What would you think if you heard someone describe a sport like this — it’s played on a mini tennis court with oversized ping-pong paddles and what looks to be a whiffle ball? You’d probably stare at the person for a little bit, and then realize that they’re talking about pickleball!
As a racquet sport, there are some basic skills that are easily learned for play, but if you ask any pickleballer they’ll agree on the best aspect of the game — the community of players. New players are welcomed with open arms, and those more experienced will help newcomers hone their technique, understand the game and give some pointers. It’s completely normal to hear an opponent compliment those opposite them on a nice shot, a good hit or a smart play. While the rules of the game require good sportsmanship, it’s still incredibly competitive!
As the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., the game is played all over the country by those of all skills and ages. Places like Bend, Oregon, The Villages, Florida and Dallas, Texas are just a few of the towns across the country that are known for their love of pickleball. To make it even more fun, each year there are two major tournaments held on opposite sides of the country (so we can all get a taste of the pickleball love!). The U.S. Pickleball Open is held in April or May each year in Naples, Florida and is then complimented by the USAPA Pickleball National Championships in Indian Wells, California each year in November. Both of these tournaments will have over 2,000 players participate, with player ages ranging from 10 to those well into their 90’s.
Now that you’ve got the bug to play pickleball, you need a paddle before you hit the court! We recommend visiting GAMMA Pickleball’s website and looking at their line of paddles. With great touch and feel (and fun designs!), you’re sure to find the perfect paddle that’s fit for you so you never stop playing!