What is The Game Pickleball? Why Is It The Fastest-Growing Sport in US

Simple, fun, social and friendly are the best words we could find to describe pickleball. It is a new form of recreational and athletic sport that is gaining popularity among the masses in the United States. If you have ever heard about it, you must be curious about how the game works. Don't worry, we have covered all of the basic details about pickleball in this article. Read on to get the most information from this ultimate guide to the new form of sports. You'll get to read about the equipment, sports court, history, and other basics of the game.

What is The Game Pickleball? Why Is It The Fastest-Growing Sport in US

What is Pickleball and Why is it Gaining Popularity?

Let’s start with the basics! Pickleball can be best described as a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The rules of this game were made using the basic regulations of the three typical racket sports.

what is pickleball

The rules and policies of these sports are adjusted by different regulatory authorities. For the United States, USA Pickleball Organisation does the job and internationally, the International Federation of Pickleball is available.

Although some people take it as a reservation sport, the game is getting so popular that professional pickleball players are also now emerging. Sports and entertainment channels are also covering the pickleball tournaments now.

Read more: ” Reasons why you should try Pickleball fun games now”

Popularity of Pickleball

In 2014, NBC gave pickleball the title of ‘fastest growing sport in the United States’. They were not wrong because pickleball courts have emerged in all states of the US.

The main reason for this is the ‘simplicity’ of the rules, equipment, and gameplay. You don’t need expensive or fancy gear to get started. There are also no complicated rules.

Some people only like to play sports as hobbies or leisure activities, therefore they can’t take the stress of complex sports as they also require lots of investment.fast-growing sport in US

Read more:Where is pickleball most popular in the US”

Brief History of Pickleball

The story of pickleball began when a congressman, Joel Pritchard, and his friend Bill Bell, a businessman, visited their hometown on holidays.

Their kids were extremely bored because there were no sports to play there. Pritchard and Bell decided to play badminton with the kids. But the problem was that they did not have the proper equipment.

So they picked the table tennis paddles and a perforated ball and started playing on the badminton net. Soon they realized that the perforated ball was easy and smooth to play with.

Later, Barney McCallum also joined them and three of them made the basic rules of the game. This way, the invention of a new athletic sport started from Bainbridge Island, Washington.

Now pickleball is so popular that it was declared one of the symbols of Washington (state) in 2022. But yet to become Olympic sports

You might find this interesting: “Who Invented Pickleball And Why Was It Called Pickleball?

Why is Pickleball Named So?

When you first heard the word ‘pickleball’, we are sure that pickles come to your mind. But the fact is that this name has nothing to do with the pickles.

There are two versions of the name of pickleball. The first version comes from Pritchard’s wife, who suggested this name because this hybrid sport reminded her of pickle boats.

On the other hand, Barney McCallum says that this name was taken after the dog of Pritchard who was named pickles. This dog loved to chase the ball when they would play the game.

Equipment You Need to Get Started

Although different in all sports, equipment is the most essential part of playing a game. For pickleball, two important pieces of equipment are required; a paddle and a pickleball.pickleball equipments beginner guide


A paddle used in this sport is different from a table tennis paddle. These paddles are made with hard material and also have a strong grip.

The grip can be adjusted by adding an overgrip but it is recommended to buy a paddle that can fit perfectly on your grip.


Pickleball is a Spherical object. It comes in two categories; indoor and outdoor balls. The indoor version is made for the inner courts where the surface is soft and similar to a basketball court. Therefore these balls have a few large holes.

On the other hand, an outdoor ball is made of hard material to bounce against a hard surface. It also has many small holes to resist wind pressure.

Where is Pickleball Played?

In most sports, the playing area plays an important role as it determines the rules and regulations. These places have lines and areas where different rules are applied.

open pickleball court

Similarly, in pickleball, courts are used which have a general size of 20 feet by 40 feet. You can see the official court in the image.

