What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a racquet sport that takes its inspiration from badminton, table tennis, and tennis, sports that we are all quite acquainted with. It involves two or four players using paddles made of wood or polymers to hit a plastic ball (reminiscent of a Wiffle ball) with many holes over a net.
How did pickleball start?
The game started in 1965 in Washington at the residence of Joel Pritchard. Alongside his friends Bill Bell and Barney McCallum, he returned from golf one day only to find their families bored. They tried to set up and play badminton, but no one amongst them could find the misplaced shuttlecock. As a result, they improvised with a perforated plastic ball, considerably lowered the badminton net, and utilized plywood for paddles.
The growing popularity of pickleball
Numerous reasons/factors are accounting for the increasing popularity of pickleball globally. But the thing here that strikes first is that pickleball caters to all age groups and tastes. Be it a senior citizen or a teenager, a beginner or a seasoned player, pickleball has it all covered. Because pickleball is reminiscent of ping-pong when it comes to rules and even play, you can become decent enough to play within a short time. On the contrary, if you feel you have a very competitive game, you can participate in tournaments and further hone your skills.
Moreover, pickleball is a social sport where the players are pretty close to each other, allowing them to socialize with one another while maintaining, for the most part, the vital six feet distance, which is precisely the combination you need in the current Covid-19 times! There is more as well. Playing pickleball is excellent for your health. It allows you to improve your reflexes, balance, agility, and hand-eye coordination without putting too much strain on your body, unlike tennis and squash, etc. This should be heeded as it is entirely plausible to conclude that most individuals cannot afford to sacrifice their vital energy by playing demanding sports. Working people significantly will benefit as there is a great need to balance their work and general health efficiently. Pickleball can also be played both indoors and outdoors, so it is an accessible and reasonable option for recreational facilities of more or less all types. In the long term, this will only increase the appeal and popularity of pickleball as more aspiring youth will get exposure to it and be encouraged to appreciate the sport and pick up a racquet. Who knows, pickleball might reach the heights of the current great sports one day!
But perhaps the principal reason for pickleball's popularity is its affordability. Unlike several other sports, which require a significant initial investment, pickleball doesn't. Though you can buy pickleball paddles for as low as 25 to 35 dollars, you should try to go for higher quality ones from notable companies like Babolat
, and Gearbox
, renowned for specializing in sporting equipment. Although these have a higher price at about 60 to 150 bucks, they will help you play at a higher level alongside lasting a lot longer.