What The Heck Is Pickleball?

Pickleball is popular among individuals of all ages who are especially sporty because of its simplicity in gameplay and rules. 

The sport is affordable, interactive, and healthy for the body. It has gained widespread acceptance among school gyms, fire departments, community centers, parks, athletic organizations, and many backyard sports venues. 

Furthermore, pickleball is similar to tennis and badminton in some aspects, and it has grown in popularity alongside sports like table tennis and racquetball. 

Over the past years, more established pickleball courts have accommodated more players, particularly in communities with a more elderly population.

what the heck is pickleball

Brief History Of Pickleball

Joel Pritchard invented pickleball on Bainbridge Island, a ferry trip away from Seattle, Washington, in 1965. 

According to Pritchard and the two co-founders, Barney McCallum and William Bell, they created the game to provide a pastime for the entire family.

Pickles was the family dog that would run after stray balls when playing Pickle’s ball. Eventually, this name became Pickleball which everyone is familiar with nowadays. 

Families used to play pickleball on solid surfaces such as the backyards, driveways, and dead-end streets.

From a family pastime, pickleball evolved to a court sport with an official set of rules in the 1970s. 

Currently, more people play pickleball at school gyms, local parks, camps, retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, and leisure centers. 

The elders particularly like this sport which is why it is popular among the community centers, but also even young players at schools enjoy them. 

What Is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport, just like table tennis and badminton. It uses a net similar to tennis, but the court size is the same as badminton. 

Also, pickleball uses a Wiffle ball, which has holes in it. Meanwhile, the court parts are a little complicated compared to tennis and badminton.

A non-volley zone, also called a kitchen, prohibits close-to-the-net volleys, and the serving team cannot volley the return of serve. 

This unique rule in pickleball favors players with limited mobility and enables elders to compete successfully against younger opponents.

Since you can play doubles and singles in pickleball, these areas allowed improvement in peer camaraderie. There are longer rallies, lesser physical demands, and more excellent opportunities for court banter. 

Pickleball is a simple game to learn, yet it offers limitless opportunities for personal growth and mastering skills. 

Many players used to think that the sport was unprofessional, simple, or loud, but now they enjoy it. Even golf players use up several hours each day to play it indoors or outdoors.

When it comes to equipment, pickleball has very few needs. You will need a paddle, ball, net, and the court. 

For the paddle, most materials are from wood, composites, and graphite. They can be approximately 8″ broad by 15″ long, with firm and smooth surfaces. 

Meanwhile, the balls are similar to the baseball size, made of hard plastic with holes. Also, the nets are at least 34″ tall in the middle. 

Finally, the court is 20 feet wide and 40 feet long. It is small enough that you can fit four pickleball courts in one tennis court.

Equipment Needed To Play Pickleball

Equipment Needed To Play Pickleball


A pickleball is similar to the appearance of a Wiffle ball, but it is more durable in construction. A standard Wiffle Ball will break apart during a game of pickleball.

Presently, no regulations dictate whether you should play pickleball inside or outdoors or the ball’s color. 

There are presently no regulations dictating whether you should play pickleball inside or outdoors or what color the ball should be at this time. 

However, most players prefer to play outside using the tiny-holed, hard plastic Dura, ONIX, TOP ball, which became “outdoor” balls for that reason.

In the same line, most players prefer to play indoors with big holed Jugs or Big Hole Dura Balls, which is why they became “indoor balls.” 

The choice of pickleball ball is purely a matter of personal preference. Eventually, pickleball communities acquire a taste for a specific brand and color of pickleball ball. 

Verify which ball your local community utilizes to avoid showing up and playing with the “wrong ball.”


The paddle is similar to a table tennis paddle in terms of firmness and maneuverability with the wrist. 

At first, people used to play with a wooden paddle, and they are still in use at many events today because it is cheaper than the other paddle types. As expected, they can be a little heavy to hold.

But with innovation on the paddle construction, there are paddles with less weight and more extended durability than other materials. 

For example, lightweight fiberglass paddles are of the highest quality without compensating for the weight. 


You can play the actual pickleball game on a court that is the same size as a badminton court which is 20 feet wide by 44 feet long. 

On the other hand, the net’s height is 36 inches on the borders and 34 inches in the center.

Pickleball’s small court dimensions allow younger players and people with mobility issues to play in a way that is not always possible on a larger tennis court. 

Additional rules include banning hitting the ball in the non-volley zone or kitchen, 7 feet away from the net. It is to help to balance the game and avoid powerful smashes at the net.

Pickleball has become a popular high school activity in gym courses among teens and older people who like the game. 

According to official estimates, most competitions occur in schools, and more than 500 schools offer pickleball as part of their curriculum in New York State alone.


Pickleball equipment is available in a variety of configurations, depending on your preference. There are also complete sets that contain all the necessary pickleball stuff.

Their prices depend on the type of paddles that are in the package. Paddles made of wood are the least costly, while graphite is the most expensive of them. 

As for the other equipment, you need to set up a pickleball court or rent one if it’s available. You can play pickleball almost wherever there’s a hard surface, such as a driveway, gym, or schoolyard.

Related Reading: Best pickleball paddles – Check Them out Here


Pickleball is a sport that is open to all, easily accessible, and non-elitist as it crosses social and economic boundaries. 

Even at the most outstanding levels, there is a wide variety of playing styles that anyone can explore and enjoy. Many of the world’s best pickleball players have no previous racquet or paddle sport experience and are not athletic. 

Pickleball is a game that is simple to learn yet tough to master. Please make use of your paddle and give it a shot!