started their game with the court net at badminton with a height of (60 inches high) and started to volley the ball forward and backward over the court net. Day by day, the game progressed; after a week, they observed the ball bouncing properly on the asphalt surface and lowered the net height to 36 inches.
Finally, another important figure, Barney McCallum, joined them and began playing, and these three men created the rules for the popular game pickleball.
The main aim of inventing this game was to play with the whole family when they got bored. In 2022, pickleball got succeeded to get the status of the official state sport of Washington, USA. Pickleball has a close resemblance to tennis in its style of playing and appearance, but the court size is the size of a doubles badminton court and less than the 3rd size of a tennis court.
In addition, everything is specific such as court lines and rules and a specified area of 7 feet (2.1m) on both sides of the net, recognized as the non-volley zone(NVZ), the kitchen, where the player can’t hit the ball with a paddle except if the ball bounces first. According to the Official Rulebook, side-out scoring is where the serving team can score a point. All serves must be underhand.
From 1965 to 2020, pickleball became a popular sport in the United States Pacific Northwest and began to make progress everywhere. From 2021 to 2022, the famous association, Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) called this game the fastest-growing sport in the USA. Over 4.8 million players like it.
Increasing interest in this game is due to several factors like a short learning curve, which suits people of different ages and matches their fitness level, and is best for beginners.
As a result, thousands of pickleball tournaments are being arranged, including U.S. National Championships and U.S. Open Tournament, with two professional tours and one professional league throughout the United States. In addition, the growth of this game is fabulous outside the United States, with several other national or international pickleball competitions.
Why is it called pickleball?
Pickleball often confuses us with how did pickleball get its name and why is it called “pickleball” since no pickles are involved. Two different stories exist.
- In the first account, according to Joel Pritchard, the wife of Joan Pritchard, she began to call this game pickleball. Because there were two different sports involved, she brings to mind the “pickle boat” and its crew, where oarsmen were selected from the leftovers of the other boats.
- In the second story, Barney McCallum strongly claims pickleball was given a name after Pritchard’s dog “Pickles,” which chases the ball and runs with it.
In an interview with a news reporter in 1970, Pritchard clarified that it would be easier for readers to link this game with a dog than a pickleball boat. USA Pickleball research cleared that the dog “Pickles” was born after had already been named this sport.
Best Pickleball Tournaments around the World
As people are well aware, pickleball is becoming increasingly popular. It’s not a surprise for anybody when we say that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport internationally.
International Federation of Pickleball(IFP) presently has 48 member countries, especially in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, North America, and Oceania, including the USA. Scheduled different major competitions affected due to Covid-19 in the world.
These are the following largest pickleball tournaments across the world including among others:
- USA Pickleball National Championships
- US Open Pickleball Championships
- IFP Bainbridge Cup
- Pro Pickleball Tour Events
Growth of Pickleball
Pickleball is a combination of different racquet sports. Pickleball combines elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis and is the most popular and fastest-growing sport in the USA. According to the Sport & Fitness Industry Association(SFIA), from 2015 to the end of 2019, participation in playing pickleball increased by more than 7%, while the overall activity of the United States people remained small. People often confuse about where to play pickleball because this sport is so demanding and trending nowadays.
According to the latest Sports & Fitness Industry Association(SFIA) report, it is the fastest-growing and most popular sport in America, with 4.8 million players nationwide( almost a 40% increase during 2020). There are approximately 35,000 courts in the USA, which was double the figure from 5 years ago.
Tom Dundun, the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, recently purchased Pickleball Central, the largest retailer in the U.S. for pickleball gear. In addition, LeBron James just invested in a new professional pickleball team. Tom Brady, the Super Bowl Champion, and Kim Clijsters, tennis player (former no.1 world player), also joined the group of owners of pickleball that purchased an expansion team for the next year, 2023, Major League Pickleball Season.
What is Pickleball and what Several Factors in Its Growth?
There’re several factors in the growth of pickleball, including;
- A beginner of pickleball can begin and enjoy the sport at the first introduction.
- People from all segments of society, of different ages, and physical abilities can play and enjoy this sport together.
- This sport is not expensive if public courts are available to play pickleball.
- The sport has developed a strong social aspect
- Experience in other racket sports like tennis and badminton can easily transfer to pickleball.
- Experience and skills in other rackets sports can easily convert into pickleball.
In addition, establishing new outdoor courts is relatively cheap when compared to tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong. A single tennis court has the requirement of over three times as much space and construction material as a pickleball court.
