In the realm of racquet sports, tennis and badminton have long reigned supreme. But there’s a new kid on the block, and it’s rapidly stealing the hearts of enthusiasts and casual players alike. Welcome to the world of Pickleball, a sport that combines the best elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Pickleball, exploring the rules and why it’s becoming the fastest-growing sport you’ve never heard of.
Getting To Know Pickleball
Pickleball is typically played on a badminton-sized court, with a net lowered to just under a metre at the centre. The game is played with a hard paddle and a perforated plastic ball. Pickleball can be enjoyed as a singles or doubles game, making it suitable for players of all ages and skill levels.
The Rules of the Game
Pickleball is known for its simple rules:
- Serving – The serve must be diagonal, clearing the no-volley zone (the “kitchen”). Serves are underhanded.
- Double Bounce Rule – Both sides must let the ball bounce once before volleying (hitting it without letting it bounce).
- No-Volley Zone – Players can’t volley from within the 2 metre no-volley zone near the net.
- Scoring – Games are played to 11, 15 or 21 points, with a two-point win margin.
- Faults – Faults include serving out of bounds, not clearing the no-volley zone, and volleying from within it.
Pickleball’s Rise in Australia
Pickleball is already a multi-billion-dollar sport and in 2023 it was the fastest growing sport in the United States, for the third year in a row. Australia has not missed the Pickleball phenomenon, and the sport is currently spreading rapidly across the country.
So why is Pickleball taking the world by storm? Pickleball’s smaller court size and slower ball make it a sport that’s accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Local communities have embraced the game, with new pickleball courts popping up across the country. Pickleball is one of the few sports where intergenerational play is not only encouraged but celebrated. For spectators, Pickleball’s fast pace and quick reflexes make it incredible exciting to play and watch.
Grassroots support has been matched by endorsement for developing a professional league. In 2023, Pacific Pickleball was recognised as the professional league in Australia, hosted a series of events across the country and announced its partnership with Major League Pickleball. The new partnership with Major League Pickleball sees the league continue to expand to over 12 events next year with total prize money increase from $200,000 to $700,000.
At KPI Sports, we were thrilled to provide competition uniforms for the recent Pro Pickleball competitions in Brisbane and Sydney. So, if you’re looking for a new, exciting game it might be time to pick up a pickleball paddle and join the fun!
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