What Is Pickleball? A Beginner’s Guide to Playing Pickleball

While ‘pickleball’ is inarguably a funny name, the sport that it refers to is anything but a joke. In fact, the sport has around 2,815 million players in the US, and its popularity is only increasing.
But what is pickleball, anyway?
That’s what we’re going to talk about here today. Read on to learn what exactly pickleball is and how you can play this awesome sport!

What Is Pickleball?

If you’ve ever played ping-pong, tennis, or badminton, you know the similarities between these sports. Now consider what would happen if you combined all three of them together into one game. That’s essentially what pickleball is!

In fact, its name comes from the fact that it’s a mashup of these sports. A man and his friend had set up a new game to occupy themselves one afternoon by using ping-pong paddles and a perforated ball.


After they had finalized the rules, one friend’s wife posited that it came from the concept of a “pickle boat,” which is basically a boat where crew members are chosen from the leftovers of other boat’s crews.

What Equipment Do You Need?

To play pickleball, you’ll need:

  • A wiffleball (made from perforated plastic)
  • One of the best pickleball paddles 2020 has to offer
  • Tennis shoes and comfortable athletic gear to wear
  • A 20 x 3 net with corresponding net posts

That’s it! Not a lot of shopping to do, right?

How to Play Pickleball

Before you begin, set your 20 x 3 net up so that it’s 36 inches at the furthest sidelines. It probably will drop to around 34 inches at the center of the court, though, so be prepared for that.
You can play singles or doubles, whichever you prefer. Once you decide which format is right for you, it’s time to start the game!

The first player uses an underhanded serve to make the ball go diagonally to the person on the other side of the court. Pickleball, like ping-pong, has a two-bounce rule. This means that each time it is hit, the ball needs to bounce once on the ground before it can be returned to the other side of the court.
Points can only be scored by the serving team in pickleball. Once a point is scored, the server switches sides and continues to serve until they commit a foul. Once the foul is made, the other person/team gets to serve.
Winning happens once a person/team scores 11 points, so long as they have won by two or more points! If 11 points are scored, but the other team has 10 points, the game continues until the 11-point team gets 12 points.

Get Started!

So, what is pickleball?
In the most basic terms, it is a great way to keep in shape, have a good time with friends, and get the adrenaline pumping!
Now that you know what pickleball is and how you can spend an enjoyable afternoon playing the sport, it is time to get more information on how to keep active. Check out the search function on our homepage to look up any keywords related to games, socializing, and athletics.

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