Ever wondered what it would be like to play miniature tennis? Or how about giant ping pong? Then you’re in luck because there is a sport out there for you: pickleball. That’s right, I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now but there is a good chance that you are not too familiar with the ins and outs of the game that is gaining traction across the state and nation.
Pickleball is a fairly straightforward game that begins with teams of two battling it out paddle to paddle in an effort to best one another.
Points are scored much like tennis, with there being boundaries and a net dividing the center, and a point being awarded by hitting or returning the ball over the net and inbounds without the opposition returning the hit. Now, obviously there is plenty more that goes into the game itself, but ultimately that is the main objective.
What seemingly makes the game so popular is the ease of physicality yet high level of competition. In pickleball, you are dealing with a much smaller court than in tennis, as well as a ball that bears close resemblance to a wiffle ball, thereby making it more predictable and easier to control. Allowing players of all ages and varying ranges of physical fitness to play and master the skills necessary.
But even with pickleball being a sport easily played by all ages, there is still a high level of competition.
“You know, I play pickleball not because it’s more fun or practical than tennis or these other sports,” said Alex Granite, a member an amateur pickleball team based in Utah County called the CZ. “But because to me, it’s the type of person that plays pickleball that draws me in.”
“It’s not the kind of sport you invite your basic run of the mill ‘Steve’ friends to, they wouldn’t be able to handle the competition,” said CZ teammate Ian Kirkland.
With the sport of pickleball being all but irrelevant just a few short years ago, it’s popularity and craze here in the state of Utah and throughout the nation is not something you see happen very often.
The sport has even caught the attention of NBA legends LeBron James, Draymond Green and Kevin Love as they recently announced their leading of a group of investors in an effort to purchase one of four expansion teams in Major League Pickleball.
So, whether you’re a seasoned pickleball veteran or just looking to get outside and get moving, pickleball might be something you’d want to look into.