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Pickleball on your radar? Here’s what you need to know!




Pickleball is the sport on everyone's mind, that everyone is discussing and trying. Those who haven't picked up a racket to step out on the court and give it a shot are thinking about it and will soon make their mark. This fast-growing court sport is sweeping the nation, and people will either join the movement or watch it pass them by.

 

“Anyone who has ever grown-up loving court sports or playing sports in general is going to love pickleball,” says Ashley Rose, co-founder of Volée, a company that has a passion for court sports such as pickleball, tennis, and padel offering bags, apparel, and accessories for the games. “Not only is it a great way to meet new friends and stay active, but it also fosters a sense of community by bringing people together.”

 

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year in a row. The interest in it is spreading rapidly, with a growth of over 51% from 2022 to 2023, and it has grown over 223% in the last five years. Across the country, neighborhoods are coming together to play, communities are organizing tournaments, and facilities are being built specifically for pickleball. For example, one of the largest pickleball centers in Florida opened in the Daytona Beach area in 2020, and they recently held the 2024 AARP U.S. Champions Cup. 

 

In a newspaper archived in the Library of Congress from 1976, the writer shares how pickleball is sweeping the nation. They report that it is a sport of its own, created by three neighbors, including Congressman Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell, who invented the game on a summer afternoon in Brainbridge Island, Washington. They quickly developed the rules and original purpose, which was to provide a game that the whole family could play together. The name they gave it, the article reports, is attributed to Pritchard’s dog, named Pickles, who liked to chase the balls, so it became known as Pickles’ ball

 

Here’s what people need to know about pickleball, the fastest-growing court sport:

  • The court used for pickleball is the same size as a court used for doubles badminton. It is striped like a tennis court, and the net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle.

  • Originally invented in 1965 by three dads seeking an alternative to their usual summer games, pickleball has since evolved to feature specialized courts, equipment, accessories and apparel designed specifically for the sport.

  • Wearing the proper clothing and using the right gear can significantly enhance comfort, freedom of movement, and overall performance on the court. The right equipment is also crucial for keeping items organized, protected, and stylish. 

  • Anyone, and at almost any age, can get started playing pickleball. Begin by finding a local group that plays the sport; most are very welcoming to new players. Ensure you have the right equipment, including a paddle, paddle cover, balls (plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball but with holes sized for indoor or outdoor play), proper shoes, and comfortable clothing. Watching a few online videos to understand the rules and see the game in action can also be very helpful.

  • Have fun with it, and be patient as you learn and improve your game. Pickleball is not only a fun sport that creates good memories, allows for healthy physical activity, and is a great way to meet new people, but it's also an opportunity to have fun with fashion.

 


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