Special Feature


Learn about this fast-growing, worldwide sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis.

Pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington when Joel Pritchard and his two friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum attempted to set up badminton to help free their families from boredom. Because no one could find the shuttlecock to play badminton, they improvised by using a punctured ball. They then lowered the badminton net and constructed paddles by using plywood that was found at a nearby shed. The name of the game derived from Pritchard’s remembrance of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.

Pickleball is played on a court similar to a doubles badminton court. The difference is that a pickleball court has a non-volley zone which extends seven feet from the net on each side. If a player steps into this non-volley zone in the act of volleying the ball, a fault is committed by that player, the play ends and a point is credited to the other player or team.

The game can be played as a singles or doubles game. The game is also played to 11 points and must be won by two. The only way to score points, though, is by serving the ball. The last and most imperative rule is the double bounce rule. This rule indicates that after the ball is served, the ball must bounce once on both the receiving and serving side before being hit. After the ball has bounced on each side, the ball can be hit without bouncing as long as the player is not in the non-volley zone.

Today, pickleball is a sport that is played all across the United States and Canada and is also gaining popularity internationally. It is a great backyard game to play, especially during the time of a pandemic and social distancing.

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