page title icon What is Pickleball? [History and Guide]

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Pickleball is a sport made with a mixture of a tennis ball, badminton and ping-pong ball. The game played with a ball and a paddle with holes on the court that’s the size of a badminton court and net in the tennis net center. This game is a less mobility game as there is very little space to play in. Hence, even adults can easily compete with children.

This sport has been getting fame internationally. There are hundreds of pickleball courts around the world. And it’s getting popular because it is pretty easy and can be set up quickly. You can easily play this mixture of racquetball game, even if you don’t have a court. You can have your pickleball matches if you have a free street available of a driveway with a proper hard surface. With the increasing popularity, there are 2.5 million people in America alone that are playing this game.

History of Pickleball

Three fathers named Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum drew inspiration from tennis, badminton, ping pong, and their innovative imaginations made a game for their bored families in the mid-summer of 1965 on a Bainbridge Island, which is just a short ferry ride away from Seattle, WA. They didn’t know much about how this game made of various racket sports components would catch on. You can detailed information on the USA Pickleball Association’s official website.

Why is it called Pickleball?

They named the game after the family dog, whose name was Pickles. Pickles would run around chasing balls and hide them in the bushes, hence pickle’s ball. The name was later shortened to pickleball. Initially, there was no proper pickleball court made. The families used to play on their driveways and streets. However, in the 1970’s the game expanded from being a family fun game to a proper court paddle sport with game rules. Since then, this game has been catching on and becoming popular, and now it’s played in high school, clubs, and supports communities and so on.

Why is it so Popular?

The reasons for the popularity of this game, and why is it catching on so fast are:

Anybody can Play

Pickleball is very easy to play that anybody can play it. This is a good game for beginners who want to have some fun and learn a new sport. Skilled players can also take part in it if they want a fun and challenging game to play. There is no age limit either. From children to adults, anybody can play.

It is a Social Activity

A pickleball court is much smaller in size than a tennis court. Because of the closeness, you can easily hold a conversation with each other. This way you can bond with the people you are playing with, whether they are family or friends. This is an excellent way to socialize with each other, and have a fun workout at the same time.

It’s good for health

Nobody likes going to the gym and working out, and what’s better than a fun game workout that will help you stay fit and allow you to enjoy your time with your or family. It’s also good for mental health. Because of the relaxing nature of the game, it releases the stress from one’s mind, and the adrenaline improves your mode.

It’s perfect for parks

The authorities are meeting the public’s demand and already converting tennis courts into pickleball courts in parks and recreational departments. It’s an affordable game with less to no equipment to buy, and it can be easily played both indoors and outdoors and doesn’t require that much space. Installing tri-sport recreational poles can easily allow you to convert between badminton, pickleball, and mini-volleyball. This is the cheapest solution and enables you to have all the fun.

Where can one play?

Pickleball is easy to set-up game and can be played almost anywhere; there is a hard and flat surface. The court of pickleball takes less space that you can make four courts of pickleball out of one court of a tennis ball. You can build your court if you don’t have a court. All you’ll need is court tape, measuring tape and a net. You can either make an indoor court or play outdoors.

If you have a driveway or free street available, then measure four equal-sized squares, separated by the non-volley zone in between and you are done. However, this is a temporary solution. For a more permanent one, you’ll have to do proper measurements and follow appropriate instructions.

Basic Understanding of Pickleball

Just like any other game, pickleball also has some rules and regulations. What is the equipment we use? Or what are the rules? These are the basic things that you should know before playing pickleball. Here are some of the basic elements:

The Pickleball Equipment

You can play pickleball in a badminton-sized court with a paddle and a whiffle ball. However, the pickleball ball is stronger than a whiffle ball; otherwise, it would tear apart during the game. Most people prefer playing with small holed hard plastic pickleball when they are playing outside and large holed hard plastic pickleball when they are playing inside. There are no specific names for these balls. Different communities come up with their own types of balls. There is no particular color or design.

The Pickleball paddles are just like ping-pong game paddles. They are small and easy to use. People used to play with wooden paddles, and some play even now, due to the low cost. However, there are many kinds of paddles introduced in the community. The most famous one is the one made out of fiberglass. These are lightweight and very long-lasting and are high demand but cost more than the wooden ones.

Service or Serving Rules

Before playing pickleball, you need to understand the fundamental rules first. The first rule is about the pickleball serve or service. A serve or service is a fancy word for the first shot played by the players. A pickleball serve is the first shot thrown crossways to the opposite player. It sounds easy, but there are few rules attached to it that you must know. The first rule and most basic rule is that a pickleball serve or service is only considered good if the server hits the ball straight at the opposing team service court without hitting the net and or the kitchen line, and also without causing any foot fault. We’ve already published an article on Pickleball Serve to guide you on how to through a good serve.

The first and foremost rule that every beginner learns is the underhand serving rule. Every player has to throw the ball or serve according to this rule. There is another rule that follows after the underhand rule, and that is called the waistline rule. According to these two rules, the hand should be an arc-shaped and should not be above the waistline when you serve the ball.

Pickleball Serve Guide

The Pickleball Court

When you learn about the equipment and the serving rule, you also will have to understand the structure of the court. A pickleball court has three most crucial boundary lines; these are the baselines, the sideline, and the kitchen or the non-volley zone. The lines that you see present at the base of the court, which is parallel to the net are called the baselines.

The lines present at the side of the court, also perpendicular to the net are known as the sidelines. The kitchen lines are also called the non-volley lines, and they are located 7 feet or 2.13 m from the Net, inside the court. The kitchen lines separate the area of the Net and the courts, and hence it’s counted as a fault or penalty if you step in it while playing. There are other terms like centerlines and service court too which you’ll learn about when you start playing.


Pickleball can look just like any other racket game at first, but it’s a little different and more fun and clever. It’s a tricky game. Learning how to serve a pickleball is the first thing you will learn, as a beginner. There are also rules about who gets to serve first, but you’ll learn that once you start playing. If you get to serve first, you need to learn how to do it properly. To spice up the game, you can also learn new tactics and techniques to challenge each other.

There are many pickleball tips that you can look up to better at this game. Every now and then a professional invents new pickleball tips that help you play pickleball better. Pickleball is becoming famous day by day, so you better lookup for ways on how to play pickleball well or how to get better at pickleball if you are already playing; otherwise, you’ll be left behind.

Pickleball is a fun game and suitable for any skill level or age. It’s good exercise and keeps you healthy. You can easily play it in a tennis court if you don’t have a proper court. We have talked about what is pickleball? And how do you play pickleball?  You can now easily start playing pickleball any time you want.

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Henry Allen
Henry Allen

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