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Pickleball......it's Not Just a Game....it's Better Than Sex...Almost

From playing chess to playing pickleball, it's been an interesting journey. I've met many new friends through this great sport.

Easton Area Pickleball.....Where a Small City Comes Alive

Easton Area Pickleball

Easton Area Pickleball

Easton Area Pickleball Ambassadors

We, the pickleball players, of Easton, PA try to exemplify and impart the goodwill that dedicated ambassadors of this great sport should. We come together at various locations at least 3 days every week, and as many as seven days each week. The weather and whether or not the kids are in school, determines when and where we can play. There are some days in the summer, where it is unavoidable to miss a day due to rain and the kids being off of school, but when that happens, we try to add a substitute day into our schedule. To see our schedule, visit our website at http://eastonareapickleball.com or visit our Facebook Page.

Onix Z5 Graphite Pickleball Paddle Review

I use the Onix Z5 Graphite pickleball paddle almost exclusively when I play indoor pickleball. I love this paddle, because it's light weight, the grip is comfortable, and the slightly rough surface of the paddle faces makes it easy to impart a great deal of spin on the ball. The paddle is also very durable and stands up to hours and hours of play without showing any appreciable amount of wear.

Z-5 Pickleball Paddles

Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs

Outdoor Pickleball

Outdoor Pickleball

Outdoor Pickleballs

The most popular outdoor pickleballs are made by Onix and DuraFast. An outdoor ball is a little bit harder than an indoor ball. Most outdoor balls have 40 holes, and sometimes they are all the same size, and sometimes they are two different sizes. The maximum speed an outdoor pickleball can attain is around 53 mph. Monarch also manufactures outdoor pickleballs, and has them available in sets with inexpensive wooden paddles for beginning players who don't want to invest a lot of money until they decide if the like playing this sport.

Onix Fuse Pickleballs

Indoor Pickleballs

An indoor pickleball is slightly softer than an outdoor pickleball and typically has 32 holes. We use exclusively Onix indoor balls in Easton. Balls come in a variety of colors including yellow, orange, lime green, white, pink, and black. The color of your playing surface is and important factor in deciding what color ball is the best to use in your particular situation. If you play on a wooden gym floor that is slightly yellowish in the sunshine (if there are windows in your gym), then probably yellow balls are not a good choice, but orange balls might be. Trial and error is the best way to find out, and perhaps getting a pack of assorted colors of balls would be helpful in making a decision.

Onix Pure Indoor Pickleballs-Orange 3 Pack

The Pickleball Court

A standard pickleball court is 20 feet by 44 feet. Each side of the court is divided into 3 sections. The left service area, the right service area, and the kitchen (or non-volley zone). The USAPA(United States of America Pickleball Association) has published rules of the game of pickleball that have just been updated in 2019. The most misunderstood part of the rules are the rules relating to the kitchen. The below video helps explain exactly what those rules are.

A Brief Synopsis of the Pickleball Rules

1. Serve-Gone over previously above. Player must call the score before serving.

2 Two Bounce Rule-After the ball is served it must bounce once in the correct receiver's service area. If the receiver successfully returns the serve, it must bounce once in the opponents' court prior to being hit by the opponent. After the two bounces, the ball no longer needs to bounce prior to being hit, with the exception of the kitchen. If the ball lands in the kitchen, it must bounce before the receiving side can hit it. Other than that, the ball can be hit in the air at any time.

3. Foot faults-If the server steps into the service area during the serve it is a foot fault, and the serve goes to the 2nd server, or the opposing team. If players foot goes outside the boundry of the sideline (which is an imaginary line that extends to infinity), it is a foot fault and the same rule applies as mentioned previously.

4. Any ball which has it's point of contact on a sideline or baseline, is in bounds, with the exception of a service ball which lands in the kitchen or has it's point of contact on any portion of the line that borders the kitchen.

5. Unless the match is refereed or has line judges, it is up to the receiving side to determine if a ball is in or out. In the event that the two partners on the receiving team cannot agree on whether the ball is in or out, it will be considered to be out. If the receiving team and the opposing team have a difference opinion as to whether the ball was in or out, in recreational play, they may decide to replay the point. In referred play, it is the discretion of the referee to make the final decision.

The Pickleball Net

The pickleball net looks very similar to a tennis net. However, unlike a tennis net, instead of being the same height all the way across, it is 36" at each end and 34" at the middle. On a dedicated pickleball court, the net will extend slightly beyond the width of the court; however, on tennis courts that are specially lined for pickleball, the net will still extend the entire length of the tennis court playing surface. Many tennis nets do have a center strap that can be adjusted so the net can be made to be the correct height, or if you have someone who is creative, a jerry rigged concoction consisting of an S-hook, a piece of wire the correct length, and some type of lightweight bracket that can slip over the top of the net, can be used in lieu of adjusting the strap. There are many versions of temporary pickleball nets that are available from Amazon or PickleballCentral.

Pickleball Net

Rules of the Kitchen

The Pickleball Serve and Scoring

The Pickleball Serve must be made underhand with motion in an upward arc. Contact with the ball must be made below the waist (naval), and the highest portion of the paddle must be below the wrist. Serves are allows made to the diagonal service area. At the beginning of the game, the first side to serve only gets one serve, unless the ball hits the top of the net, and lands in the correct opposing service area. If the ball lands in the kitchen or out of bounds, the side loses their serve (known as side out). The server must call the score before serving. In a refereed match, the referee would call the score, and the server would then have 10 seconds to serve, or it becomes a fault. The score at the very beginning of a game is 0-0-start or 0-0-2. The first number being the serving teams score, the second number being the opposing teams score, and the third number being the server number. Only the serving team can score. Typically, a game goes to 11 points, and the winning team must win by 2 points. A match usually consists of the best 2-out-of-3 games. If there is a tie after 2 games, then a 3rd game may be played to 15. The tie-breaker game, players will switch sides of the court when the leading team has 8 points.

Rules of the Pickleball Serve Compliments of Third Shot Sports

Pickleball Poll

Where We Play Pickleball in Easton, PA 9 AM Most Mon, Wed, & Fri Mornings

Pickleball Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the Size of a Pickleball Court
    • 15 feet X 60 feet
    • 20 feet X 44 feet
    • The Same Size as a Tennis Court
  2. What is the Correct Way to Serve in Pickleball
    • Overhand
    • Side Arm
    • Underhand in an Upward Arc
  3. Where Should the Paddle Connect With the Ball During the Serve
    • Above the Server's Head
    • Below the Server's Naval
    • Below the Server's Feet
  4. Where Can One Play Pickleball
    • Indoors or Outdoors
    • Indoors Only
    • Outdoors Only
    • In a Swimming Pool

Answer Key

  1. 15 feet X 60 feet
  2. Overhand
  3. Above the Server's Head
  4. Indoors or Outdoors

How Do I Know What Level of Player I Am?

Player rankings go from 1.0 to 5.0. The IFP has published some guidelines to follow to give yourself a rough idea where you should fall in the mix. This section also explains how to get an "official" skill rating which will be required in the event you ever want to play in a USAPA sanctioned pickleball tournament. You also must be a USAPA member in good standing to play in a USAPA sanctioned tournament. "To submit your self-rating for conideration you must eMail your application to ratingsadmin@usapa.org along with a letter of support from either a USAPA experienced and rated tournament player, a USAPA tournament director, or a USAPA Ambassador."1

Resources

1http://www.usapa.org

http://ipf.org

http://www.pickleballcentral.com

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 John Fisher

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