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About Pickleball

What Is Pickleball? History Of Pickleball

Pickleball, a blend of badminton and tennis, features wooden paddles, a modified tennis-like net (22 ft wide, 36 in tall), and has become a sports sensation.

Although pickleball came into being in 1965 by their founding fathers Joel Pritchard (Congressman), Barney McCallum (Businessman), and Bill Bell in Washington DC, it only gained burgeoning levels of popularity after its first tournament was held, resulting in plenty of enthusiasm across the nation.

Why the Word “Pickleball”?

Why is Pickleball Called Pickleball? The name itself lies in the gray area as the origin story for its terminology lies behind two theories which are mentioned below.

1. Pritchards’ dog Theory

Joel Pritchard, a founding father and congressman, owned a dog named Pickle, a mix of a cocker spaniel and a poodle.

The dog got its name because it was a mix, just like the sport Joel and his friends played – a mix of badminton, tennis, and table tennis.

Pickle had a habit of taking off with the ball during their games, leading to them playfully calling it a “Pickle” after the chase.

2. Pickle Boat Theory

One theory about the origin of the name “Pickleball” suggests it comes from a “Pickle Boat,” a leftover and less desirable type of boat for rowing.

These boats were considered messy and ineffective, particularly by serious rowers.

However, the true origin of the term remains a mystery, as there is no solid evidence to support any particular theory.

What Is Pickleball A Combination Of?

Up until now, Pickleball has been deemed a casual sport designed for those individuals who didn’t really want to be bound by strict rules and a restricted scoring system,

Henceforth, it originated from three renowned sports Badminton, Table Tennis, and standard tennis.

Point Of Origin

Bainbridge Island, Washington is the point of origin of the sports and was invested by the three founding fathers of casual sports Joel Pritchard (Congressman), Barney McCallum (Businessman), and Bill Bell.

General Rules of Pickleball

Played in a badminton-size court varying between two or four players at a time, called singles or doubles, however, in order to accommodate four players at once, a full fledge court is necessitated. 

On the other hand, mini courts can also be used if the number of players doesn’t exceed two individuals each carrying a wooden racquet. 

The ball used in this sport is a wiffle ball with small holes, allowing wind to influence its direction when hit. The wiffle ball resembles Swiss cheese due to the shape of holes and has a slower traversal rate than a traditional ball.

However, these are just the basic rules, there are some other intermediate rules you have to follow:

The Kitchen Rules of Pickleball are as follows:

  • Volleying from within the kitchen area is not allowed and is deemed a Fault.
  • The kitchen area ranges up to 7 feet from the net on each side from the center post.

The Pickleball Volley Rules are as follows:

  • Volleyshots can be performed by either player anywhere on the court.
  • However, in the kitchen region, only those shots can be performed if the ball has bounced once, otherwise resulting in fault.
  • Volleying other than the kitchen region can be performed before the ball is bounced.

The paddle rules are simple and straightforward and most inclined towards the dimensions of the paddle.

  • The paddle used must be made from wood or similar composite or graphite and shouldn’t be thicker than 1.5 inches.
  • The length of the paddle shouldn’t be longer than 17 inches.
  • It has a width of 8 inches.
  • Anything enhancing the effects of the rubber or the paddle is prohibited and is deemed illegal.
  • Abrasive content that may manipulate the shot or shiny stickers used to distract other players is illegal.

Pickleball Line Call Rules are similar to Badminton,

  • Line Calls are made by corresponding players on the court and are used to raise objections over the fact whether the ball is in or out of the court.
  • Linecall Replays are only applicable if both of the player objections cannot be settled.
  • Both players can call out regardless of the situation, if one player hesitates to call out in time, the other player can proceed to raise an objection.
  • Depending on the type of policy of the league, tournament, or series, penalties will be imposed for incorrect calls or false line calls.
  • Volleying the ball over the server side is prohibited.
  • Each side of the net is assigned a baseline, which is a serve-free zone where the ball has to be served underhand.
  • A serve is only legal if it bounces on the server side as well as the opponent’s play zone

The whole point of being a server is that it has to be advantageous as only the player serving can decide the direction he or she has to take. While wind also plays a huge role where the ball generally has to land on the playing field, the deciding factor is usually in the mind of the server.

Crucial Pickleball Strategies
(Single Format)

Subsequently, here are some strategies in pickleball when played in the “Singles” Format.

1. Kitchen Control

In pickleball, keep your opponent moving, play smart, and stay out of the kitchen zone to win.

When volleying, avoid faults by staying away from the “No Volley Zone.”

