A Nation of Pickleballers
Over 3.13 million people in the U.S. play pickleball! Pickleball is one of the fast-growing sports and the favorite of active retirees nationwide!
Where Did it Come From?
It was invented in 1965 by Congressman Joel Pritchard and his close friend Bill Bell. The idea was to give their families something to do on vacation. Utilizing an old badminton court they improvised a game using ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. Politicians don’t just legislate our tax rules – they have fun too!
How Do You Play?
Pickleball is played either as singles or doubles, but doubles are most common. A standard pickleball play area is the same size as a doubles badminton court and measures 20×44 feet with the net set at tennis court height.
What are the 5 Rules of Pickleball?
- The ball must stay inbounds
- There needs to be one bounce per side
- Serving must be done at the baseline
- The serve can’t land in the no-volley zone
- The game ends at 11, 15, or 21 points
In pickleball, the serve is made underhand and paddle contact with the ball must be below waist level. Like tennis, the serve is made diagonally crosscourt and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.
“The kitchen” is a colloquial term for the non-volley zone. This is a 3.5-foot wide section of the court closest to the net and extends to each sideline. It’s not uncommon to hear yells of “Kitchen!” followed by roars of “Ohhhh!” or bellows of laughter during a game. Even seasoned players can find themselves celebrating a great volley, only to realize they’re standing squarely in “the kitchen” where volleys are a big no-no.
The Cost of Pickleball
Now, the good news! Pickleball won’t break your retirement budget. Here is a quick cost breakdown to get started. Pickleball is a low-cost sport and a great way to stay healthy. It’s a perfect way to keep yourself in good shape during retirement!
Your Paddle: 0 – $200 (maybe you can borrow one to start)
The Ball: $12 for a 12-pack (that’s $1 per ball)
Shoes: 0 – $60 (just use your tennis shoes)
Court: 0 – $10/20 per hour (many communities have courts you can use free)
- Maybe you want a wrist-band, head-band, or a towel too (that might be a few bucks)