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4Joy News and Pickleball Info

Origin of the Name “Pickleball”

In the era when cars, mailboxes and various landmarks served as makeshift bases for baseball or Wiffle ball, outdoor activities were a canvas for experimentation and invention. It was within this imaginative realm that Pickleball, now recognized as America's fastest-growing sport, took shape long before the advent of distractions like TikTok, Xbox, and PlayStation. In the absence of such diversions, creativity became a necessity, preventing time from standing still.

Unlike conventional sports, Pickleball bears an unconventional name. No actual pickle-shaped ball is involved, and, more often than not, the ball isn't even green. Unlike the straightforward nomenclature of sports like basketball, Pickleball's quirky name adds an element of intrigue and curiosity to its origin.

How Pickleball Got its Name?

Legend says that the game of Pickleball got its name from a family's pet, basically a dog named Pickles. The game was discovered in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, a Congressman from Washington state, along with his friend Bill Bell and Pritchard's family. According to the story, the Pritchards had a dog named Pickles who would race after the balls during the game. As a result, they started calling the game "Pickle's Ball," and eventually, it became known in the sports world as Pickleball.


Key Features of Pickleball:

Pickleball is typically played on a badminton-sized court with a modified tennis net, and it can be played both indoors and outdoors. The game is usually played between two or four players (singles or doubles).

Here are some key features of Pickleball:

  • Court: Pickleball is played on a rectangular court, which is divided into left and right service courts by a net. The dimensions of the court are 20 feet by 44 feet for together singles and doubles play.
  • Paddle: Players use a paddle, which is greater than a table tennis paddle but smaller than a tennis racket. Paddles are normally made of wood or composite materials.
  • Ball: Pickleball is played with a plastic ball that has holes in it, similar to a waffle ball. The ball is lightweight and designed to travel at a slower pace than a tennis ball.
  • Scoring: The game is played to eleven points, and a group must win by at least 2 points. Only the serving side can achieve points, and points are recorded when the opposing team commits a fault (e.g., hitting the ball out of bounds, into the net, or in the non-volley zone).
  • Non-Volley Zone: There is a non-volley zone, often referred to as the "kitchen," located near the net. Players can only hit the ball in the air while standing within this zone if the ball has bounced first.
  • Serve: The serve must be made underhand, and the server must keep one foot behind the baseline. The serve is directed diagonally across the court, and the obtaining team must let the ball bounce before returning it.

The Takeaway

Pickleball is known for being a social and accessible sport, suitable for players of various ages and skill levels. It has gained popularity, particularly among older adults, but players of all age groups enjoy the game. The sport continues to grow globally, with various organizations promoting and organizing pickleball events and tournaments.

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