By The Capital Sports Report Staff
Pickleball is a sport that has been gaining traction across America. It is currently the official state sport of Washington where it was first invented back in the 60s.
The sport is essentially a mix of badminton and table tennis. It is played on a pickleball court, which is very similar to a badminton court, but smaller in size and with a lower net. Players use paddles to knock a hollow perforated ball back and forth. Points are scored when a player cannot successfully return the ball to the other player’s court. After scoring 11 points, you win the game.
Below are a few reasons why pickleball is a sport worth trying and how you can get involved.
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Pickleball rules are easy to pick up
Pickleball does not have complicated rules like some racket sports. You do need to understand the areas of play and who serves the ball. There are also strict rules as to how to hit the ball (always underarm with the wrist below the racket). However, it has a simple point-scoring system and the court boundaries are fairly clear.
Overall, if you’re looking for a sport that’s relatively easy to get to grips with, pickleball is certain to tick this box.
You don’t need expensive equipment
Some sports require you to invest upfront in very expensive equipment. This is not the case with pickleball – some venues are able to supply free paddles and balls when you rent a court, while cheap equipment is available online to buy for courts that don’t provide it (you can buy basic pickleball paddles for less than $20 on some sites).
Of course, pro pickleball paddles will cost slightly more. However, you’re still likely to spend a lot less than if you were getting into a sport like tennis where pro rackets can reach extortionate prices of over $1000.
The number of pickleball courts is rapidly growing
Finding a location to play pickleball is no longer as tricky as it once was. In fact, there are now thought to be over 50,000 courts across the US.
Some venues can get booked up fairly far in advance, however, there are usually still non-busy periods where you don’t have to book ahead too far. Consider booking a court and giving the sport a go.
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Pickleball is suitable for all ages and abilities
Whereas some racket sports like tennis can be very technical and physically demanding, pickleball is fairly simple and low-impact. This makes it suitable for all ages and abilities.
Kids will pick up the rules of pickleball fairly quickly and will have no trouble returning shots (the perforations in the ball create drag, which means that the ball cannot be hit too fast to the point that it could cause pain). Senior players meanwhile don’t have to worry about stress on the joints and could also find the light paddle much easier to play with for long periods than a heavy racket.
You’ll get an aerobic workout
Pickleball provides an aerobic workout. It is great for the heart and may even help with weight loss by burning lots of calories.
If you have been looking for an aerobic sport that is not too strenuous, pickleball could be a good choice. It will keep you fit without the risk of injury that some sports have.
It can help you improve hand-eye coordination
Racket sports are great for improving hand-eye coordination. Such a skill is important in many tasks we do from driving to cooking.
Because of how easy it is to learn, pickleball can be particularly good at teaching kids the high level of hand-eye coordination that is necessary for many other sports. While they may decide to stick it out with pickleball and perhaps even become the next pickleball champion, this game also serves as a great entry sport for progressing to sports like tennis or squash which are more technical.
It’s a very social sport
Pickleball can be played with two people or with four people (in doubles). This makes it potentially a very social sport.
It’s worth noting that the sport was eventually started as a family sport that kids and parents could participate in. Because it is suitable for all ages, it can be a great sport for getting the whole family together and bridging generations. You can also easily explain it to friends when looking for a new activity to do together. There may even be the chance of making friends through pickleball.
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