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How did pickleball start


Between 1965 and 2020, it became a popular sport in the US Pacific Northwest, and in the mean time began to grow elsewhere. In 2021 and 2022 the sport was named the fastest growing sport in the United States by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, with over 4.8 million players. Growing interest in the sport is attributed to a number of factors including a short learning curve, appeal to a wide range of ages and fitness levels, and low startup costs. There are now thousands of pickleball tournaments throughout the United States, including the US National Championships and the U.S. Open Tournament, along with two professional tours and one professional league. Pickleball is also experiencing growth outside the United States with a number of other national and international competitions.

Court and equipment

Dimensions of a pickleball court

A pickleball paddle with one 26–hole pickleball (blue) and one 40–hole pickleball (yellow)


The regulation size of the court is 20 feet (6.1 m) by 44 feet (13 m) for both doubles and singles, the same size as a doubles badminton court. A line seven feet from the net is the non-volley line. Twenty-two feet from the net, the baseline marks the outer boundary of the playing area. The area bounded by the non-volley line, the sidelines, and the net, inclusive of the lines, is known as the non-volley zone, or “kitchen”. The area between the non-volley line and the baseline is the service court. A center line divides the service court into left and right sides. [35]


The net is 36 inches (0.91 m) high on the ends and 34 inches (0.86 m) high at center. The net posts should be 22 feet (6.7 m) from the inside of one post to the inside of the other post.[36]


The original ball used when the game was invented was a wiffle ball. USA Pickleball (USAP) and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) have since adopted specific ball standards unique to pickleball. Balls must be made of a durable molded material with a smooth surface, and must have between 26 and 40 evenly spaced circular holes. They must weigh between .78 and .935 ounces (22.1 and 26.5 g) and measure between 2.87 and 2.97 inches (73 and 75 mm) in diameter. Tournaments sanctioned by the USAP and IFP must choose from a list of preapproved balls found on the USAP and IFP websites.[37]

Balls with smaller holes are generally used for outdoor play to minimize the effects of wind, but any sanctioned ball can be used for either indoor or outdoor play.[25]


For sanctioned games USAP and IFP paddle size standards say the combined length and width of the paddle shall not exceed 24 inches (0.61 m), and the length cannot exceed 17 inches (0.43 m).[38] There are no requirements regarding thickness or weight. The paddle must be made of a noncompressible material and the surface of the paddle must be smooth with no texturing. Paddles used in sanctioned tournaments must be on the list of preapproved paddles found on the USAP and IFP websites.[39]

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