Pickleball history | Pickleball origin | what is Pickleball, rules, court and paddles

What is pickleball? Pickleball origin, history, rules, court and paddles

If you like racket sports , you've probably wondered what pickleball is and why it's causing a stir among paddle tennis or tennis fans . This new sport is booming and its practice has become a trend among racket sports lovers. Today, pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States. At the same time, the number of his followers is increasing in the rest of the world, particularly in Spain. Pickleball allows any player to enjoy great competition, regardless of age or previous experience. In short, it is a sport that allows anyone to exercise.

Pickleball paddles are made of wood, composite or graphite. The weight is between 220 and 230 grams. And, between the length and the width they cannot exceed 61 cm. The pickleball court has the same lines as a tennis court, that is, they have a right and a left service zone, and a 2.13-meter non-volley area in front of the net.

Dave Weinbach is currently the best player in this paddle sport . Before finding the sport in 2009, he spent decades pursuing his passion for athletics. In addition, he has several business companies. And he even went on to coach for the US Olympic table tennis team. Since then, he has become one of pickleball 's most successful and decorated players setting many records. He has won more than 150 gold medals, 10 US Open titles and 9 USAPA Nationals.


  • What is pickleball?
  • Origin and history of pickleball
  • pickleball rules
  • pickleball court dimensions
  • Pickleball rackets and paddles
  • Balls in pickleball equipment
  • Pickleball equipment – ​​pickleball net

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a new paddle  sport, which combines elements of tennis, paddle tennis, badminton and ping pong. It is played with two to four players using solid wood or composite pickleball paddles to strike a perforated polymer ball, much like a Wiffle ball. The ball has 26 to 40 round holes and consists of passing it over a net. This sport shares features with other racket sports, but the dimensions and layout of the pickleball court are somewhat different.

To understand what pickleball is and what its objective is, you must know that the rules of the game determine that the first to reach 11 points is proclaimed the winner, as long as a difference of two points is respected. As in all racket sports, when hitting the ball with the pickleball paddles , it must go over the net to the opponent's field. In addition, the ball must enter the delineated field and without touching the ground twice. The only difference with respect to other racket games is that only the player or the couple that serves can score points. And the points can only be won by the player who has served and it takes place when the opponent fails.

Origin and history of pickleball

Pickleball was created during the summer of 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Joel Pritchard, who would later be a congressman and lieutenant governor, was returning from playing golf with Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, when they found the families bored with him. They tried to set up a badminton match, but no one could find the shuttlecock so they improvised with a wiffle ball. They took down the badminton net and made pickleball paddles out of plywood.

Pickleball grew from the 1970s distributed by Pickle-Ball, Inc. in the Pacific Northwest to warmer areas. The first sponsors were "Thousand Trails", a Seattle company that installed courts along the West Coast. The United States Pickleball National Championships are held near Palm Springs, California, co-organized by Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of Oracle and owner of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, where they have been played since 2018. As of 2021, there were 57 countries associated with the International Federation. The number of Americans who have been interested in learning about pickleball and have started in this sport increased by 21.3% in 2020. In 2021, the Sport and Fitness Association declared that the pickleball was the fastest growing sport in America.

And, as a curiosity, the name of this shovel sport comes from the Pritchard family dog ​​named Pickles. Joan Pritchard, the wife of Joel Pritchard, used the dog's name, as the game reminded her of the Pickle Boat crew.

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pickleball rules

To understand what pickleball is and how to win in a game, you must know that points are obtained only in the service. When your opponent misses, you get a point and the first to 11 points wins.

Serves and the double dribble rule

The serves change based on the type of hit made. In the low blow you have to take the ball from below without touching it. The arm must have it in movement in the form of an ascending arc and the head of the shovel must also be placed below the wrist when you hit the ball. You have to pass the service over the net and the non-volley line, dribbling the ball diagonally into the opponent's field. You only have one serve, unlike in other racket sports where there are two serves. And, if you serve, you have to continue serving by alternating the pickleball lane until you miss.

