No dilly in this pickle: Why Pickleball has become a popular new sport for so many

Saturday marks inaugural World Pickleball Day

People play pickleball on an empty street during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on April 13, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka (Getty Images)

For those clamoring for a World Pickleball Day, you’re about to get your wish.

The first-ever World Pickleball Day is set for Saturday, which will bring promotional opportunities and publicity for those who love the sport.

As for those who have heard little or nothing at all about Pickleball, here is a guide that answers some basic questions.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a net sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, according to USA Pickleball. Participants use paddles and a whiffle ball. It can be played both indoors and outdoors on a modified tennis net.

What are the basic rules?

Players hit the ball back and forth over the net until the ball can’t be returned. The first singles player or doubles team to reach 11 points, who’s also ahead by at least two points, is the winner. If a match is 10-10 or 11-10, it continues on until one side wins by two.

For a more in-depth look at the rules of the game, click or tap here.

Why has Pickleball become so popular?

Pickleball is a sport that is easy for people of all ages to play.

It allows people to move around and be active, but it’s not as physically demanding as tennis. The whiffle ball makes things a little easier, and it’s a good social activity.

Click or tap here for a video on Pickleball’s soaring popularity.

When was Pickleball invented?

As far as sports go, Pickleball is relatively new, since it was invented by three men in 1965 near Seattle, Washington, according to USA Pickleball.

Will Pickleball ever be an Olympic sport?

The way it’s growing, it’s a possibility sometime down the road. It won’t be a sport for next summer’s Tokyo Olympics and likely not for the 2024 Paris Olympics. But some are predicting it could happen for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, according to Pickleball Portal.

To become an official Olympic sport, Pickleball needs to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee. The criteria for a sport to be recognized by the IOC is that it has to be played in 75 countries across four continents for men’s competition or 40 countries on three continents for women’s competition.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.