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What is Pickleball? The Newest Sport Taking the Nation by Storm
By Jack Oswald
What is Pickleball? This may be a question you are asking yourself if you have seen people playing the sport in your neighborhood or at the park. Pickleball is a mix of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. It is a paddle sport that can be played by anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability. In this blog post, we will discuss what pickleball is, how to play it, and why it has become so popular in such a short amount of time!
First, let's start with the beginning by exploring pickleball's history. This game called pickleball was invented in 1956 on an island called Bainbridge, which is just a short boat ride from Seattle, Washington. The pickleball game evolved and gained prominence worldwide thanks to the dads Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, and their kids who created games for their summertime activities.
The pickleball game was made with only handmade equipment at the time and is currently growing internationally and has good popularity mostly in European and Asian countries.
Let's look at the timeline respectively.
Detailed Pickleball History Timeline
on Bainbridge Island
Joel Pritchard, a congressman from Washington State, and Bill Bell, a wealthy entrepreneur, arrived at Pritchard's residence on Bainbridge Island, WA (close to Seattle), after a Saturday of golfing, to find their family members lounging with nothing to do.
Pritchard and Bell searched the premises for some badminton equipment to use the old badminton court, but they were unable to locate a complete set of rackets.
They improvised and began playing using ping pong paddles and a plastic ball that had holes punched into it. They volleyed the ball across the net at the badminton height of 60 inches in the beginning.
The ball bounced beautifully on the asphalt surface as the weekend went on, and the net was eventually reduced to 36 inches.
At Pritchard's house the following weekend, Barney McCallum was given his first taste of the game.
Soon, the three men established rules that extensively incorporated badminton. They stayed true to the original intent, which was to offer a game that the entire family could enjoy together.
Original Pickleball court
In the yard of Bob O'Brian, a neighbor and good friend of Joel Pritchard, the very first permanent pickleball court was built.
To safeguard the development of this new sport, a corporation was established.
The pickleball story that appeared in The National Observer was accompanied by one on "America's newest racquet sport" in Tennis magazine in 1976.
The first pickleball competition ever recorded took place at the South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington, in the spring of 1976.
Men's Singles champion David Lester finished ahead of Steve Paranto in second. College athletes who knew little to nothing about pickleball made up a significant portion of the participants. They started practicing with a plastic ball the size of a softball and big wood paddles.
The Other Racquet Sports book was published containing Pickleball basic and essential information.
Sid Williams was a pickleball pioneer who started playing and arranging competitions in Washington State.
To maintain the expansion and improvement of pickleball on a national scale, the United States Amateur Pickleball Association (U.S.A.P.A.) was established. In March 1984, the first handbook was released.
Sid Williams functioned as the organization's first president and executive director from 1984 to 1998.
Frank Candelario took up as his successor and continued operations until 2004. Boeing Industrial Engineer Arlen Paranto created the first composite paddle.
He used the fiberglass/Nomex honeycomb panels that airlines use for the foundation components and floors of their aircraft. Up until he sold the business to Frank Candelario, Arlen produced roughly 1,000 paddles out of materials including fiberglass with a honeycomb core and graphite
Now let's leap forward to the present...
To better correspond with other US sports regulatory bodies and our USA Pickleball National Championships, USAPA changed its name to USA Pickleball.
A fresh website and a new, contemporary logo are also part of the brand revamp. The updated name, logo, and website are intended to enhance USA Pickleball's reputation as the national pickleball association of the United States. In December, Stu Upson was hired as the organization's first full-time CEO.
Now that we know all the history, let's get to the exciting part..
How to play Pickleball?
Is it like ping pong and badminton? What's volley zone?
There are probably a lot of questions on your mind right now. You want to enjoy playing pickleball, the fastest-growing sport worldwide, but easy there, first, let's get started with the basics:
Yes, it's a sport that has the elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.
This can be played both in indoor or outdoor settings with a badminton-sized court and tennis net.
It is played with a paddle and plastic ball with holes in it.
You can enjoy playing this game either in doubles or singles.
The best part is all ages can enjoy this sport.
A pickleball court looks like a tennis court and is 20 feet by 44 feet in dimension, which is equivalent to a doubles badminton court. The same venue is utilized for both singles and doubles play tournaments in pickleball. The net height is 36 inches, while in the center, it is 34 inches.
It's crucial to master the basics as it's the foundation of the greatest pickleball players today. Now, that you have a little knowledge about it, let's get down to learning all the tips from playing pickleball and jargon we should know.
If you're a visual learner then this video might help you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMwKyO4-WYU&feature=youtu.be
Reviving that competitive spirit in you now?
Pickleball Tips to consider in Pickleball Courts
Pickleball is played with certain rules and below are tips and instructions on how to play it.
Serve and Returns of Serve
A minimum of one foot must start behind the baseline when serving, and neither foot may touch the court or the starting point before the ball is hit.
The serve must hit inside the boundaries of the opposing diagonal court and is executed diagonally crosscourt. There can be only one serve attempt. After delivering your serve, you'll now continuously hit the ball back and forth similar to the tennis game.
Here's serving is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4lzaN7ESCU&feature=youtu.be
Here's how the return of serve is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLbPmuYaNio&feature=youtu.be
Now, enjoy and have fun learning and serving!
Third Shot Drives and Drops
Each pickleball point typically goes through the following steps: (1) a player delivers the pickleball for the initial stroke; (2) The serving team strikes the pickleball or drops the pickleball for the third shot. (3) The opposing team rebounds the service for the second shot.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN71E6RjORc&feature=youtu.be
A precise stroke with an upward direction known as a "dink" lands just above the net in the no-volley zone of the opposing team. A Dink might cause your opponent to change positions and delay the game. When competing against a player who is faster or stronger, the capacity to make a good dink shot can be the game changer.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmkUDWZscFQ&feature=youtu.be
Both sides have the option to volley the ball (strike it before it falls) or play it off a bounce after the ball has made one bounce in each team's court (ground stroke). The serve and volley advantage is eliminated by the double bounce rule, which also lengthens rallies.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNwZrfJEhT0&feature=youtu.be
If done correctly, the pickleball lob shot is incredibly useful from both an attacking and defensive standpoint.
Don't forget to include it in your game. But be careful not to overdo the lob, especially if you're not hitting it for a specific reason.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB5w_cpFHbk&feature=youtu.be
Overhead is a forceful overhand shot that is made into the opponent's court from below, typically in response to a lob, high return, or high bounce.
The paddle is held straight out over the head at its highest point. Instead of aiming at an opponent's body, aim for a free area on their court or at their feet.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAJLJTWZidg&feature=youtu.be
Transition Area and Resets
The region of the pickleball court situated between the baseline and the Non-Volley Zone is referred to as "No Man's Land" or "the Transition Area."
It often extends from a foot or two behind the kitchen, also regarded as the non-volley zone, to a foot or two in front of the baseline.
Here's how it is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGjmJBAgcCY&feature=youtu.be
The Best Gear to Start Playing Pickleball
If you've come to this section and you are dying to start playing pickleball, you will likely need some important gear to get you started. A paddle, balls, shoes, and a great bag for storing your paddles are essential when picking up the sport of paddle. Check out our guide to the Top Gifts for any Paddle Payer to learn more.
Conclusion: So now your know The Newest Sport Taking the Nation by Storm
And that's a wrap! We hoped that this blog has granted you insights into what is Pickleball in our modern era. Knowing how it evolved to how it's played today, we can say that a lot has happened.
We have included all the tips and how when playing pickleball so you can now hit the court and get those points! If you find this blog helpful, feel free to share it with your friends.