As the fastest growing sport in the country, pickleball is taking the athletic world by storm. Because of this, everyone is wanting to learn more about the sports. These are the most commonly searched questions and our best answers to them. Hope this helps you learn about pickleball!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is an American sport that blends elements of badminton, ping-pong (table tennis), and tennis. It is played on a court similar to a badminton court with a net similar to tennis but slightly lower. Players use solid paddles, which are larger than ping-pong paddles, to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net. The sport is known for being accessible, low-impact, and can be played by individuals of all ages and skill levels​​​​.

Who invented pickleball and when?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Congressman Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, Washington. Several of our designs incorporate the year 1965 because of this. It was initially created as a family game but quickly became popular beyond their circle. The name "pickleball" has two possible origins: it was either named after the Pritchards' dog, Pickles, who would chase stray balls, or it was named after the term "pickle boat," referring to a mixed crew of leftover oarsmen from other boats​​​​. No one has the definite answer, but either way, it's a silly name that you grow to love. 

Why is it called a 'kitchen' in pickleball?

The 'kitchen' refers to the non-volley zone in pickleball, a seven-foot area extending from the net on both sides of the court. Players are prohibited from volleying (hitting the ball before it bounces) in this area to prevent spiking the ball over the net at a close range. The term 'kitchen' is just pickleball slang, and there's no definitive explanation for its origin, but it adds to the unique culture and lingo of the game​​​​. As I'm sure you've seen, a lot of pickleball companies incorporate "kitchen" into their name or branding. We all have fun with it.

 How do you score points in pickleball?

In pickleball, points can only be scored by the serving team when they win a rally. Games are typically played to 11 points, but players must win by at least two points. The serve is diagonal, and each team serves until they commit a fault. The serving team's score determines which player serves: if the score is even, the server is on the right side; if odd, on the left. After the serve, points can be won on any fault by the receiving side​​​​. Except on the initial serve, each team gets to serve at least twice with each player getting a turn to serve.

 What is the third shot drop in pickleball?

The third shot drop is a strategic soft shot in pickleball, hit from the back of the court after the serve and return (thus it's the third shot hit in the game). It's intended to land in the kitchen or non-volley zone, making it difficult for the opposing team to hit an aggressive volley back. This shot is crucial as it allows the serving team to move forward to the net and establish a better position for the point​​.

 Can kids play pickleball?

Absolutely, pickleball is family-friendly and suitable for children. It's a great way for kids to develop hand-eye coordination, agility, and social skills. Many communities offer junior programs, and equipment can be sized down for younger players. The game's simplicity and fun nature make it an excellent choice for family activities and physical education programs​​. 

What are the differences between singles and doubles pickleball?

In singles pickleball, one player occupies each side of the court, leading to a more physically demanding game as each player covers the entire court. In doubles, two players work as a team on each side, leading to more strategic and varied play. The serving rules and court dimensions remain the same, but the strategies and dynamics differ significantly between the two formats​​.

 What is the best strategy for beginners in pickleball?

Beginners should focus on mastering the basics: consistent serving, returning serves, and learning the third shot drop. It's also crucial to understand court positioning and movement, especially the importance of getting to the net. Beginners should practice patience, develop their shots, and avoid unforced errors. Playing defensively and waiting for the opponent to make mistakes can also be a successful strategy​​​​. We suggest joining a local pickleball club and taking beginner lessons. If you want to get better quickly, this is a great thing to do. 

How do I improve my pickleball serve?

To improve your serve, focus on consistency, placement, and varying your serves to keep opponents guessing. Practice different types of serves like the topspin, slice, and high-arching lob serves. Aim for areas of the court that are difficult for your opponent to reach and work on serving with both power and accuracy. As with anything in life, regular practice and watching tutorials can also help improve your serving technique​​​​. Practice, practice, practice! 

What are the dimensions of a pickleball court?

A pickleball court is 20 feet wide and 44 feet long, with a net set at 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches in the center. The non-volley zone, or 'kitchen,' extends 7 feet from the net on both sides, and the service areas are divided into right and left areas on each side of the court. The court layout is similar to badminton but with dimensions and rules adjusted for pickleball play​​​​.


We hope these FAQs were helpful and if you have any suggestions on new questions we should add, please let us know!