Here are the lines and areas of a pickleball court you must be aware of;

  • Sidelines – Sidelines are situated perpendicularly to the net.
  • Baseline – These are two parallel lines to the net. To make a service, the player has to stand beside the baseline.
  • Center Line – A center line divides the two volley zones. It starts from the middle of the non-volley line and ends in the middle of the baseline.
  • Non-Volley Line – This line divides the non-volley zone and the service area.
  • Non-Volley Area – The area seven feet from the net is known as the non-volley zone or kitchen. Players can’t play volley strokes here.

Dress Code of Pickleball

Unlike other sports, there is no restriction to wearing a specific outfit for pickleball. However, this does not mean that you can play the game in casual outfits.

Most players wear athletic clothes such as athletic shorts, sweatpants, wicked apparel, t-shirts, etc. Whether you’re playing doubles or singles, indoors or outdoors, athletic apparel looks professional and also keeps you comfortable.

How Does Pickleball Works?

Now let’s come to the most important part. How are we supposed to play the pickleball game? After ordering the online handmade equipment, you must start learning the game.

pickleball court zones

Pickleball Rules

Directly jumping into the rules might seem scary at first. But as we mentioned in the intro, the rules of pickleball are very easy to comprehend.

You can either download the latest rulebook of USAPA or IFP to get started. For a glance, here are the four most important rules to get started!

  1. The server must stay behind the baseline while serving the ball.
  2. The volley stroke can’t be played in the kitchen.
  3. The ball must stay within the court i.e. it must not go out of bounds.
  4. Both player of a team can’t hit a volley stroke in their first shots after a serve. This is called the double bounce rule.


Scoring can be slightly complicated for the newbies as you might either lose a point or serve in case of your fault. To make it easy to comprehend, let’s assume you are the server.

The game is going smoothly but then you make a mistake. Since you were the server, you will only lose the service. However if your opponent has made a mistake, you will secure a point.

Pickleball Competitive games and Common games are played till eleven points and one player must win by at least two points. However, the high-scoring points can either be 15 or 21.

Singles and Doubles

There are two types of gameplays in pickleball; singles or doubles. In singles games, only two players carry the game, while in doubles two teams/four players have to play.

In a doubles game, both players of a team get the chance to serve. The server has to send the ball in the diagonal court.

If the score of a server is in even numbers, they have to make the service from the right court. But if their score is odd, the serve will be made from the left court.


Serve is the first step of playing the game as it is the game’s starting shot. The server must stand behind the baseline to make a serve.

Also, they should only make the serve underhand. This means that the paddle must strike the ball below the waist of the server. The ball must land in the diagonal cross-court.

Once the ball is served, the opposing team must let the ball bounce before hitting it. The serving team will also let the ball bounce in the first shot. This is a very popular rule and is commonly known as the double bounce rule.

Pickleball Strategies

Once you have learned the basics of pickleball, you can move toward the strategies. These skill levels might help you to win the match. For instance, hitting a low ball might help you to win a point.

Wheelchair Pickleball

Pickleball is a game for everyone as it’s highly inclusive. Wheelchair Pickleball is not so strange these days. The USA Pickleball Organisation has made some modifications to the typical pickleball rules.

Wheelchair pickleball

This makes it easy for wheelchair users to enjoy playing the game. Some of the altered rules are;

  • Before returning the ball, it must be allowed to bounce twice.
  • Both wheels of the wheelchair must be behind the baseline during a severe.
  • The front wheels can touch the non-volley zone while hitting a volley stroke.


How is Pickleball Different From Tennis?

Pickleball and tennis are very different sports. No doubt, some rules, and shots in both games are similar, but the pickleball and tennis courts are different. Similarly, the equipment for both games is also different.

What are the 3 Benefits Of Playing Pickleball?

Pickleball can replace physical exercise. It is fast-paced, puts less strain on muscles, and more fun. These benefits allow elder people to play games of physical skill without straining their bodies.

What State is Most Popular for Playing Pickleball?

Florida is the most popular state for playing pickleball. Florida is often known as the Pickleball Capital of the World.

What is the Average Age of People Who Play Pickleball?

The average age of players was 38.1 years old in 2021. 52% of core pickleball players are older as this game is less heavy for the body but is also a good form of exercise.

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