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Pickleball is a racket/paddle ball sport that includes the infusion of other sports such as tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

The sport can be played indoors or out with two to four players. Solid paddles are the requirement for playing the sport with plastic balls with holes. It is a popular game for all ages and a great sport for social engagement.

The idea for Pickleball was derived in 1965 when Washington State congressman, Joel Pritchard and a business friend became inspired to create a sport the family could play. Pritchard’s property had a badminton court, but he did not want to play a badminton game and improvised with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball.


He lowered the net and adjusted the rules and the sport of pickleball was born. Pickleball has evolved from a game played with handmade equipment and improvised rules to a sport that is now recognized as a popular activity in the US and Canada. The sport has captured the attention of millions of players in America.

There are many health benefits associated with playing pickleball and it is not defined as an aerobic sport but a sport with a moderate intensity that aids in burning calories. It is recommended for all ages but suggested for older adults who may have less mobility and stamina because of the size of the court.

Moderate exercise can help with the reduction of cholesterol levels and lower the risk for cardiovascular disease. Activity can also help in the lowering of blood pressure and increased cardiovascular endurance. The movement can help improve mobility, balance, and range of motion. The sport does not move as quickly as tennis, which allows for better mobility and form.

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court which is twenty by forty-four feet. The net is three feet high at the sideline and thirty-four inches at the center. There can be two to four players and each player takes a stand position to the right and left of the center line. The players hit two types of shots.

Groundstrokes hit off the base from the baseline and valleys are hit out of the air closer to the net. The game rules can be a little complex but once you learn the rules of the game it can be a fun and
social sport.

The main muscles involved in pickleball include the deltoids, biceps, triceps and lats. Muscles engaged in the lower body are the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Agility, speed and balance are one of the great benefits of pickleball. In the beginning, your muscles will get sore from playing with the combination of movements. Sore muscles are common with engaging in a new activity. Sore muscles are called DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) anywhere from one to several days afterward.
Exercises to consider for training can include lunges which improve your balance and stability. Pushups which can be done against a wall, counter, or on the floor, and planks that engage your core muscles and improve stability. There can be injuries associated with any sport and pickleball injuries include shoulder and muscle strain and twisted ankles from turns. With any new sport, it is advised to seek medical advice if you are under the care of a physician.

Additionally, if a person has cardiovascular or pulmonary conditions a release from a physician may be advised before signing up for a course. Pickleball is popular in the Fayetteville area. Fourteen courts are presently scattered around Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Eastover, and Southern Pines. Check local listings for courses and times.

Live love life and pickleball.

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