Why Is Pickleball So Popular? (10 Reasons)

 

In recent years, you have probably heard of the game pickleball many times.

It has become increasingly popular, and thousands of people are becoming fans of playing pickleball regularly.

Those who are not familiar with pickleball may be left wondering why pickleball is so popular.

Let’s take a look at pickleball and ten reasons it is so popular.

 

Why Is Pickleball So Popular? (10 Reasons)

 

1. Low Impact

man hitting a pickleball with a paddle

 

Pickleball is a low-impact sport which makes it appealing to people of all ages.

You are not going to find yourself coming into contact with other players, and you will not be putting a lot of stress on your body while playing.

Low impact activity is considered activity where one foot stays on the ground at all times.

Pickleball is played on a small court, so you are not typically moving quickly and jumping across the court.

You can move slower to cover the pickleball court, and there is not a lot of stress on your bones and joints.

 

2. Good Exercise

Pickleball - Mixed Doubles Action

 

Although pickleball is low impact, it is still a great way to stay active.

You are moving your body and getting some exercise while playing pickleball.

For those people who do not want to go to a gym or just want a different method of getting exercise, pickleball can be a great way to get in some movement and have fun while doing it.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it is recommended to get 30 minutes of exercise per day.

A pickleball game can last anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.

Therefore, if you play one or two pickleball games a day, then you can easily fulfill the daily exercise recommendation.

Pickleball matches are determined by the best two out of three games so playing a pickleball match will give you more than the daily recommended amount of exercise.

 

3. Works On Balance And Coordination

pickleball players hits a shot

 

Pickleball does require balance as well as hand-eye coordination.

You will need to focus on your balance as you move around the pickleball court, and hand-eye coordination will be required as you hit the ball with your paddle.

These are great skills to work on while playing pickleball and can be beneficial for people of all ages from children to senior citizens.

 

4. Easy To Learn

Pickleball tournament

 

Pickleball is a fairly easy game to learn to play.

This has been part of the reason it has grown so much in popularity.

There are not a lot of rules, and it can be as competitive as you want it to be.

The ease of learning how to play pickleball means that those who are unfamiliar with it or have never played before can pick up on the game quickly and play with those that are more experienced.

USA Pickleball has the game rules listed online so that new players can quickly review the basic rules.

It is straightforward, and most people find that once they have learned the basic rules, it is easy to catch on and learn how to play the game.

There are five basic rules of pickleball that you can learn and easily be able to play a pickleball match with others.

 

A. The Ball Must Stay Inbounds

As with many other sports, the game of pickleball requires that the ball stays within the white line of the court for it to remain in play.

If the ball is hit out of bounds, then you lose your serve and the other team gets the ball.

 

B. One Bounce Per Side

Pickleball differs from many other net sports with this rule.

The ball can only have one bounce per side.

If the ball bounces twice on one side, it is to be returned to the other team.

However, once a serve has been made and the ball is returned by a single bounce and then again with a single bounce from the other side, then the two-bounce rule goes out the window.

Either side may then play the ball in the air or let it bounce once when returning it.

 

C. Serve Must Be Done From The Baseline

The serve must be done at the baseline with one foot behind the line.

When serving in pickleball, you must also serve underhand below the waistline, and it must be hit diagonally to the other side.

 

D. Serve Can’t Land In The No-Volley Zone

The no-volley zone is anywhere inside the lined box that extends seven feet from the net.

This zone is on both sides of the court.

If the ball lands in the no-volley zone then you will lose your serve, as it must land beyond this zone.

However, after the ball is in play and has landed past the no-volley zone, then it can be hit into this zone throughout the rest of the play.

 

E. The Game Ends At 11 Or 15 Points

Pickleball will traditionally end when one team gets 11 points, but to be declared the winning team, they must exceed their opponent’s score by at least 2 points.

Therefore, if the winning team is at 11 and the other team gets 10, then the game will continue.

Ending game points are typically discussed at the beginning of the game.

Some teams will decide they want to play to 15 points instead of just 11.

 

5. Any Age Can Play

There are no age requirements for playing pickleball.

It is a simple game, so everyone from children to the elderly has enjoyed playing pickleball and picks up on it easily.

It is a great activity for families to play together and people of all ages play pickleball daily.

According to USA Pickleball, the number of players who play pickleball grew to 4.8 million players in 2021.

This was a 14.8% growth from the previous year, which means that pickleball is gaining momentum.

The average growth of pickleball players has been 11.5% over the past five years.

Core players are considered players who play eight or more times per year and casual players are those who play one to seven times per year.

Here is a breakdown of players by age group:

  • Players ages 6–17 made up 21.2% of total players.
  • Players ages 18–34 made up 28.8% of total players.
  • Players ages 35–54 made up 20.4% of total players.
  • Players ages 55–64 made up 12.0% of total players.
  • Players aged 65 years and older made up 17.6% of total players.

 

6. Minimal Equipment Required

Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle and Ball Set -Wooden Pickleball Rackets + Pickleballs - 2 Players - Activator - USA Pickleball (USAPA) Approved

Franklin Sports Pickleball Paddle and Ball Set -Wooden Pickleball Rackets + Pickleballs – 2 Players – Activator – USA Pickleball (USAPA) Approved 

 

Pickleball does not require an extensive amount of equipment to play.

As long as you can find a court with a net, you just need your paddles and a ball.

