What is Pickleball and How is it Played?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that has surged in popularity over the past few years. Local public facilities as well as private clubs such as Exmoor Country Club, Sunset Ridge Country Club and Briarwood Country Club now offer pickleball programs. 

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The game is played on a court with a net similar to tennis, and players use paddles to hit a perforated ball over the net.

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles, and games are typically played to 11 points. The first team to reach 11 points wins the game. Pickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, and it is a popular sport for all ages.

The game is easy to learn and can be quickly mastered with practice. Whether you’re looking for a competitive game or just a fun way to stay active, pickleball is an excellent option.

The benefits of playing pickleball

Playing pickleball has a myriad of health benefits that include improving cardiovascular health, strengthening bones and muscles, and even improving mental health.

Pickleball is a sport that requires quick movements and reactions, all of which help to get the heart pumping and improve cardiovascular health. In addition, pickleball requires players to lunge, bend, and reach, all of which help to tone muscles and strengthen bones.

And finally, the social nature of pickleball can help reduce stress levels and improve mental health. So whether you’re looking to improve your physical or mental health, playing pickleball is a great option.

Why is it called “Pickleball”?

Pickleball was invented in the 1960s by three men from Bainbridge Island, Washington: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.

According to legend, the game was named after Pritchard’s wife’s dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball during games of badminton.

A competing theory is the game was originally called “paddle tennis,” but it was eventually renamed “pickleball” after one of the inventor’s children remarked that it looked like a pickleboat.

The three men designed pickleball as a way to stay active during the long winter months, and it quickly became a hit with their families and friends. Today, pickleball is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down.

Thanks to its simple rules and easy-to-learn gameplay, pickleball is a great way to get moving and have fun at the same time. 

What are the rules of pickleball?

The object of the game is to score points by hitting the ball onto the opponent’s side of the court. The rules of pickleball are designed to provide a fair and enjoyable experience for all players. The following are some of the most important rules:

  • The ball must be served using an underhand stroke.
  • The ball must be hit diagonally across the court.
  • The ball can bounce once before it must be hit again.
  • Players cannot cross the center line of the court.
  • Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds.

How to get started playing pickleball

Pickleball is a relatively new sport that is growing in popularity among all age groups. If you are interested in playing pickleball, the best way to get started is to find a pickleball court in your area.

Many public parks now have pickleball courts, and there may also be pickleball clubs or leagues that you can join. Once you have located a pickleball court, all you need are some comfortable clothes and sneakers, and you are ready to play!

Beginners may want to start by playing against another beginner or taking some lessons from a pickleball coach before jumping into a game. However you decide to get started, pickleball is a fun and easy sport to learn, and it offers a great workout for all levels of players.

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Sky Fitness Chicago in Buffalo Grove

Should you work with a pickleball coach?

Anyone who has played pickleball knows that it is a fast-paced and challenging game. The game requires split-second decisions, quick reflexes, and a deep understanding of the rules.

For many players, reaching the top level of play requires working with a coach. A coach can help identify weaknesses and provide guidance on how to improve. They can also offer feedback on technique and offer drills to help players hone their skills.

In addition, a coach can provide valuable insights into the mental aspects of the game, such as staying calm under pressure and focusing on the task at hand. For these reasons, working with a coach can be an essential part of taking your game to the next level. Find a pickleball coach near you.

Pickleball tournaments and events near you

If you are interested in finding Pickleball tournaments and events near you, there are a few different ways to go about it. There are numerous websites such as that list Pickleball events and places to play.

Another option is to check with your local Pickleball association or club. There are a number of pickleball clubs in the Chicagoland area including the Fosco Park Pickleballers, the Prairie State Pickleball Club, the Palatine Picklers and the Park Ridge Pickleball Club.

Finally, you can always ask around at your local court; other players are usually happy to share information about upcoming events. By taking some time to do a little research, you should have no trouble finding a Pickleball tournament or event near you.

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Walter Lis

Walter Lis is the managing editor of Chicago Golf Report, which launched in 2010.

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