Pickleball Facts and Q&As: Learn the Basics

Are you interested in understanding basic pickleball facts because you’re minutes away from your first match with a friend who has been bugging you to play for the last six months? Then give this FAQ a quick read!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Played in singles or doubles, the result is an engaging game that is easy to play for people of all ages. Pickleball equipment includes a whiffle-style ball instead of a shuttlecock and paddles instead of rackets. It’s played on what amounts to a condensed tennis court with a shorter net.

How do you play pickleball?

Pickleball is a two or four player game, similar to tennis or ping pong. Pickleball rules are easy to understand, fortunately.

Why is it called “pickleball?”

How pickleball got its name is the subject of some confusion. One of the founder’s wife says that she named it “pickleball” because β€œthe combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.” Another explanation is that it was named after the family dog, Pickles (which is a cute name for a dog, let’s be honest about that).

When was pickleball invented?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – whose families were bored.

How do you serve in pickleball?

There are three important things to know about the pickleball serve:

  1. The serve needs to be “underhanded”
  2. The ball needs to be below your waste when struck
  3. The paddle needs to be below your wrist when struck

What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?

The dimensions of a pickleball court are 44 feet long sidelines, 20 feet long baselines, and a net in the cuts the court in half that measure 20 feet long and about 3 feet in height.

Who invented pickleball?

Three fathers – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – invented pickleball.

What is a volley in pickleball?

A pickleball volley is when you hit the ball back towards your opponents’ side of the court before the ball touches the ground. There are some rules surrounding when and where you can volley, however, so be sure not to get overly excited and try to volley every shot!

How high is a pickleball net?

A pickleball net is 34 inches high in the center and 36 inches (3 feet) high in at the two posts on the end. This is about the same height as a tennis net, but it’s not as long across the court.

What does a pickleball look like?

It looks like a wiffle ball with more uniformly placed holes so it doesn’t spin as unpredictably, and it is closer in size to a softball.

What is the kitchen in pickleball?

The kitchen – also known as the “non-volley zone” – is an area of the pickleball court on each side of the net. It’s important because players may not volley the ball while standing on the kitchen line, in the kitchen itself, or stepping into the kitchen while following through with a volley. Doing so results in a fault.

Can you play pickleball on a tennis court?

Yes, in fact, tennis courts are suitable for pickleball due to their flat surfaces, dimensions (you can fit two pickleball courts on one tennis court), and the reusability of some of the tennis court lines.

What is the double bounce rule?

Simply put, the double bounce rule (or “two bounce rule”) means that each team cannot hit the their first shot after the serve until the ball bounces on their side of the court once. That is, the receiving team must let the serve bounce before returning it, and the serving team must let the receiving team’s shot bounce before hitting it back. After those two bounces, each team may volley if they’d like.

What is the non-volley zone in pickleball?

The non-volley zone is the same as the kichen (see above).

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