The minimal equipment that is required makes it an inexpensive sport to get involved in as well, and it’s easy for anyone to try playing.

Pickleball paddles and balls can be purchased for as low as $15 to $30 if you are looking for a basic paddle.

If you determine that you want to play pickleball frequently, then you may end up wanting to purchase a better quality paddle which can cost upwards of $200.

Pickleball equipment can be purchased at almost any major retailer as well as any sporting goods store.

Many people have ordered pickleball equipment on Amazon as well as purchased it at retailers such as Walmart or Dick’s Sporting Goods.

 

7. Great Way To Socialize

Senior pickleball players

 

Regardless of whether you play as a single or in teams of doubles, you will be playing with at least one other player.

This makes pickleball a great game to play to socialize with others.

You can play pickleball with a friend or loved one and spend time together while getting some exercise.

Pickleball can be a great activity to play one afternoon or evening with a friend or make it a day-long activity and put together a pickleball tournament for the whole family.

If you sign up for outside tournaments you will also be able to meet new people and socialize with other people that love pickleball as well.

 

8. Can Play In Tournaments

Four players compete in the mixed doubles division of a pickleball tournament

 

If you become very involved in playing pickleball and feel confident in your skills, you can sign up to play in pickleball tournaments.

They have pickleball tournaments all over the United States and you can sign up to play alone or with a partner.

Playing in a pickleball tournament is a great way to showcase your pickleball skills and meet other pickleball players.

An easy way to find pickleball tournaments is to look at pickleballtournaments.com.

There, you can view upcoming tournaments around the world.

There are pickleball tournaments in thousands of cities, so you can likely find a tournament either in your city or a short distance away.

 

9. Singles Or Doubles Can Play

ball is tossed during a pickleball serve

 

Some activities and games are either singles or doubles and may even require an entire team to play.

However, pickleball can be played with singles or doubles which is great depending on whether you want to play by yourself or with a partner.

Playing a game of pickleball will be more effort for the single player as they are managing the entire 20-foot court.

Singles pickleball may be better suited for those people who are more experienced and in better physical condition as it can wear you out.

However, playing doubles pickleball is much more laid back as you only have to monitor half of the court.

Doubles pickleball is preferred by many because it tends to be a much more carefree game that can be enjoyed with friends or family.

 

10. Can Be Played Indoors Or Outdoors

Pickle Ball players

 

Any activity that can be played indoors or outdoors is appealing because you can play all year round regardless of what the weather is like.

Many pickleball courts are outdoors, but if the weather gets hot in the summer months or freezing in the winter with snow, then it is ideal to have an indoor pickleball court somewhere so you can play whenever you want.

There are pros and cons to playing indoors or outdoors.

If you are in an area with wind, you may prefer to play indoors.

The wind can become a major challenge if you are choosing to play outdoors.

For those who choose to play indoors, you may notice that the pickleball will move much slower inside versus outside where it will bounce lower and move faster.

This is because the playing surface will vary slightly depending on whether the court is indoors or outdoors.

 

When Did Pickleball First Start?

2 Paddles and A Ball Lying on Court Near Net Shadow

 

Pickleball was started in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell.

Pritchard was a congressman from Washington and Bell was a businessman.

Both Pritchard and Bell had gone to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island and attempted to occupy their children with badminton, but could not find the proper equipment.

Instead, they used table tennis paddles and a perforated plastic ball.

As they continued to play through the weekend, they realized the ball bounced well and eventually lowered the height of the net from the 60-inch badminton height to a much lower 36 inches.

As time went on, they created rules, and by 1967, there was the first official pickleball court constructed in the backyard of Pritchard’s friend.

It wasn’t until the 1970s that the sport began to attract major attention.

The first pickleball tournament was held in 1976 at South Center Athletic Club in Tukwila, Washington.

 

How Can You Find Somewhere To Play Pickleball?

pickleball player concentrates on hitting a shot

 

If you have decided you want to start playing pickleball, then you are probably going to want to know how you can find a pickleball court near you.

A good place to start is your local community center.

See if they have a pickleball court.

Many public community centers or YMCA locations have pickleball courts.

There is also an app called USA Pickleball Places2Play that you can check for locations in your area.

Along with the app, they also have a website where you can put in your address or zip code to find pickleball courts near you.

There are many Facebook groups for pickleball communities.

If you can find a Facebook group in your area for pickleball then you will be able to ask around and find pickleball courts in your area.

This can also be a great way to meet pickleball players near you and find others to play with.

 

How Is Pickleball Different From Tennis?

man playing tennis and beating the ball with a racket

 

Although you might see pickleball being played and think it looks very similar to tennis, there are key differences between the two games.

One of the biggest differences that will be noticed almost immediately is that a pickleball court is approximately one-fourth the size of a tennis court.

Pickleball courts are much smaller which makes pickleball more appealing to many people because you do not have as much court space to run around on.

Singles and doubles also play on the same-sized court, unlike tennis where it is slightly different.

When playing pickleball, you serve underhand versus serving overhand in tennis.

The ball in pickleball also has much less bounce than a tennis ball, so you will not hit the ball and have it bounce extremely hard when it lands.

 

Conclusion

Pickleball is a great sport to play at any age and can provide hours of fun and exercise.

Since it is a fairly easy sport to learn while remaining low impact, it has increasingly grown in popularity over recent years.

The next time you want to try a new sport it might be fun to find out for yourself what all of the hype about pickleball is about!

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