Fresh Tennis courts can easily be changed to multiple pickleball courts, or courts can be used for both games. These cost factors are much more attractive for local Parks and Recreation departments.
What Equipment is Needed to Play Pickleball?
As a beginner at pickleball, you should know what equipment you need to play pickleball. The essential pickleball equipment required to play and enjoy this game is quite simple. The following equipment and court are necessary for pickleball.
1. What Is the Size of a Pickleball Court?
Every pickleball lover wants to know what is pickleball court and what its dimensions are. Pickleball court dimensions are a very important topic. The standard size of the pickleball is 20 feet (6.1) by 44 feet (13 m) for both formats, the doubles, and the singles, the same size as the doubles of the badminton court. A seven feet line from the net on both sides is called the non-volley line.
Twenty-two feet away from the net, the baseline marks the outward boundary of the pickleball playing area. The term the kitchen is very famous in pickleball. Beginners want to know what is the kitchen in pickleball. In brief, it’s the specific area marked by a non-volley line, and the net, including the lines, is called the non-volley zone(NVZ), the kitchen. The specific area between the kitchen line and the baseline is the pickleball service court, an area for serving and volleying the ball.
A center line divides the left and right sides of the service court. Typically, tournaments and games are played on a specialized polyurethane sport surface; however, courts are commonly made of concrete, Astroturf, and indoor basketball courts.
The height of the pickleball net is 36 inches (0.91 m) at the end and 34 inches (0.86 m) height at the center. The posts of the net should be 22 feet (6.7 m). This measurement starts from the inside of the two posts.
3. What Ball Is Used in Pickleball?
The important quest what ball is used in pickleball and what is a pickleball made of? Every pickleball lover wants to know about the ball. The original ball was a waffle ball, a light perforated ball when the game was invented in 1965. The United States Pickleball and the famous International Federation of Pickleball(IFP) have since chosen specific and unique kinds of balls that meet the standard of pickleball.
The ball is made of a strong and long molded material having a smooth surface and circular holes between 26 and 40 evenly spaced. The weight should be between (.78-.935 ounces/22.1 and 26.5 g), and the measurement should be between (2.87- 2.97) inches and (73 and 75 mm) in diameter.
Popular Tournaments that got sanctioned by the USAP and IFP must select from a list of balls (having been approved in advance) found on the official websites of the USAP and IFP. Usually, balls having smaller holes are used for outdoor games to save the effect of wind, but any approved ball can be applied for both formats of games there is a difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball.
In sanctioned games, USAP and IFP paddle size standards state that the overall length and width of the paddle can’t exceed 24 inches/0.61 m), and the length cannot exceed 17 inches (0.43 m). There’re no special requirements in connection with the thickness and weight of the paddle.
It should be made of solid wood and non-compressible material, and the surface of the paddle should be smooth with no texture on it. The pickleball paddle is used to hit the ball right over the net in the center of the pickleball court.
The length of the paddle should be between 8 and 15 inches and it’s a close resemblance to an oversized ping-pong paddle.
How is Pickleball Started?
Any reasonable way to determine which team or player starts the game and serves first and which side net each player or team will select for the play is acceptable.
What Is the Starting Score of a Doubles Pickleball Game and Serving?
The score is called out before every service by the official observer of the match. The server announces an unofficial game.
Doubles: In the doubles game, the pickleball scoring rules are divided into three parts; the score of the serving team, the score of receiving players, and the number of serving player, a “1” or “2” show whether the server is the first server or the second one.
The first server of the pickleball is always called the second server of the serving team and may shout out the server number as “start” or “2”. The score starts in the doubles game and is called “zero-zero two.”
Singles: The scoring system of pickleball depends on two parts: the serving player and the receiving player. The beginning score in singles is always announced as “zero-zero.” The first server initiates the game from the right side, the even side of the court. The serves must be diagonal crosscourt of the opponent. The receiver’s side is right.
What Is the Double Bounce Rule in Pickleball?
A serving ball should land service court diagonally on the opposite court net. The receiver of the ball can’t return the ball before bouncing it on the ground. Likewise, the serving team should let the ball bounce once before returning. It’s called two bounce rules. Any team can volley the pickleball once two serves return before it bounces.
The ball is allowed one bounce before it is returned. No player is permitted to volley the pickleball when standing in the non-volley zone, the kitchen, or touching the line of this zone. It’s called the double bounce rule in pickleball. An explanation of this can also be sought from pickleball kitchen rules. I
Remainder of play
The pickler prepares to return the ball by using a backhand stroke. The serving team continues to switch between the service courts’ odd and even sides until they do a fault.
