Discover the Fun of Pickleball!
We’ve already talked about why pickleball is such a great workout, and today, we wanted to go deeper into the game itself. Pickleball is an increasingly popular sport for all ages and skill levels. It’s a hybrid of tennis, badminton, and ping pong that is easy to learn but offers plenty of strategy and advanced play opportunities. With its growing popularity, now is a great time to get started!
This guide will provide an overview of the game and tips on choosing the right paddle based on personal preference and skill level so you can quickly get up to speed with this exciting game.
You may feel intimidated by learning a new sport, but luckily, pickleball is easy to understand. Pickleball can be played as a doubles or singles game and uses a badminton-size court. In doubles, two players are on either side of the court, and in singles, one is on each side. To decide who will serve first, you can use any fair method. First, the player on the right-hand side of the court will serve and must use an underhand serve. After that, the ball must crosscourt and follow the two-bounce rule, meaning that the first two shots (serve and return) must bounce.
Post-serve and return, you can hit the ball off the bounce or out of the air, called a volley.
This goes on until someone makes a fault. A fault could mean a double bounce, the pickleball is hit out of bounds, or the ball is hit into the net. Another important game aspect is the non-volley zone, “the kitchen.” You cannot hit the ball out of the air in this area, which includes 7 feet from each side of the net. It is considered out if a player hits the ball into the kitchen or on the kitchen line. This rule adds a strategy level, making for an exciting game. Out balls are called by the team on the side where it bounces, so remember to call out balls loudly and correctly.
Only the team who is serving can score a point. Whenever a rally is won, the serving team earns a point and switches sides of the court, and the server serves again. However, if the serving team loses the rally, everyone stays on their side, and the serve moves to the next player. In doubles, if the serve goes to the other side of the court (side out), the person on the right side of the court serves first. In singles, you must serve on the side corresponding to your score—right for even scores and left for odd scores. Remember to shout the score before each serve.
In doubles, the first number is the serving team’s score, the second is the opposing team’s score, and the third is the service turn. Singles pickleball only uses the first two numbers. The game is usually played to 11 points, and you must win by 2 points.
Choosing the Right Paddle
Now that you know the basics of pickleball, let’s talk about choosing a paddle. First, you need to decide on some criteria. Everyone has different preferences and skill levels, so take the time to consider your options so that you can choose the best paddle for you. The most important factors to remember when selecting a paddle are weight, grip, and feel.
Weight ranges from around 6 ounces to 14 ounces. The paddle weight you choose is a personal preference and should be what feels best to you. Lighter paddles are easier to maneuver and don’t cause as much stress on the body. On the other hand, heavier paddles offer more power with less effort. If you need help determining the best weight, try starting with a mid-weight paddle. It’s also important to find a grip size that fits your hand—you won’t play comfortably if the grip is too small or large. Focusing on how the paddle feels in your hand is the best way to decide if it’s the right one for you.
Pickleball at Club Greenwood
Join us for pickleball at Club Greenwood! This increasingly popular sport is a lot of fun for all people of all ages. We look forward to seeing you there. From classes to socials and events and more, our array of pickleball programs ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy this great sport. We hope to see you soon!