It’s a fun game the whole family can play together.

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Have you ever heard of pickleball? Contrary to its name, it doesn’t have anything to do with the jar of crunchy sandwich fillers in your refrigerator. Pickleball is a sport that’s gaining in popularity throughout the country, and these days, it’s really catching on in the South. It’s a fun game that combines elements of several sports, including tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is usually played on a tennis- or badminton-size court—either indoors or outdoors—and requires a net across the court, much like tennis. It can be played with either two or four people, as singles or as doubles, and for a game, players need a ping-pong-style paddle and a small, hollow plastic ball covered with holes. It’s easy to learn and fun to play for all ages and stages. You can watch a brief intro to the sport in the video below.

Pickleball Origins

USA Pickleball describes the origins of the game, saying, “Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington. Three dads–Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum—whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities—are credited for creating game.” It started as a DIY setup, but it has quickly spread across the country. USA Pickleball says, “Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the US and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.”

Pickleball
Credit: Bill Oxford/Getty Images

Pickleball Rules

According to USA Pickleball, the sport is “fun, social, and friendly. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.” It’s is great for all ages and experience levels and is something everyone can play together, whether it’s a game among friends or an afternoon of fun between grandkids and grandparents. It’s also great exercise. To learn the rules of the game, the scoring system, and tips for new players, check out the instructions at usapickleball.org, then grab your paddle, round up a few friends, and try it out today.

Have you ever played pickleball? If so, how did you learn? If not, are you interested in picking up a paddle and trying your hand on the pickleball court?