Pickleball: What is Pickleball & What do I Need to Play?

  • The sport of Pickleball was invented in 1965 in the U.S.A. and combines much of badminton, tennis, and ping-pong for a high paced, active sport for singles or doubles
  • Why is it called Pickleball? The U.S.A. Pickleball Association claims a couple of different origins - one being it named after the founder’s dog!
  • To play Pickleball, you need a paddle, a net (similar to a tennis-sized net), and a small ball with holes in it
  • Typically, a Pickleball game lasts around 15 minutes. The objective is for the player to reach 11 points
  • Shop at Greaves for our range of Pickleball paddles and Pickleball balls

The Origins of Pickleball

Pickleball was created by Joel Pritchard & Bill Bell in 1965 near Seattle, Washington in the U.S.A. Origins have a couple of stories, but it is largely believed pickleball was invented as a new way to keep kids entertained during school holidays. The name "pickleball" is rumoured to come from Pritchard’s dog (who was named Pickles!)

The exhilarating and athletic sport of pickleball combines the power & movement of tennis with the finesse of ping pong and the sharpness & agility of badminton into a fast paced, action packed sport.

What are the Rules of Pickleball?

In pickleball, you can play vs another player in singles competition or play in pairs for doubles. The aim of the game is to score 11 points, and you can only score if you are the serving player or team. Like tennis, ping-pong, or badminton you must win by 2 clear points.

When serving, your pickleball paddle swings underarm but can’t move beyond the height of your wrist on serve. You serve diagonally across court and you must land the ball once in the confines of the opposite quadrant. Both players or teams get an opportunity to serve until they fault on their service. Faults in pickleball are caused when the ball doesn’t bounce in the right quadrant, although hitting the line counts as “in”.

With designated quadrants on the court where you can’t volley or smash shots, there is huge emphasis on skill and positioning as well as awareness around the court.

What do I need to Play Pickleball?

There are only a few things you need to play pickleball. A pickleball court is approximately the size of a badminton court played with a net around the height of a tennis net. Many sports centres are now offering this sport due to the ease of setup and management. Although the court and nets are similar to other sports, the pickleball paddle is completely unique.

A pickleball paddle and a ball will be enough to get you started on the pickleball court.

Pickleball Paddles

Things to Consider When Buying a Pickleball Paddle:

Weight - Approx 6oz (light) to 14oz (heavy)

  • Lightweight paddles under 7.3oz
  • Midweight paddlees 7.3oz to 8.4oz
  • Heavy paddles 8.5oz and over

Grip Size

  • Under 5" 2 - 4 inch Grip
  • 5" 3 to 5" 8 - 4 1/8 to 4 1/4 inch Grip
  • 5" 9 and above - 4 1/2 inch Grip

Materials & Shape:

  • Wood
  • Composite
  • Graphite

We have a range of pickleball paddles for sale from Gamma & Head, who are both pickleball specialists.

Pickleball Balls

The ball is unique with different models for indoor and outdoor play. Balls come in several colours including green and yellow, with outdoor balls being heavier, harder and having a smooth surface to indoor balls, which have a larger and fewer holes.

Shop Pickleball balls

Shop Pickleball Equipment at Greaves

Pickleball is continuing to grow across the U.K. and Europe, and is not only a very simple and fun sport to play, but excellent in building and maintaining fitness. Grab your pickleball paddle and balls from Greaves today to get started!

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