What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of pickleball? Yes, pickleball. The thing your grandma plays. Well, that’s just it — for most people the first thought that comes to mind is a group of Florida retirees partaking in a friendly game at their condo’s shared court.
But pickleball isn’t just for Florida transplants over the age of 65. In fact, this warm-weather sport is trending among 30-somethings. Even the Kardashians played pickleball on their show.
If you’re into racquet sports, don’t discount pickleball. Here’s what you need to know about this trending sport.
WHAT IS PICKLEBALL?
Pickleball is kind of like a mix between tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Essentially, your hand/eye coordination better be good.
You’ll need special paddles, a Wiffle ball and two or four players. Most tennis courts will have special lines that are intended for a pickleball game. The rules are quite quirky but resemble something like tennis.
There are a bunch of shot techniques and special names for them. For example, “dink” is like a drop shot in tennis. And “kitchen” is the small box near the net that’s considered the “non-volley zone,” so try to stay out of there.
It’s all a little funky, but play a few games and you’ll start to get the hang of it.
So, where the heck did this quirky game come from? It was invented back in 1965 by a Washington politician, Joel Pritchard, and two of his friends. Their goal when creating the game was to entertain their families.
There are a couple of theories behind the name, pickleball, depending on who you ask. The first places Pritchard’s cocker spaniel, Pickles, as its main inspiration. And the second credits one of the founder’s wives with describing the game like a pickle boat used in rowing.