If you are not familiar with pickle ball, you may want to pay attention. It's a sport that is easy to learn and fun to play for people at all ages and skill levels. And in Naples it is super popular. In fact, we even host the pickle ball world championships here!
There are many places in Naples for beginners to come out and give pickle ball a try. In fact, many residential communities have converted one or two of their tennis courts from tennis to pickle ball. It is lots of fun and the "pickle ball community" is a welcoming bunch who enjoy showing new players how to play and learn the sport.
A Brief History
In 1965 after a round of golf, Joel Pritchard, congressman from Washington State and Bill Bell, successful businessman, returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. Using a combination of ping pong paddles, a badminton net and a wiffle ball, they invented the game that would become pickle ball. In the early years, no official name was assigned to the game. However a year or two after the game was invented, the Pritchards purchased a cocker spaniel and named it Pickles. As the game progressed, an official name was needed and “pickle ball” was it.
The size of the court is about half the size of a tennis court and the net is hung at 36 inches at each side and 34 inches in the center.
The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level in an upward arc. The server hits from behind the baseline on one side of the center line and aims diagonally to the opponent’s service court.
Only the serving side may score a point. Play ends for a point when one side commits a fault. Faults include:
- not hitting the serve into the opponent's diagonal service court
- not hitting the ball beyond the net
- not hitting the ball or hitting after the 2nd bounce on one side of the net
- hitting the ball out of bounds
- volleying the ball on the service return
- volleying the ball on the first return by the serving side
- stepping into the non-volley zone (the first seven feet from the net, also known as the "kitchen") in the act of volleying the ball.
A player may enter the non-volley zone to play a ball that bounces and may stay there to play balls that bounce.The player must exit the non-volley zone before playing a volley.
The first side scoring 11 points leading by at least two points wins the game. If the two sides are tied at 10 points apiece, the side that goes ahead by two points wins the game.
Why not give pickle ball a try?