Pickleball: World’s fastest growing sport that no one has ever heard of

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There’s a new sport in town, and it looks like it’s here to stay! Pickleball is currently the fastest growing sport in the world and there’s no question why — it’s fun, a great workout and almost anyone can pick it up quickly. It’s also super inexpensive to maintain and requires very little skill to get involved. Here’s some more information on this quickly growing sport and how you can try it out!

What is it?

What makes pickleball so awesome is that it seamlessly mixes three sports into one. A combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong, there are aspects of the sport everyone can enjoy. Pickleball is played on a court that’s the same size as a badminton court, but made out of the same material as a tennis court. The net is also on the ground like in tennis, but it’s much lower. Pickleball is played with special paddles that are larger than ping pong paddles, but smaller than tennis racquets and typically made of aluminum and graphite. It’s important to find a correctly weighted paddle when you begin playing. The ball is very similar to a wiffle ball, as it’s covered in small holes. The sport can be played as singles or doubles, but is mostly played in round-robin form where partners are mixed each game. 

Why is it so popular?

Although similar to tennis and badminton, pickleball is much easier to learn. After a few lessons or even after just jumping in on a game, most people pick it up quickly. It requires much less skill and athletic ability than other racquet and court sports. Since the court is small, it’s easier to move around. Because of this, people of all ages can play — I’ve seen 80-year-olds, 8-year-olds and everyone in between! Since such a diverse range of people can play, pickleball is one of the most social sports around. Hopping into a random game is a common practice in pickleball and makes for some super fun matches. Pickleball is a great way to get active and exercise without killing your body or your time. Since it’s less intense than other sports, injuries are much less common as well.

How to play in Berkeley

As it’s still on the rise in many locations, pickleball is just starting to take hold in Berkeley. The first official courts just opened up in Cedar Rose Park. Either book a court for you and your pickleball squad or go solo and join in on one of the games going on at the park! Games typically last about 15 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time between classes to sneak in a couple of games! If you’re one to be a leader, you can even bring pickleball to UC Berkeley! Gather some friends and create an intramural pickleball league! It’s cheap, easy and everyone can play. 

Hop on the pickleball bandwagon! It’s so easy to get started, and you’ll be a pro in no time.

“Contact Jackie Amendola at [email protected].”