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10/02/2021

Common Pickleball Questions

Head to any pickleball court and you will hear words, phrases, and rules that will not be said anywhere else. For players just entering the sport, this can cause major confusion. Don’t worry - we’re here to help! Below we have compiled a list of the most common pickleball questions, along with the answer you are looking for. Whether you are a pickleball veteran, have just discovered your love for the game, or simply love all things pickles, you have come to the right place for the answers to your questions!

Let’s start with the basics: 

When and where was pickleball invented? 

Pickleball was born in 1965 and calls Bainbridge Island, not far from Seattle, Washington, its birthplace. 

Who invented pickleball? 

Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell invented pickleball in 1965. Two years later the first official court was built at Pritchard’s neighbor, Bill O’Brian’s home.

How was pickleball invented? 

Pritchard, McCallum, and Bell had initially set out to play badminton, but they improvised with paddles and a plastic ball after being unable to locate the necessary equipment. The net was quickly lowered from the 60-inch height used for badminton to the 36-inch height still used in pickleball today. The next weekend they wrote the pickleball rules, and the first official court was erected two years later in the backyard of Pritchard’s neighbor, Bill O’Brian. By 1990, pickleball was being played in all 50 states. Today, pickleball is enjoyed by over 4 million people annually.

Why is it named pickleball?

There is some debate on where exactly the name originated, but below are two of the most common theories:

  • Named after Pritchard’s dog, “Pickles,” who would chase the ball around.
  • The combination of badminton, ping pong, and tennis reminded one of the creators of a “pickleboat.” A Pickleboat is a crew made up of leftover oarsmen from other boats.

Still looking for more information on the creation of pickleball? Check out our blog post on the History of Pickleball.

Where can I play pickleball?

Almost anywhere! Pickleball is played all across the world and public and private courts are filling up. If you are looking to find a pickleball game near you, check out the Pickleplay App. Find courts, clubs, events, and players that match your skill level. Find your nearest court with the Pickleplay App today!

Pickleball Paddle or Pickleball Racket?

At JustPaddles, we have a short answer, pickleball PADDLE. While some may debate this answer, we have a dedicated blog to clear up the confusion. Please don’t be the one making us cringe on the court and check out our blog post on Pickleball Paddle or Pickleball Rackets

Pickleball Rules 

What are the rules of pickleball? 

The rules of pickleball can feel endless, but we have broken it down to make it as easy as possible. Unfortunately, the rules of pickleball cannot be answered in a quick one-sentence answer, but we have compiled every rule of the game here: The Rules of Pickleball | Everything You Need to Know. This will answer any and all questions you have on the rules of pickleball!

What is the kitchen?

Just like our mother’s rules around the house, in pickleball, you have to stay out of the kitchen. The non-volley zone is nicknamed the “kitchen” and in pickleball, no player is allowed inside (or on the line) of the non-volley zone unless the ball has bounced. This includes stepping into the kitchen following a volley or after the ball has been ruled dead. Still, trying to figure out what’s cooking in the kitchen? We have a blog dedicated to all things “kitchen,”pickleball kitchen that is. Check out our Pickleball Kitchen Explained blog post!

How do you score a point in pickleball? 

In pickleball, your team only scores while you are serving, similar to volleyball. Games are often played to 11 (win by two) and each team will receive 2 serves. Points are played until one of the teams commits a fault and the opposing team receives a point if they are serving. 

If the pickleball hits the line is it in or out?

If you are in a very serious game of pickleball, it may be best to ask someone to referee. Most of us are just enjoying the game and calling ins and outs as we see it. For those close calls though, remember that if the pickleball hits the line, it’s in! 

What is the dimension of a pickleball court?

For a lot of pickleball players out there, pickleball starts with a tape measure and sports tape. In the early years of pickleball, there weren’t as many dedicated pickleball courts as there are today, so in order to get out on the court, players had to make their own! Get the full breakdown of a pickleball court by checking out our blog on Breaking Down the Pickleball Court.

Paddle Assurance

Pickleball Paddle Questions

How do I choose the right pickleball paddle?

