Pickleball paddle and ball

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a racquet sport that has been rapidly growing in popularity in recent years with elements reminiscent of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis.  With its straightforward rules, the game is easy to learn with most people able to play after only a few instructions.  For a fast paced sport, the game is also low impact which makes it a favorite among seniors and people who do not want to put too much strain on their bodies.  It s enjoyed by all skill levels because of its short learning curve.  One of the reasons that makes pickleball so accessible is open play, where people can just show up to a court and get in the queue to play without having to setup a game.  The most popular way to play pickleball is in a doubles team.  These reasons have made pickleball the fastest growing sport in the US today.

How did Pickleball start?

Most pickleball historians trace the game back to Bainbridge Island, Washington back in the summer of 1965. Three friends – Barney McCallum, Joel Pritchard, and Bill Bell – invented a new game for their families to play.  Pickleball has grown exponentially in popularity specially in recent years. It has spread in popularity from the Pacific Northwest to the rest of the world.

Why is pickleball called pickleball?

There are a couple of stories as to where the name pickleball came from. One is that pickleball got its name from an unlikely source – one of the game’s creators’ pet dog, Pickles. Pickles was a playful pup who would often dart around the court and snatch up the ball during games. Hence, it was Pickle’s ball. The family welcomed their new dog several years after the creation of the game, which has been a subject of debate as to whether or not it was actually responsible for sparking the idea. Instead, they believe the name comes from “pickle boats,” which are leftover boats from competitive racing that typically have a few players onboard. The term became associated with pickleball as the game’s rules contain similar elements from badminton, ping-pong, and tennis.

What equipment do you need to play pickleball?

Playing pickleball is fun and easy to learn, but having the right equipment can make all the difference. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, it’s important to have the proper gear in order to play your best game. Players can pick up the essential items needed to play pickleball – such as paddles, balls, and nets – at most sporting goods stores for a reasonable cost, allowing them to experience the fun and fast-paced game without breaking the bank.

Pickleball Paddle

The most basic and important piece of equipment is the pickleball paddle. It’s essential to choose one that fits your hand size and playing style, as well as the type of ball you’re using.

Pickleball Balls

Of course you’ll need something to hit around the pickleball court–pickleball balls! According to the official rules, the balls must be smooth and texture-fee, made of durable, molded material and of one uniform color. There are two types based on where you’re playing: indoor or outdoor. Indoor balls are lighter and softer and have 26 evenly spaced holes while outdoor balls are heavier, harder, and have 40 holes.

Pickleball Net

The net is at least 21 feet 9 inches long extending from the inside of one post to the inside of the other post and made with a mesh fabric that doesn’t allow the ball to pass through.

Pickleball Accessories

In addition to the proper gear, you’ll also need to wear the right clothing and shoes when playing pickleball. Clothing should be comfortable, non-restrictive, and made from breathable fabrics like cotton or polyester. Court shoes with a flat sole and proper traction are a must as well. Finally, you may also want to use gloves or other accessories for improved grip and comfort.

How to play pickleball?


A pickleball court is 44 feet long by 20 feet wide–about the same size as a doubles badminton court.  A net, 36 inches high on the ends and 34 inches high in the middle, divides the court on its short side into two equal halves.  Two lines seven feet from each side of the net encompass the non-volley zone–also commonly called the kitchen.  Two centerlines run from the baselines at the ends of the court to the non-volley zone lines dividing the rest of the court into the left and right service areas.


Players must make their pickleball serves starting from behind the baseline and within the area created by extending the sideline. The serve must be underhand, with the paddle making contact with the ball below waist-level. The serve must be diagonally across the court to land in the opposite service area.  The serving team continues to serve the ball until they commit a fault.  When they do the serve switches to the opposing team.

Double bounce rule:  

The receiving team must let the ball bounce first before hitting it back.  That’s the first bounce.  After the receiving team returns the ball, the serving team must also let the ball bounce before returning it.  That’s the second bounce–hence, the double bounce rule.


In pickleball only the serving team can score points, which they do when the opposing team commits a fault.  Whichever team scores eleven points first, and as long as they have two or more points over the other team, wins the game.


Any action that stops play because of a rule violation is a fault. This can something like a player double hitting the ball, stepping outside the imaginary lines during serves or volleys, not waiting for the ball to cross the net before volleying, volleying outside of the non-volley zone, or having their paddle touch the net during play. 


There are several basic shots that pickleball players must be familiar with in order to become better in the game.


The shot that starts the game. Ideally, you want to hit this deep into the opposing team’s court.


The aim of the return of serve shot is to keep the pressure on the serving team and make them have a more difficult shot. You want to hit this shot deep to keep the opposing team on the baseline away from the kitchen.


The drop is the third shot of the game after the serve and the return of serve. Ideally, it should drop into the kitchen. This prevents the opposing team from attacking the ball and gives the serving team time to get to the non-volley zone.


A dink is a soft, controlled shot hit from the non-volley zone. Used properly it can be both a defensive and offensive shot. The aim is to hit the ball softly over the net and have it drop quickly on the opposing team’s kitchen area forcing them to hit upwards on the return shot.


A pickleball volley shot is a powerful stroke that requires a swift and precise action from the player. This shot involves hitting the ball while it is still in the air after it has been served or returned, without allowing it to bounce on the court. It requires great hand-eye coordination as well as accuracy and timing to execute. Proper positioning on the court can also be beneficial when attempting a volley shot as it allows for more maneuverability and control over the direction, spin, and speed of the ball. Additionally, strategic thinking plays a major role in successful volleys as players must anticipate their opponents’ shots and determine how to best return them.


Much like the dink, the reset shot is a soft, controlled shot but hit either from the baseline or transition area instead of the non-volley zone. It aims to take the pressure off from deep drives and help the receiving players make their way to the non-volley zone.

Pickleball is a fast-paced sport that continues to grow in popularity! With easy rules and no need for expensive equipment, pickleball offers all the fun of tennis or badminton in a much smaller space. Whether you’re playing with friends, family, or competitively against other players, pickleball can be an exciting addition to your routine. Pickleball is a great way to stay active and have fun while socializing and making new connections.