How to Play Pickleball: A Beginner’s Guide in 2023

Ping pong, tennis, and badminton are combined in pickleball, a paddle sport. Indoor or outdoor pickleball courts are available.

Originally designed for children in the U.S., pickleball is now enjoyed by people of all ages across the globe. The sport can also be played by those with disabilities. Research suggests that pickleball is growing in popularity in the U.S. if you wanna learn about how to choose a pickleball by clicking here.

What Is Pickleball?

How to Play PickleballAs a backyard game, pickleball was developed by three dads on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in 1965 as a way of entertaining their bored children 

One of its creators was known to own a dog named Pickles, which is suggested as the inspiration for the name of the sport. However, others claim that the name comes from the diverse nature of the crews of pickle boats.

In recent years, specialized equipment and playing environments have been added to the sport. Tennis magazine recognized the sport in 1976, and tournaments and organizations are now located around the world.  Physical education programs in schools also include tennis.

There are two types of pickleball: two-person doubles and singles. Pickleball is most commonly played by two-person doubles teams, but it can also be played by an individual player. The sport has become extremely popular among senior citizens because of its social nature.

Clothing and Gear

The sport does not require you to buy special clothing, but there are companies that sell pickleball-specific clothing. You should choose pickleball clothing based on the weather and conditions (indoor or outdoor). A tank top or t-shirt and jacket if necessary can be worn with moisture-wicking shorts, skorts, or pants. Providing eye protection while playing outdoors may require a visor and sport sunglasses.

A good pair of shoes that provides lateral support is required, such as tennis shoes. The type of side-to-side support necessary for pickleball cannot be obtained from shoes made for walking or running.

A ball, rackets, and a net will also be needed, along with the right kind of court. Pickleball can be played using supplies that you have on hand, that you rent, or that you purchase from a local sporting goods store as you get started. But you can also find guidelines for approved nets, paddles, and balls from the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA). You can buy pickleball supplies from a variety of vendors online.

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Court

How to play pickleballTennis courts are bigger than pickleball courts, which are smaller than doubles badminton courts. A tennis court measures 20 feet by 44 feet. An 8 foot non-volley zone surrounds the net (the “kitchen”) on either side of the net. Right and left service areas surround the non-volley zone.How to play pickleball

A tennis court or another outdoor area can be used as a pickleball court if you don’t have access to a pickleball-specific court. Mark lines with chalk or colored masking tape. Do-it-yourself pickleball courts can be marked according to detailed instructions provided by USA Pickleball.

Net

How to play pickleballAt least 21 feet and 9 inches in diameter and 30 inches high is the required pickleball net. Made from mesh fabric with a top white tape binding, it should be made from a mesh fabric. On the sidelines, it should be 36 inches high and in the middle it should be 34 inches high.

Balls

How to play pickleballIn general, pickleball looks somewhat like a whiffle ball, but there are several different types. Several balls can be yellow, black, blue, or multicolored. Plastic tubes come with holes of varying sizes and are molded.

There are usually 40 or fewer holes in outdoor balls, which means they fly at the paddle faster since these balls are heavier, harder, and smoother.

There are approximately 26 holes in an indoor ball. Indoor balls are lighter and softer. There is no interchangeability between indoor and outdoor balls.

Paddles

How to play pickleballCompared to ping pong paddles, pickleball paddles seem to be similar. Plywood paddles were used early on, but modern pickleball paddles use a high-tech composite material. Wood, polymer, or aluminum are just a few of the materials they can be made of. Carbon fiber, fiberglass, or graphite can be used for the paddle face.

When choosing your paddle, make sure it fits well in your hand and feels good.

There are also heavier paddles and lighter paddles available, but a medium-weight paddle will weigh around 7.3 to 8.4 ounces.

Lighter paddles provide more control but heavier paddles provide more power.

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Pickleball Rules

Pickleball is a sport that has a similar objective to other similar sports (for example basketball, ping pong, and badminton) in which you aim to score points by tossing a ball over the net so that your opponent cannot return it to you.

Points can also be earned if the ball is struck outside the non-volley zone or if the opponent volleys the ball. The ball is served by each player alternately, and you can earn points only if you are serving.

If a player or team reaches 11 points ahead of its opponents by two points, the game is won. As long as neither side reaches 11 without a 2-point advantage, the game continues. In pickleball, no tie is ever declared.

USA Pickleball provides a detailed list of pickleball rules. Although the five rules of play comprise more than just five simple guidelines, they are usually referred to as “The Five Rules.”

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General Pickleball Rules

How to play pickleballThese five basic rules can be summarized as follows:

  1. Out-of-bounds plays are not allowed.
  2. You must serve the ball underhand and below the waistline.
  3. It must bounce once on the serving side and once on the receiving side before the ball can be returned. The two-bounce rule is the rule that governs this. The ball can then be volleyed after two bounces.
  4. On a serve, the ball cannot touch the no-volley zone.
  5. There are 11 points, 15 points, or 21 points in a pickleball game. It is typically over at 11 points, but it can also end at 15 and 21.

Tourneys and Organizations

It is possible to get more involved with the sport if you try it and decide you want to learn about equipment, game rules, and tournaments.

Social media and the web are also good sources for finding local organizations.

Health Benefits

Pickleball is also a good way to burn calories and keep in shape, just like all physical activities. Exercise can also help you sleep better, boost your energy level, and lower your risk for certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.

A number of studies have been conducted on the specific health benefits of pickleball following the popularity surge.

Burns Calories

Pickleball burns calories differently depending on a variety of factors including your age and how intensely you play.

You may estimate that pickleball provides a similar workout to tennis or ping pong, but most activity-based calorie calculators don’t include a pickleball category.

Pickleball burns more calories than tennis during an hour than table tennis during an hour.

This calorie calculator can help you estimate how many calories you will burn.

Find Out How Many Calories You’re Burning

Discover Your Activity

Cardiorespiratory health improved

Just 15 older women and men were tested before and after playing pickleball in a study published in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology at the University of Western Colorado.

Researchers found that pickleball players improved blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and cardiorespiratory fitness after playing for an hour at least three times a week for six weeks.

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Well-being improved

Pickleball has been studied for its benefits for older people in a small study published in 2017. 153 older adults recruited for the study were explored for their characteristics, lifestyles, and psychosocial benefits.

Moreover, this study concluded that pickleball might be the perfect exercise for older women who feel lonely or wish to extend their friendships, as well as for those who want a fruitful and productive retirement. Researchers concluded that older adults benefit from the sport.

How do you play pickleball: Tips to Get Started

How to play pickleballBefore starting any physical activity program, it is important to ensure you are healthy. Check with your healthcare provider before playing if you’re managing any medical conditions, if you’ve been injured, or if you’ve been sedentary.

As a result of the hard surface and repeated impact with quick steps and rapid stopping and starting, experts recommend being cautious when playing if you have a functionally limiting musculoskeletal problem (such as severe osteoarthritis).

Trying the sport is also not expensive as there is no need to buy expensive equipment. Rental courts and equipment are available through many local organizations.

Before you invest in pickleball equipment, learn the basics of the game by joining a local pickleball organization.

Pickleball injuries are no different from those in any other sport. According to a study, the most common injuries are sprains or strains of the lower extremities, followed by sprains or strains of the upper extremities and injuries of the trunk and low back. A sudden turning or pivoting movement can also result in injury, according to study authors.

Make sure you warm up before starting a game of pickleball in order to decrease the risk of injury. Run for five minutes or walk briskly before you start playing.

Don’t forget to wear proper eye and footwear protection. A regular cardiovascular workout outside of playing pickleball can also help reduce fatigue related to this sport.

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