What is Pickleball, and why is it so popular?

If you are anything like me, you have recently been hearing about Pickleball everywhere. On TV, from family members and friends alike everyone of all different ages and life stages is talking about how much fun they are having playing Pickleball. This brings me to the question What is Pickleball? And why is Pickleball so popular? 

Below I put together a summary to answer the question of what is Pickleball, and why is Pickleball so popular? I have also included some Pickleball kits if you are interested in getting started or looking for a great gift for anyone in your circle looking for a new way to stay active.  

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddlesport – similar to Ping-Pong or racquet sports such as Badminton, Tennis or Squash. It is a combination of Ping-Pong and Badminton. Pickleball requires two or four players who use a paddle (either made of wood or plastic material) to hit a small waffle-like ball.   

Pickleball was originally created in the 1960s as a backyard game for children. It has since become one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. The increased popularity of the sport is attributed to its increased availability across physical education classes, community centres, health clubs as well as retirement communities.

Pickleball is played on a Pickleball court, which resembles a doubles badminton court. The court is 20 by 44 feet, smaller the both Tennis and Badminton, and is the same size whether you play doubles or singles. Similar to a badminton court, the Pickleball court is striped. Varying from a badminton court, however, is the serving line which is 7″ further from the net.  

To begin to play Pickleball, the ball is served underarm to ensure the ball is hit below waist level with the arm swinging in an upward motion. The server hits the ball diagonally into the opponent’s court. From there, only the serving side may score a point. The play will end when one side commits a fault, and the server will change to the opposite team.

Each point is counted as 1 and the first side to reach 11 points, leading by two points, will win the game.

why is pickleball so popular?
a pickleball racquet

Why is Pickleball so popular?

Now that we have covered the question of what is Pickleball? Let’s look into why Pickleball is so popular?

Firstly, as noted above one reason Pickleball is so popular is that its accessibility seems to have exploded overnight. Given all you need is a large court area and net to get started, many facilities are putting up Pickleball courts everywhere they can to increase the availability of recreational activities they have available.

Secondly, Pickleball popularity has climbed in line with the increased focus on health and well-being in our society. With an increased focused staying active, easily accessible sports like Pickleball are on the rise.

Thirdly, Pickleball is popular because it is a social sport. A Pickleball court has less space than a tennis court and therefore allows players to be in close proximity to have a conversation why also getting some exercise. Its also, like tennis and going pong, better played with four players instead of two, making it twice as social as many other sports.

Lastly, and most importantly, Pickleball is popular because it is an easy sport of all ages and all skill levels. With it’s similarities to Ping-Pong, Pickleball is an easy sport to pick up and with smaller court means less running is required, therefore making it a great sport for both older adults and young adults alike.

How do I get started?

Find your local pickleball court and drop in! Here is a good article about finding your closest pickleball court. 

Alternatively, if you have the dough and the land, build a pickleball court. Still, although it’s cheaper than a tennis court, pickleball courts are expensive. The general cost to build a pickleball court would is between $11 to $22 per square foot. This would total around $30k for a 30′ x 60′ pickleball court (source).

Otherwise, if you have some flat surface (grass or concrete) here are some great easy and cheap pickleball kits to help you get started with Pickleball or share as a gift with someone in your circle.

Zume Instant Pickleball Set
  • The portable instant pickle ball match
  • Ultra quick set up and take down
  • Ideal for building skills & having fun!
  • Includes 2 wood pickle ball paddles, 2 pickle balls, 12ft. net kit, Carrying case, and How to play guide
Franklin Instant Pickleball Set
  • HALF COURT SIZE (10 feet wide) is perfect for training and practicing the sport of pickleball. This set assembles quickly and can easily be transported to wherever the sport of pickleball takes you
  • STURDY STEEL net posts provide stability. Complete assembled size is 10 feet wide by 3 feet high
  • INCLUDES (2) wooden paddles and (2) USA PICKLEBALL APPROVED X-40 pickleballs
  • EASY assembly, EASY transport
  • PERFECT for skinny singles

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