Doubles: The doubles game starts and the serving team is permitted one fault before their side is “out,” also known as a side–out, and the service passes to their opposite team.
After the first side-out of the play, each team can commit two faults before calling a side-out, giving each of the players on a doubles team the chance to serve before the service provides to the other team.
After the first server on a team leaves, the second server must alternate between the right and left service courts.
For instance, if the first server is performed service on the right side of the service court, the second server must start from the left service court.
After the first service, a side–out is always continued from the right serving area.
Singles: A side-out is considered each time when the serving side commits a fault in the game. If the serving player’s score has zero scores or even, they should perform service from the right-hand side or even service court. Otherwise, they must perform the service from the left, or odd, service court. Based on the current score, the first serve after a side out may be right or left.
The first team who scores 11 points, leading by two or more points, declares the winner in the match. Tournament games can play to 11 points, 15, or 21 points, with players rotating to 6, 8, or 11 points, respectively.
What is Pickleball, Its Rules, and How Do Play the Game?
A set of rules is a guideline for the conduct, explaining how to move on with your next course of action. A game is based on its rules and tells us how it is played. To play pickleball, we will look at a rules summary of its true spirit. It can be played as doubles as well as singles. The same rules apply to both.
Famous Pickleball Association/League
The fastest-growing pickleball game has touched the sky of fame. The interest of investors and sponsors has also increased due to its ever-growing popularity. There were two professional pickleball tours in 2019, and in 2021, a famous professional pickleball league was formed.
1. Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP):
The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) was founded by Ken Herrmann, who set his tour with the governing body of pickleball, USA Pickleball (USAP), in America. All games are approved by USAP and must obey USAP rules of pickleball.
The APP Tour-2022 includes 32 tournaments in 5 countries and has hosted an average of 800 players in each pickleball tournament. It is learned that the total prize money is approximately $2 million
2. Professional Pickleball Association(PPA):
The Professional Pickleball Association(PPA) was founded by Connor Pardoe and resided in Draper, Utah. Due to his desire for independence, Pardoe did not align himself with USAP. In the beginning, the PPA needed all pickleball players to sign a 1-year contract, which halts Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) players from participating in any other tours than PPA.
Thomas Dundon purchased the PPA and enhanced the exclusivity contracts to three years in late 2021. Pardoe remained CEO of the PPA Tour. The APP Tour-2022 is expected to include 20 tournaments with a total award of $2.5 million.
3. Major League Pickleball(MLP):
In 2021, the Major League Pickleball(MLP) organization was established by Steve Kuhn in Dripping Springs, Texas. The first year of this league consisted of 8-teams, including both Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and Association Professional Pickleball Association(PPA) players.
The 2nd year enlarged to 12 teams in this league, but the PPA no longer permitted their players to participate in this league. Each unit has 2- men and 2-women. Team members are selected utilizing a double snake draft sketched to make teams as competitive as possible.
Three other competitions are scheduled for 2022, and the victorious team at each contest will win 25 thousand dollars for each team member.
The victorious team also received “the Pritchard Cup.” This league will enhance to 16 teams this season, NFL quarterback Tom Brady will acquire a new expansion team along with NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love.
Is Pickleball an Olympic Sport, and What is its International Status?
Sports lovers want to know whether pickleball is an Olympic sport and its international status. It is not an Olympic sporting event, and pickleball has no representation in the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF).
There’re two pickleball federations with 70 members countries before April 2022. On April 22, 2022, IFP membership decreased from 70 to 59 after the withdrawal of the Cayman Islands, the Czech Republic, the United States, Mexico, Canada, England, Australia, Spain, Spain, Finland, and the Philippines.
A campaign was launched by the IPF afterward to add new countries to its membership list. Both the WFP and IFP are making struggles for pickleball, making it an Olympic Sport, maybe as a sport of demonstration.
The International Federation of Pickleball is making efforts, especially toward Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028 summer games.
In July 2022, Maccabiah Game, Pickleball, was accepted as a demonstration sport. It was the third-largest sporting event in the world. In this event, pickleball made its international Olympic debut.
This annual competition got the name of the specific island where pickleball was invented and was established by the IFP in 2017. It was the first intercontinental team event in pickleball.
The inaugural ceremony of the event was held in Madrid, Spain, and matched North America against Europe. The winning team receives the Bainbridge Cup trophy. Two events (2020 and 2021) couldn’t organize due to the pandemic of Covid-19.
