All The Racket About Pickleball
There are more than 36.5 million pickleball players in the U.S., representing an average annual growth of 159% the past three years. Roughly 60% are male, 40% female.
Because the sport is relatively young, most players are beginners, so there's little intimidation factor and, therefore, no excuse not to take to Olde Cypress' courts.
About the fastest-growing sport three years running, it is:
- A cross between ping pong, badminton and tennis.
- Easy to learn, fun to play and enjoyed by all ages (yes, seniors!).
- An open play format allowing to mix and match with dozens of others in sessions.
- Slower paced than tennis with less ground to cover.
- More apt to play doubles than singles, making the game more sociable.
- Safer than tennis with people with heart issues, research suggests.
- A healthy workout full of hand-foot-brain coordination for a physical-mental workout.
- Inclusive as you show up alone as a relative beginner and leave with new friends.
- Akin in tennis wardrobe, so the Olde Cypress pro shops stocks the perfect outfits,
Pickleball at Olde Cypress:
For those who haven't engaged in this dynamic sport yet, a beginner clinic is right up your alley. On the first Monday of the month from noon to 1 p.m. we cover rules, scoring, grips, form and strategy on the court. First come, first serve, $20 per person.
Drop-in court time for beginners only is Wednesday from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and drop-in for all player levels is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the same time window.
Be on the lookout for Olde Cypress hosting mixers and bootcamps which include pickleball play.
Comments from club members:
- "Pickleball is my happy place."
- "It's been love at first volley."
- "I never stop playing and I never stop smiling."
- "It's great for my balance, agility, reflexes and hand-eye coordination."
- "Making retirement great again."
- "Play it once, love it forever."
"Pickleball's small court makes it incredibly interactive," says Christie Pollin, Director of Racquets at Olde Cypress. "Members of all ages are picking up the sport quickly and playing with their friends, kids and grandchildren more frequently than ever."
- Pickleball was created in 1965.
- It is named after Pickles, the dog of a pickleball inventor, Congressman Joel Pritchard.
- The sport was invented by three dads in Washington state suffering from summer boredom.
- Paddles were initially made of wood, but now are of lightweight graphite and aluminum.
- Pickleball paddles are larger than a ping-pong paddle, but smaller than a tennis racket.
- Pickleball balls have holes similar than holes found in Wiffle balls
- Pickleball balls travel approximately one-third the speed of a tennis ball.
- Players are referred to as "picklers" game losers have been "pickled."
- The seven-foot non-volley zone directly in front of the net is called "the kitchen."
- A soft shot that narrowly arcs over the net and lands in the kitchen is a "dink shot."
To further whet your appetite, here's a beginner's guide to pickleball video.