Origins Of Wheelchair Pickleball
Although the exact origins of Wheelchair Pickleball are unknown, people often state that Wheelchair Pickleball is as old as the pickleball sport itself. However, one thing we do know is that the biggest promoter of Wheelchair Pickleball in recent years has been Adrianne Barlow.
She has pushed Wheelchair Pickleball to be a National Program as well as a recreational activity. Adrianne started promoting Para-Pickleball/Wheelchair Pickleball after he suffered from a progressive muscle disease herself.
She wanted Pickleball to be inclusive to all kinds of players no matter what kinds of disabilities they have or what kind of pickleball wheelchair they use.
Wheelchair Rules in Pickleball
As previously stated, almost all of the rules for wheelchair players are the same as standing players, except for a few wheelchair-specific differences. Let’s look at what these differences are.
Ball Bounce Rule For Para-Pickleball
As we all know, in Pickleball, you are not allowed to return the ball to your opponent’s side after it has bounced on the court more than once. However, for wheelchair players, there is an exception. Wheelchair players can return the ball after two bounces instead of one, however, if the ball has bounced more than twice, they aren’t allowed to return it either.
The first bounce of the ball must be inside the Pickleball court, however, the second bounce can also occur outside of the court. This helps make it easier for wheelchair players to play the game and balance out the advantage that standing players have over them.
The Non-Volley Zone Rule
The larger rear wheels of the wheelchair must remain outside of the Non-Volley Zone when hitting a volley. However, the front smaller tires of the wheelchair can enter the Non-Volley Zone.
The Wheelchair is a Part Of The Player’s Body
As per the book rules, the wheelchair is considered an extension of players, so all the conventional rules also apply to the wheelchair. For example, if the ball hits your wheelchair, it’s as if the ball is hitting your body, which is a fault and you would lose the rally.
Pickleball Wheelchair Serve Rule
The Wheelchair Pickleball service rule, which is part of the adaptive pickleball rules for players using wheelchairs, states that the front tire of the wheelchair can enter the court, however, at the time of service, the rear tires must remain outside of the court otherwise it would be considered a fault and they would lose the rally.
Wheelchair Player Vs Standing Player Rule in Pickleball
If a wheelchair player is playing with or against a standing player, then the rules of the wheelchair player would only apply to the wheelchair player, and the standing player would play by the original rules.
Using Half The Court
If there are only two singles playing against each other, the court would be halved and the players would have to play diagonally. This is also the case if one of them is in a wheelchair and the other one is standing.
Size Of The Pickleball Court
The size of a normal Pickleball Court is 44 feet by 20 feet. However, the recommended dimensions for Para-Pickleball are 74 by 44 feet long. This is because it allows wheelchair players to have more room to move around and strategize. This also makes it easier for them to avoid injury since there is a lot more space to maneuver their wheelchair and avoid collisions with other wheelchair players or obstacles.
Although the game of Pickleball is quite inclusive, you need a strong will to be able to play this game in a wheelchair. We’re not going to lie to you by giving you false hope, it is hard to play Pickleball in a wheelchair, however, if you’re up for the challenge, nothing should stop you from doing so.
That being said, our Wheelchair Pickleball tip of the day to you would be to seek coaching. Trying to play Para-Pickleball all on your own can be quite dangerous and the risk of injury is too high. So, seek out proper coaches that can help you develop your skills and make you a better Para-Pickleball player starting from the basics. They can also teach you how to use your wheelchair effectively, how to maneuver it on the court, and how to avoid collisions with other wheelchair players.
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