What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a paddle game similar to tennis but played on a small court with a paddle and plastic ball. Watch this short video below to learn more, or click HERE for the official game rule book.
- Player 1 serves underhand from behind the baseline to start the point. The ball must bounce in the service box on the opposite side of the net where Player 2 hits a return over the net into Player 1's court.
- After the ball has bounced once in each player's court, players can begin volleying, but must avoid having their feet planted in the no-volley zone when volleying (the no-volleyzone, also known as "the kitchen", is the area between the net and the service box).
- A player loses the point when he/she fails to hit the ball into the opponent's court before 2 bounces, when faulting a serve, or when making a volley shot with their foot in the no-volley zone.
Pickleball players at the most basic level need a pickleball paddle, pickleball balls, athletic clothing, and court shoes specifically made for the surface played on (hard-court pavement or indoor hard-wood floor). Many local racquet sports stores now sell pickleball paddles and balls, and their staff will be able to help you make the purchases you need. The information below may also help you make an informed decision when buying equipment without the help of a sales associate.
Choosing a Pickleball Paddle
Pickleball paddles must meet regulation standards for tournament play as outlined by the International Federation of Pickleball rulebook (found HERE). Paddles can be made from many different materials and set at many different price points. The following video can help you decide which paddle to choose. Most players choose paddles made of composite or graphite materials in the 50 to 100 dollar range.
Choosing a Pickleball Ball
Pickleball playing balls are not whiffle balls. They are balls that are specifically designed for pickleball, and also for their pickleball surface played on (hardwood floor or hard-court pavement). It`s best to buy a ball that is USATA approved for best performance. Onix brand pickleball balls are among the best quality balls currently available.
Choosing Pickleball Court Shoes
Pickleball specific shoes are not currently made, but many players will benefit from badminton and tennis shoes that are made for the specific court surface that they are playing on. Players playing on courts in gymnasiums will benefit from badminton shoes made for hardwood floor use, while players playing on pavement or hard-courts will benefit from hard-court tennis shoes. Badminton and tennis shoes are designed specifically for quick stopping and pivoting movements which occur often in pickleball, and their use can help prevent injury and help maintain balanced and efficient movement. Running shoes are not designed for such movements and therefore do not provide the same foot support and safety designs as badminton and tennis court shoes provide.
Choosing Pickleball Clothing
Pickleball can be played with any athletic shirts, socks, and shorts or skorts. Other clothing that many players prefer to have include headbands, sweatbands, and caps. Clothes made from sweat-whicking polyester materials (not cotton) are commonly used by players.
To learn about private tennis or pickleball lessons, click HERE.