Pickleball is a fun new sport that’s been taking New Zealand by storm. This interesting paddle sport combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis to create a new game that all sorts of different people can enjoy.
If you’re interested in trying new sports, then you may have heard of pickleball before. So, you might wonder, what kind of rules does this sport have? What type of equipment do players use? And, finally, what can you do to dip your toes into the world of pickleball yourself?
What Rules Does Pickleball Have?
This paddle sport is played on a badminton-sized court with a net that’s similar to a tennis net. Pickleball can be played both outdoors or indoors, with two players in a singles match or four players in a doubles match.
Similar to table tennis, players will use solid paddles to hit a small ball over the net back and forth.
Like any other sport, pickleball has rules that players must follow to make sure the game is being played properly. A few rules that all players should know are:
Serving: The serving player must stand behind the baseline, outside of the non-volley zone, and hit the ball diagonally crosscourt. The ball must bounce once in each court before it is returned.
Additionally, players are not allowed to interfere with the other team’s ability to return the ball. The ball also cannot be hit twice in a row by the same team.
Volleying: Volleying, or hitting the ball before it bounces, is allowed on the second volley and beyond. However, players cannot step inside the non-volley zone (which is also known as the ‘kitchen’) before the ball has bounced. This non-volley zone is a seven-foot area on either side of the central net.
Scoring: Scoring in pickleball is very similar to scoring in tennis. Points can be scored when the opposing team commits a fault, such as if they hit the pickleball ball out of bounds or fail to return the ball over the net. The first team that reaches 11 points and is ahead by 2 points wins the game.
What Equipment Do Pickleball Players Use?
To play pickleball, you will need the following equipment:
- Pickleball Paddles. Pickleball paddles are made of a wide variety of materials, including wood, graphite and composite. They’re larger than table tennis paddles but smaller than tennis rackets. They can come in different shapes and sizes as well, so you should try to choose one that is comfortable for you to hold and swing.
- A Pickleball Ball. Pickleball balls are similar to perforated plastic balls used in table tennis. They are slightly softer and larger than tennis balls and are available in different colours and designs.
- A Pickleball Net. The net used in pickleball is very similar to a tennis net and is placed in the centre of the court in the same way a tennis net is.
How Can I Start Playing Pickleball?
All across New Zealand, you’ll find people of all ages and abilities enjoying this fun sport. So, regardless of whether you’re a skilled athlete or someone who’s never played a game of tennis, table tennis or badminton in their life, you’re welcome to start playing!
If you’re new to pickleball, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Find a local pickleball club or group. Searching for and joining a local club is a great way to meet other players and learn the basics of the game. You can learn with others, and you may even make some new friends.
- Watch pickleball matches on television or online. Watching others can help you familiarise yourself with what to do (and what not to do) when you play pickleball.
- Practice Regularly. Like any other sport or skill, practice makes perfect. The more you practise, the better you’ll get. Remember to go at your own pace and give yourself time to get used to the game.
- Do your research. The Pickleball New Zealand Association website is a great way to learn about how this sport is enjoyed right here in Aotearoa.
- Stay Hydrated. Whenever you’re playing sports or being active, make sure you stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and after your games.
- Have Fun! Pickleball is a great way to get exercise, have fun and socialise with others. Remember to relax and have a positive mindset as you play.
Where Can I Get My Own Sports Equipment In New Zealand?
HotShot Sports Equipment is your go-to source for high-quality sports equipment in New Zealand. We have all kinds of equipment for all types of sports, from soccer to tennis to basketball.
If you’re searching for something specific, we even have a custom-made option that you can consider.
Would you like some help? Call our team on 0800 483 6647; we’ll be happy to help you find the right products for you or answer any questions you have.
Stay fit and stay happy with HotShot Sports Equipment!