World Pickleball Federation(WPF)
The WPF came into being in 2018 with 37 member nations as of November 2022. The main aim of WPF is to govern the infrastructure of pickleball. On October 10th, 2022, The World Pickleball Federation announced that “World Pickleball Day” will be celebrated every year and made a plan to introduce this game to 10,000 new players every year on October 10th.
World Pickleball Games
World Pickleball was first declared by the World Pickleball Federation(WPF) and intended to pave the way for possible future Olympic games. The inauguration ceremony of the World Pickleball Games had been arranged for May 2022 in Austin, Texas, but due to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the games have to be postponed until 2023.
The Noise Controversy
Pickleball is rapidly growing in the world, and it has now headed towards its own courts in cities and communities around the world, but not without some controversy. The only noise issue is prevailing. When we compare it with tennis is a relatively quiet game.
The racquets of tennis have flexible strings, and its ball is with a soft outer cover. On the other hand, picklers use a large hard kind of paddle, like an oversized table tennis paddle with no rubber covering. The ball has 26 holes and is made of plastic.
Resultantly, when we hit the ball with a paddle, it makes a sharp popping noise. This is the solid reason for the controversy. Most of the pickleball courts are located in residential areas, and the sharp popping sound of the ball becomes a cause of annoyance for nearby residents.
Many complaints were received from local councils, and many courts had to close in recent past years. Reports have been received of nearby residents “agitating” pickleball court in protest. Avid anti-pickleball protesters have been moving petitions and getting contacts from local politicians all across North America.
Many news channels aired stories against this game. The controversy of sound has raised voices against this popular game. The design of the ball should be changed to reduce the sound ball. Another easy solution is to cover the paddle’s face with a rubber layer to decrease the sound of the ball.
Picklers may accept a radical change in the design of their sporting equipment, like balls and paddles, whether they like it or not to tackle noise pollution. Pickleball should be played, ignoring its controversies.
Important Terms in Pickleball
These are the following important terms in pickleball. As a pickleball player everybody should know these terms.
1. What Is a Dink in Pickleball?
A dink is a special move in pickleball where you lightly tap the ball over the net, just enough for it to cross and gently land on your opponent’s side. It’s not a super-powerful shot like a smash or a hard hit. Instead, it’s more like a soft touch that requires careful control.
2. What Is a Volley in Pickleball?
A volley is a stroke in pickleball wherein you strike the ball while it remains airborne, refraining from allowing it to rebound on the ground. Achieving successful volleys necessitates swift reflexes and adept hand-eye coordination to deliver proficient shots throughout the course of a game.
3. What Is a Let in Pickleball?
In pickleball, a let is frequently called under the following circumstances:
Service Let: If the server’s serve encounters the net but still lands within the designated service court, it is acknowledged as a let. Consequently, the serve is replayed, and no points are awarded.
Non-Volley Zone (NVZ) Violation Let: When a player steps into the non-volley zone (a.k.a. the kitchen) and hits a volley (a shot without letting the ball bounce), it’s considered a fault. In this case, a let is called, and the point is replayed.
Ball Interference Let: If an object or person (other than the players) interferes with the ball during the rally, such as a ball from another court rolling onto yours or an unintended collision, a let is called, and the point is replayed.
The primary objective behind calling a let is to uphold fair play and preserve the integrity of the game. It allows players to restart the rally without penalizing anyone for unexpected occurrences.
4. What Is a Lob in Pickleball?
A lob is a shot in pickleball where you hit the ball high in the air, aiming for it to go over your opponent’s head and land deep in their court. It’s a strategic shot used to change the rhythm of the game, create distance between you and your opponent, and buy yourself more time to recover.
5. What Is a Drop Shot in Pickleball?
A drop shot is a maneuver in pickleball where you strike the ball delicately, inducing a soft landing near the net on your adversary’s side. It’s a strategic shot used to catch your opponents off guard, forcing them to move forward quickly and potentially creating an opportunity for you to gain an advantage.
6. What Is Stacking in Pickleball?
Stacking in pickleball refers to a specific positioning strategy employed by doubles teams. It involves the partners on one side of the court aligning themselves in a particular manner, with one player positioned in front of the other instead of standing side by side.
In this article, we’ve thoroughly discussed what is pickleball and how is it becoming popular day by day in the USA and the whole world. Its unique blend of strategy and athleticism makes it a favorite among players of all ages and skill levels. We should also focus on pickleball drills.
With its easy-to-learn rules and accessible equipment, Pickleball is a great option for anyone looking for a new and engaging sport to play. Whether you are looking for a fun way to stay active, or simply want to test your skills against others, Pickleball offers a challenging and rewarding experience that is sure to keep you coming back for more.