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What is Pickleball and Why You Should Play This Holiday Season

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Every fall and winter, family and friends all over the US come together to celebrate and create lasting memories. Food, fun, laughter, and warmth all describe a perfect holiday season.

For some crowds, fun means something, well…a little more active! In fact, many families and friends have made games like pick-up basketball and flag football an annual tradition during the colder months.

If this is you or you’re looking for a fun, easy group activity to start your own annual tradition with, look no further! We have something a little unique this year to share with you: Pickleball. And no, it doesn’t involve a pickle-eating competition.

 

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a relatively new sport that originated in the United States in the 1960s. It was invented by three dads who wanted to create a fun activity that their kids could play in their backyard.

The game quickly caught on and has since become one of the fastest-growing amateur athletic sports. Pickleball is played on a court that is about a third of the size of a tennis court and uses a paddle and a plastic ball with holes.

The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into your opponent's court without them being able to return it. 

So, why should you be playing pickleball? For starters, it's a great way to stay active and healthy, especially during the holiday season when we tend to be more sedentary.

Pickleball provides a full-body workout that improves your cardiovascular health, builds strength and endurance, and enhances your agility and balance. 
Plus, it's a low-impact sport that is gentle on your joints, making it an ideal activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.

 

What You’ll Need to Play Pickleball 

  1. Pickleball Paddles:
The first thing you need to play pickleball is a paddle. The paddle is like a small tennis racquet that you use to hit the ball over the net. There are many different types of paddles available, and they come in a range of materials and sizes.
When choosing a paddle, you want to make sure it's the right size and weight for you, and that it feels comfortable in your hand. The best way to find the right paddle is to try a few out and see which one you like best.

  1. Pickleball Balls:
The next thing you'll need is a pickleball. This is a lightweight plastic ball that is similar to a wiffle ball. Pickleballs come in a range of colors, but the most common are yellow or white.
When choosing a pickleball, you want to look for one that has a consistent bounce and is easy to see. Some pickleballs are designed for indoor use, while others are better suited for outdoor play.

  1. Pickleball Court:
A pickleball court is similar in size to a badminton court and is marked with boundary lines. You can play pickleball on many different types of surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, or even in the grass.
If you don't have access to a dedicated court, you can also set up a makeshift court in a park or on your driveway.

 

How to Play Pickleball  

The game is played on a court that is similar to a tennis court. The court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with a 36-inch-high net dividing it into two sides. The game can be played in singles or doubles format. 

The objective of the game is to hit the ball over the net and into the opponent's court while following specific rules. Among these rules is the double bounce rule, which means that a player must allow the ball to bounce once before returning it to the opponent.

To be a great pickleball player, you need to master techniques such as the serve, forehand shot, backhand shot, and dink shot. 

  • The serve is the shot that starts the game and is crucial to know how to perform.
  • The forehand shot involves hitting the ball with the same side as the player's primary hand.
  • The backhand shot, on the other hand, involves hitting the ball with the opposite side of the player's primary hand.
  • As for the dink shot, it is a delicate shot that requires finesse and strategy to execute.

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles, and the rules are similar to those of tennis and ping pong. The game starts with a serve, and the players take turns hitting the ball until one side misses. The first team to reach 11 points (with a two-point lead) wins the game.

Conclusion

Pickleball is kicking things up a notch and refreshing the holiday family tradition of group activities for 2023!

It’s an enjoyable and healthy way to bond with your friends and family while getting some exercise and fresh air after cutting the pumpkin pie and sharing some warm cider.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a beginner, pickleball is easy to learn and offers endless opportunities for fun and socializing. So, dust off your sneakers, grab a paddle, and head to the nearest court for a game of pickleball! You won't regret it.