Keira Roup serves the pickleball over the net in a game against her dad, Christopher, with Reese and Ryder Herron. They tried out the new PickleBall court at the Rock Port City Park on Saturday. Pickleball is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.
You may have noticed that the Rock Port City Park’s tennis courts look a little different lately. Now, there is a smaller, blue and white square inside the second court.
So what is it? No, it’s not an ode to Blue Jays, it’s a pickleball court, courtesy of Greg Young. He has partnered with the City of Rock Port and the Rock Port Park Board to create a pickleball court and provide the equipment to anyone who wants to play the game. Currently, the equipment can be checked out at the Rock Port Pool during pool hours. The price to rent the equipment is to be determined via the Park Board and will be announced soon.
So now that you have the equipment, just how do you play pickleball? Think of it as table tennis, meets traditional tennis, meets badminton. You have a net, a court, paddles and a lightweight ball (similar to a whiffle ball). Players can face off as singles or doubles, just as in traditional tennis.The complete rule book can downloaded at USAPA.org, but here are the basics:
The game begins with one side serving the pickleball. To properly serve the ball, the player must keep one foot behind the back line and strike the ball with an underhand swing, aiming at the service court located diagonally over the net, and clearing the no-volley zone (the no-volley zone is the white space in front of the net on each side).
Service starts from the right hand court. Only one fault is allowed. In the case of doubles, both players get to serve once, and then the serve is taken over by the opposing player/team. The ball is served diagonally across the net to the opponent’s service court using an underhand motion. The ball is struck back and forth across the net until a player fails to return the ball in accordance with the rules.
Both sides must allow the pickleball to bounce first before hitting it with the paddle at least one time from the start of the game. Thereafter, players may volley the ball (hit it without allowing it to bounce), provided they are not within no-volley zone. A player or team scores points only when they are serving and a fault of the other team occurs. A pickleball game is played to 11 points and a win must be by 2 points.
Rules vary and scoring differs depending on single vs. double players, but rules can be found easily online.