Exploring the Exciting World of Pickleball

Serving Up Fun and Excitement

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has been rapidly growing in popularity in recent years. With its easy-to-learn rules and fast-paced gameplay, pickleball has captured the hearts of both casual players and seasoned athletes. In this article, we will delve into the thrilling world of pickleball and explore the various aspects that make it an exciting and engaging sport.

A Game of Bounces and Hits

Each round of pickleball starts with an underhand serve from outside the court boundaries, similar to tennis. The ball must be served diagonally across the court, and after the serve, it needs to bounce once on each side before players can hit it out of the air or let it bounce once. This unique aspect of the game adds an element of strategy and anticipation, as players must be ready to react quickly to fast-paced exchanges.

The Non-Volley Zone and Scoring Points

To maintain fairness, players are prohibited from hitting the ball out of the air while standing in the non-volley zone, also known as the “kitchen.” Additionally, serves cannot fall within this zone. Points are scored when the opposing team makes a mistake, such as hitting the ball out of bounds. However, it’s important to note that only the serving team can score a point. Traditional scoring involves reaching 11 points with a lead of two or more. However, casual players often opt for a lower score to allow more people to have a turn.

Unveiling Pickleball Lingo

Like any sport, pickleball has its unique set of terminologies that may require some familiarity. For instance, a “dillball” refers to a live ball that has bounced once inbounds during a rally, while a “dink” is a soft hit that lands just over the net in the opponent’s kitchen. The “kitchen,” as mentioned earlier, is the non-volley zone surrounding the net. If a team fails to score any points in a game, they are said to be “pickled.” Lastly, a “volley llama” denotes an illegal move in which a player hits a volley shot from the non-volley zone.

Engulfed in the spirit of camaraderie and competition, pickleball offers a unique experience unlike any other sport. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking for some fun and exercise, this sport has something to offer for everyone. So grab your paddle, step onto the court, and get ready to serve, volley, and score your way to victory in the thrilling world of pickleball.

This article appears in the August 2022 issue of Washingtonian.

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