Pickleball: The Hottest New Game of the Fall

A Fun and Accessible Sport for All Ages

Pickleball is taking the world by storm. This unique sport, which combines elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton, has been gaining popularity rapidly in recent years. With even celebrities like Alex Drummond and Ree’s oldest daughter taking part in the game, it’s clear that pickleball has made its mark in the world of sports.

What exactly is pickleball? It’s a family-friendly game that can be played both singles and doubles. The court is similar to a tennis court but smaller in size, and instead of using rackets, players use paddles and a plastic ball. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, making it accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.

One of the reasons behind pickleball’s wide appeal is its low-impact nature. Unlike high-intensity sports, pickleball is easier on the joints and muscles, making it suitable for individuals who may not be pro athletes or regular gym-goers. This accessibility factor has contributed to pickleball being named the “fastest-growing sport over the last two years” by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.

If you haven’t already tried pickleball, now is the perfect time to start. The rules are easy to understand, and learning the game is a breeze. However, don’t let the simplicity fool you; pickleball can quickly turn into a competitive and adrenaline-pumping activity. So, grab your pickleball set and gather your besties for an exciting match.

So, why is it called pickleball? The origin of the name has interesting theories. According to one story, the wife of one of the game’s founders started calling it pickleball because the diverse mix of sports reminded her of the motley crew of rowers in “pickle boat races” at certain universities. Another theory claims that the game was named after the founders’ family dog, whose name was Pickles.

Now, let’s talk about the rules of pickleball. Before you start playing, you’ll need to find a pickleball court, which can be located online or at a gym or recreation center with a badminton or pickleball court. Once you’re on the court, the objective is to hit the ball back and forth, similar to tennis, until one player misses. The serve must be underhand and below waist level, and it must bounce before the opponent can return it. Points are only scored when the serving team wins, and the game goes up to 11 points, with a two-point winning margin required. There’s also a “no-volley zone” known as “the kitchen,” which is a designated area within seven feet of the net where players are not allowed to volley the ball.

While these rules may seem complicated at first, they become clearer as you play a game or two. Additionally, you can refer to the official rules provided by USA Pickleball for a more detailed understanding.

In conclusion, pickleball is the game of the moment. Its appeal lies in its accessibility, making it suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking for a fun way to stay active, pickleball offers an exciting and engaging experience. So, gather your friends, head to the court, and let the pickleball era begin!

Kara Zauberman, the senior editor of content strategy at The Pioneer Woman, covers a wide range of stories from food to lifestyle news. When she’s not writing or editing, she enjoys discovering new restaurants and cooking for her loved ones.

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