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Pickleball 101: Simplifying the Surging Sport

Pickleball, a sport that merges elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, has rapidly evolved into a social staple among younger crowds. Here's your laid-back guide to understanding pickleball without needing to step onto the competitive court.

It’s All in the Serve

In pickleball, the serve is underhand and the ball must be hit below the waist. Simple, right? It’s like serving up your favorite cocktail at a backyard barbecue—casual and with a smile.

Whose Turn Is It Anyway?

After the serve, the ball must bounce once before returning, and then each side must let it bounce again before volleys are allowed. Think of it as a “two-bounce” rule that ensures a friendly game and ensures everyone gets a turn before getting into the action.

Stay Out of the Kitchen

No, we’re not talking about avoiding your culinary duties; in pickleball, “the kitchen” refers to the non-volley zone. This area extends 7 feet from the net on either side, and you should avoid volleying from here.

Scoring for Fun

In pickleball, only the serving side can score points, with the score announced as server's score, receiver's score, and server number in doubles. The game begins with a serve from the right-hand side of the court, and servers alternate sides with each point scored. If the server wins the rally, they continue to serve; if they lose, the serve passes to the opponent in singles or the partner in doubles. Matches are typically played to 11 points and require a win by at least a 2-point margin.

Why Pickleball?

Beyond the rules, pickleball is about connecting with friends, enjoying a laugh, and staying active. It's less about fierce competition and more about adding an element of lighthearted fun to your day. For a new generation of players looking to expand their social circles, it’s the perfect blend of sport and leisure.

Join the Community

As pickleball continues to grow, local communities are forming leagues that focus on fun, inclusivity, and social interaction. Whether you’re looking to make new friends, learn a new skill, or just have some fun, the pickleball community is welcoming you with open arms.

Pickleball isn't just a game—it's a way to bring people together, make new friends, and create memories without keeping score. So grab a Yalla paddle, find your nearest court, and let the good times roll. Let's Go!


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