The game rules state that you need to let the ball bounce before returning it to the other side of the pickleball court . That is, whoever receives the serve can only return the ball after it has touched the ground. And, in addition, whoever has taken out can only return the rest again after the ball makes contact with the ground. From these two returns restricted by the double dribble rule, it is allowed to play with unrestricted volleys. Also, according to the rules of pickleball, you have to take into account the Non-Volley Zone, where the player cannot volley while inside the non-volley zone. But, the player can return the ball in the non-volley zone if the ball has already bounced, that is, as long as it is not a volley.

fouls in pickleball

  • The pickleball rules indicate that if the ball does not enter the correct zone on the serve, a foul is produced.
  • Volleying before the ball has bounced once on each court after the serve (double bounce rule) is also considered a foul.
  • According to the official regulations it is forbidden to hit the ball in the net.
  • Neither can you touch the net with the shovel or the body.
  • The pickleball rules also penalize the execution of a volley in the non-volley zone.
  • It is forbidden to step on the non-volley line or be in that area during a volley or fall into it after hitting.
  • You cannot touch the non-volley zone and the lines that delimit it with the racket, clothing or any other belongings that the player is carrying before or after volleying.
  • Under pickleball rules, a foul occurs if an attempt to hit the ball on serve is missed.
  • The ball is not allowed to bounce twice on the pickleball court before being hit.
  • Pickleball rules do not allow the ball to touch any part of the clothing or body of the player involved in the hit (with the exception of the hand holding the paddle, which is considered an extension of the paddle).

pickleball court dimensions

The dimensions of the standard pickleball court are:

  • Total Playing Area: Under pickleball rules , the total playing area, including the pickleball court and outer perimeter, must be a minimum of 30' wide by 60' long. The optimum dimension is 10.40 m wide by 19.50 m long. The recommended minimum spacing around the pickleball court is 3 m to each end line and 2 m to each side line to allow player movement safely.
  • Pickleball court dimensions : The official regulation determines that the pickleball court must measure 6.10 m wide by 13.41 m long for both singles and doubles matches.
  • Pickleball Court Lines : The playing surface measures to the outside of the court lines. These lines must be 5cm wide and be of the same colour, clearly contrasting with the color of the playing surface.
  • Net height: Pickleball rules state that the height of the net should be 92 cm at each end and 86 cm in the center.

track lines

  • End lines: These are lines parallel to the net at the end of each side of the pickleball court .
  • Sidelines: The sidelines are the lines perpendicular to the net on both sides of the pickleball court .
  • Center Line: The center line is the line on each side of the net that divides the area between the non-volley line and the baseline into two halves.

Court areas: non-volley zone, service box

  • Non-Volley Lines: The non-volley lines are the lines parallel to the net on either side of the pickleball court perpendicular to the side lines. Under pickleball rules , these lines are 2.13 m from the net.
  • Non-Volley Zone: The non-volley zone is the area of ​​the pickleball court between the two sidelines, the non-volley line and the net. Non-volley lines and sidelines are considered to be included in the non-volley zone.
  • Service Box: The service boxes are the areas on either side of the center line, bounded by the non-volley zone line, the end line and the side line.

Pickleball rackets and paddles

Pickleball paddles are often made of wood or a high-tech composite material. The price of the blades ranges between €20 and €100. Pickleball rules limit the length and width of the paddles, which in combination cannot exceed 24 inches. There are no restrictions on the thickness or weight of the racket. Pickleball paddles that produce a trampoline effect or an effect similar to that of a string racket are prohibited by the International Federation.

Balls in pickleball equipment

The official pickleball ball is made of plastic and has dimensions between 7 and 7.5 cm in diameter and a weight between 22 and 26 grams. There are no color restrictions. The International Pickleball Federation has authorized the following balls for official tournaments: Cosom Fun Ball, Dura Fast 40, Dura Fast 26 (large hole), Easton, Jugs Bulldog, Mach-Z, Onix Sports 503, Rawlings, TNT and Uniker Sport Ace 40. For more information on the balls see the IFP list of Regulation Balls for Tournaments.

Pickleball equipment – ​​pickleball net

The pickleball net is similar to the nets used for tennis and paddle tennis.

  • Net Length: Under pickleball rules , the net is 6.7m long. It straddles the 20- foot-wide pickleball court .
  • Net Height: The height of the pickleball net reaches 36 inches at each end and 34 inches in the center.

It is possible to play with fixed or mobile networks. Fixed nets have posts that are attached to the surface of the court. Portable nets are very easy to set up and quickly take down. These nets allow you to play anywhere there is a hard, flat surface.

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