2. Shot Variation

Switch up your shots with different grips, stay unpredictable, and use dynamic footwork for serves and volleys.

It tires out your opponent and gives you better control in rallies.

3. Agility is the key

Always stay alert, keep focused, and study your opponent’s moves. Shoot quickly to have better control and peak efficiency.

4. Serve Accuracy

A strong serve from the baseline gives you control. Aim accurately to make your shot powerful and keep the ball’s momentum consistent. Don’t miss the opportunity by serving poorly.

5. Lob With Situation

Lobs are good for sending the ball back but be careful. If you’re not sure it’ll give your opponent a hard time, you might face a tough shot that’s tough to handle.

Pickleball Doubles Strategy

Strategies from the Single format also apply in double format, however, there are some additional key strategies that are necessitated.

1. Proper Positioning

In doubles pickleball, position yourself and your partner strategically to confuse opponents and easily counterattack.

2. Communication is the key

Communicating with your doubles partner is key. It reduces errors and helps decide the next move. Poor communication can hurt the game, especially in competitive sports.

3. Effective Lob

Play Double Format pickleball by splitting the court into two parts for each player. One player stays close to the kitchen for quick rebounds, while the other defends the top to block lobs and respond with strong lunges.

4. Poach With Synergy

Poach or drop shots work with good positioning and communication. In competitive games, effective poaching is key for success.

Pickleball Hand Signals

Both teams are allowed legal hand gestures, which are as follows:

How To Play Pickleball?

Pickleball is played in single or double format and initiated through service shots, Each shot should be rebounded back and forth over the net, and a point is scored after a ball is missed, thrown out of bounds, or hits the net.

A service shot can only be performed underhand and requires the ball to bounce at both the server side as well as the opposing team side. 

After a service shot, the ball can be either volleyed or groundstrokes until a maximum score of 11 is achieved, however, a game is only won by either team after a game point is achieved.

Pickleball 101 – Terminologies Of The Game

Here are a couple of Pickleball terminology you can use in the game.

Common Pickleball Myths & Misconceptions

It’s only A Casual Sport

Pickleball has gone from casual to big-time, with 5 million players in the US. It’s not just fun; there are serious leagues and tournaments too.

It’s Virtually Safe To Play

Pickleball, like any sport, can cause injuries. Be careful to avoid muscle pulls and harm on the court.

New Pickleball Rule Changes Effective As Of 2024

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has enforced new rules which are in effect as of January 1st, 2024.

  • Players are prohibited from Wearing clothes that match the color of the ball.
  • None of the opponents are allowed to comment or objectify each other’s playstyle or call.
  • Match initiation through Single Handed service is no longer legal as it is deemed prohibited.

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) reserves the right to change, prohibit, or introduce any policy or rule, depending on the feedback received as the sport evolves to make it more feasible and fair for both teams.

Pickleball Essential

Bucket List Pickleball Gears

Pickler Paddles
Pickleball Shoes
Pickleball Net
Picklers Machine

How We Test Pickleball Gears?

Paddle Testing

Warm up and assess grip, weight, and balance. Evaluate control, power, and feel during different strokes.

Shoe Testing

Wear shoes for lateral movements, sprints, and stops. Check grip, comfort, support, and breathability on the court.

Net Testing

Set up and test net stability. Evaluate durability, ease of assembly, and compliance with pickleball regulations.

Ball Testing

Play rallies to assess bounce, weight, and visibility. Observe responsiveness to various shots and check for consistency.

Other Gear Testing

Wear additional gear, evaluating comfort and functionality. Consider features like moisture-wicking and adaptability to pickleball conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically, a ball made from soft plastic material with uniform holes that resemble Swiss cheese is used in a Pickleball. These balls are easily manipulated by wind and weigh no more than 20 grams.

Any prohibited action such as touching the net, volleying in the kitchen zone, etc. warrants a fault which results in a score of points for the opposition.

A Lob is a high-arching shot that is performed over the head of the opponent and usually is performed to enforce pressure on the opponent. It also helps a server relocate to their spot in case they are out of position.

ATP Stands for an Around-the-post shot which is performed by quickly lunging a ball nearly across the post by hitting it with a paddle, without making contact with the net.

Sides are switched when any of the teams reaches a 7 or 11 score, resulting in a change of sides on the court.

When a serve shot hits the top of the net and lands in the kitchen zone of the opponent side is known as A Let-In. However, this action is no longer legal as there is no fair way to counter it, and can no longer be applied in tournaments and leagues.

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