This is one of, if not the most asked questions within pickleball. There are many pickleball paddle options available and you want the best! Unfortunately, this is not a one-word answer, but to sum up our thoughts, the most important factor in choosing the right pickleball paddle is YOU. Because almost every pickleball player is different, it is best to know what you, as an individual, do well and find the paddle that suits you best. Whether that be a control, balanced, or power paddle there is a pickleball paddle out there for you that will help elevate your game. We have broken down every aspect of choosing the right pickleball paddle in a blog post! Check out How to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle and let our Paddle Experts know if you have any questions!

Why is there a range of weight in pickleball paddles?

Have you found your exact, desired paddle weight yet? If yes, I am sure you have become frustrated that almost all pickleball paddles will come in a weight range rather than an exact measurement. For  example, a paddle will have a weight range of 7.7 - 8.0 oz rather than be advertised as exactly 7.9 oz. Unfortunately, with the number of paddles produced, manufacturers have a very hard time getting the precise weight of every single paddle that they sell. 

If you have a specific weight you are looking for, we recommend holding off on using the paddle until you have weighed it. As long as the paddle is unused it can be returned and swapped out to get the weight you desire. If you don’t have a preferred weight yet, try out our Paddle Assurance Program and ensure you have the perfect paddle for you.

Are you still looking for more information on selecting a pickleball paddle? We have assembled the ultimate resource guide for buying a pickleball paddle. Check out our JustPaddles Buying Guide to get all the information you need on pickleball paddles!

Pickleball Terms:

What is an ATP?

If you are watching a game of pickleball and someone scores a point on the illusive ATP shot you will understand almost right away. One of the better shots in pickleball, an ATP is a shot that is hit Around The Post of the net. Typically this shot brings a player outside of the sideline and the player hits the pickleball around the post of the net into the opponent’s side of the court. This is cause for celebration and you will see many laughs and smiles if this is done correctly!

What is a banger?

Typically this involves some negative connotation, apologies if you have been called this but...you can change. A banger is a player who is constantly hitting balls hard and has a tough time slowing the game down with finesse and precision. While it is good to hit the ball hard, great players can bring both power and control to their style of play.

What is a dink?

A soft shot hit on a bounce from the non-volley zone intended to arc over the net and land within the opposing non-volley, either straight across or diagonally crosscourt. An effective dink arcs downward as it crosses the net, creating a more difficult shot to return than a power shot. To become an elite pickleball player, you must master the dink.

Miscellaneous:

What is the biggest pickleball tournament?

The biggest pickleball party (tournament) in the world is The Minto US OPEN Pickleball Championships. Bringing players from across the globe to Florida to enjoy great pickleball and great competition.

Is pickleball in the Olympics?

Not yet! You may be surprised that pickleball is not yet an Olympic sport with some of the other sports you see played every four years. Do not fear though, as the International Federation of Pickleball’s goal is to grow the game of pickleball with hopes to one day make the great game of pickleball an Olympic sport. 2024 Paris, here comes pickleball? 

Is pickleball the fastest growing sport?

While we pickleball players know how great the sport of pickleball is, for many it is just catching on. But we are not the only ones catching the pickleball bug. There were 4.2 million players in the US last year, a 21% increase from 2019, with nearly 30% of “core” players under the age of 35. Some believe that this year could see an even bigger jump! It’s not just us saying this either, check out Boston Globe’s article on the growth of pickleball HERE!

As pickleball continues to grow at a rapid rate, questions will continue to come but we hope we have answered common pickleball-related questions that you can expect to hear while out on the court. From pickleball professionals to those just getting into the game, questions come up and we are committed to providing answers. If we haven’t answered any questions that you have on pickleball, reach out to our trained Paddle Experts. They will be with you from Click to Court!

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Looking for the perfect pickleball paddle? There are hundreds of paddles on the market, which is why we have an entire page dedicated to Pickleball Paddle Reviews! If you need more information, give us a call at 1-866-382-3465, email us at experts@justpaddles.com, or utilize our live chat to speak with a Paddle Expert today. We’re JustPaddles, and we’re with you from Click to Court!

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