Judging by the comments on yesterday’s Friday letters, it seems that I am not alone in not having heard of pickleball before. I thought it was only me who had no idea what it was all about! The first I heard of it was when I saw that several tennis courts in a local park were going to be converted into pickleball courts. Pickleball, I thought… what on earth is that? Then I met a couple of people who were just learning and thought I should find out more. Having only had two lessons and having heard the rules on both occasions I am still not quite at the level of an expert, but I will do my best to explain what I know…
The game is played with a paddle (similar to, but slightly larger and a bit thicker than, a table tennis bat) and what I would call an air ball, but I have heard it called a wiffle ball. It is about the size of a tennis ball, but is plastic with holes in it and I previously would have used it playing indoor ball games with the children when I was teaching. A pickleball court is the same size as a badminton court (44 feet by 20 feet) with an area marked off near the net which is called, for some strange reason that I do not know, the kitchen. The other parts of the court do not have strange names it seems. It is a game normally played by four people in two teams of two. You can only score when it is your turn to serve and when you lose a point play passes to your partner and then after you have both lost your serve, it goes over to the other team. You serve underhand. Before you serve you must announce the score to your opponents by saying three numbers: first you give your points, then the opponents’ points and then you say whether you are the first or second server. This is quite a helpful rule for those of us who struggle to remember the score! There is something called the ‘two bounce rule’ which is only used when you serve, I think, but I am not quite clear on that one. If your opponent hits you with the ball at any time they win the point, even if they are serving and it’s supposed to be going to your partner. That rule is very unfair in my opinion. Oh, and another thing – you cannot volley (hit the ball without it bouncing first) if you are standing in the kitchen. The first team to get to 11 points, with a lead of at least two points, is the winning team.
So there you have it – all I know about this new game. I will have missed out a lot of important information I expect, but that is the basics as far as I can tell. Here is a picture of typical game being played – note that there is no requirement for a particular style of clothing or footwear!
I’m linking this with Debbie for Six Word Saturday.