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Pickleball FAQ

Everything you ever wanted to know about pickleball but were too afraid to ask.

Today we will answer some of the most common pickleball questions we hear.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a relatively new racket sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and ping pong.

When was pickleball invented?

Pickleball was invented in 1965. Learn more about the History of Pickleball.

Who invented pickleball?

Pickleball was invented by three friends and neighbors: Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell.

Where does pickleball originate?

Pickleball was invented on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Bainbridge is close to Seattle and is a summer vacation destination for many.

Why is pickleball called pickleball?

There are two competing stories. Pickleball was either named after the investor’s dog Pickles or it was named after a pickleboat. A pickleboat is the last boat to finish in a rowing race. The pickleball boat is usually made up of left over crewmen from other team–sort of how pickleball is made up from the leftovers of other sports.

Why is pickleball so popular?

Pickleball is growing quickly because it is easy to learn and difficult to master. The court is smaller than tennis and the paddle is lighter. This makes the sport easier to play and more accessible to a wide audience. Many of the skills from tennis, racquetball, and ping pong are transferable to pickleball.

We have seen a huge number of tennis players switch to pickleball recently. Many tennis enthusiasts are skeptical of this new sport with a funny name, but after giving the game a try they end up loving it.

Take a look at our Guide to Pickleball Rules

Are pickleball paddles the same as tennis rackets?

No, pickleball paddles are different than tennis or racquetball rackets. Pickleball paddles are lighter and made of solid material, like a large ping pong paddle.

What are pickleball paddles made of?

Pickleball paddles were first made of wood. Now paddles are made from plastic, graphite, or carbon fiber. See How to choose a Pickleball paddle.

Can you play pickleball on a tennis court?

A pickleball court is smaller and the net lower than on a tennis court. A pickleball court is the same size as a badminton court. You can usually fit two or four pickleball courts on a tennis court. You can lay down tape on most tennis courts to create a pickleball court. You can also adjust the center strap of a tennis net to lower the net 2-3 inches.

Can you play pickleball on a racquetball court?

Unfortunately no. You need to stand behind the baseline to serve in pickleball. A racquetball court is too small.

What is the difference between pickleball and tennis?

Pickleball is more approachable and easier to learn than tennis but many of the skills are transferable. In pickleball servers are underhand, you only score on your serve, the ball have less bounce, and you play with a solid paddle like a large ping pong paddle. Singles and double are popular but there is no doubles alley.

Is pickleball a good workout?

Pickleball is a great workout and you have so much fun you hardly notice. Rallies are longer in pickleball than tennis which gives you good aerobic exercise. Due to the smaller court and lighter paddles there is less stress on muscles and joints.

What is the kitchen in pickleball?

The kitchen extends 7 feet on either side of the net. Also known as the non-volley zone, the kitchen prevents players from crowding the net. Players may only enter the kitchen to hit a ball after the ball has bounced.

How to tell your parents you play pickleball?

Don’t worry, your parents play pickleball too! 😀

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