America has a new favorite sport and although the name may be misleading, it doesn’t involve “real” pickles.
Invented in 1965, Pickleball started as a backyard game for children. The game can be played indoors or outdoors between two players (singles) or four players (doubles) using solid-faced paddles and a perforated hollow ball (similar to a whiffle ball). The appearance and manner of which it’s played resembles tennis however a pickleball court is less than a third of the size with its net height at 36-inches as compared to three-and-a-half feet for tennis.
The “ball” is made of hard polymer which produces less bounce than a standard tennis ball. The lack of bounce combined with the non-volley zone results in a high pace game of strategy and athleticism.
Basic rules of play: All serves are made with an underhand stroke and the ball must bounce once on each side of the net before either team can volley (hitting the ball in the air before it hits the ground). Players hit the ball back and forth over the net until one side commits an infraction. Only the serving team may score a point. The official rules of how to play can be found here.
With the sport’s low startup costs, low learning curve, and appeal to a wide range of ages, Pickleball has become the fastest growing sport in the United States with nearly 5 million players according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. Washington adopted Pickleball as their official state sport in 2022.
Pickleball has recently grabbed the attention of several NBA stars including LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Kevin Love who have joined in a professional venture to invest in Major League Pickleball.
Here are a few notable places where you can play Pickleball here in Las Vegas:
The Plaza Hotel & Casino offers free weekly Pickleball lessons every Saturday from local Pickleball Pro, National Champion and certified instructor, Steve Cole.
Beginner Clinic – 8am
Intermediate Clinic – 10am
Sunset Park Pickleball Complex
2601 E Sunset Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89120
More information available on the Clark County Parks and Recreation website. Check out the Pickleball video below: