What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fun sport enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.
A cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis (or ping pong), Pickleball is played on a badminton doubles-sized court using paddles and a hollow, plastic ball with holes in it. (Also known as a wiffle ball). The net is slightly lower than a tennis net.
Pickleball was invented in 1965 in the USA on Bainbridge Island, Seattle, and has seen a huge upswing in popularity in the last 10 years or so. Currently there are more than 2.8 million players in the United States alone, with an average of 94 new places to play being added each month. (USAPA 2018)
The peculiar name of Pickleball supposedly came from an American term used in the sport of rowing - a pickle crew - being a crew consisting of the rowers leftover once all the other crews have been selected. So Pickleball, consisting of features from various other sporting codes, could be viewed as the pickle-crew of sports.
The rules, equipment and court size are specifically designed to create a fast, fun and more rallying game. Pickleball is ideally suited to those who may be finding the tennis court a bit too big or the badminton shuttle a little too high, to those recovering from injuries, and as a family game where those of different ages, heights and abilities can all play happily together. Easy to learn, but difficult to master, and very addictive.
Having played it in Auckland before moving to Whitianga, a group of enthusiastic community members ably led by Rachel Johnstone have formed the Whitianga Pickleball Club and facilitated two open days in October to introduce the sport to the wider community with huge success. This addictive sport has now spread to Pauanui and Thames, so keep an eye out in your area for any potential opportunities to participate.
Thames: Monday 2nd December, 10am, Jack McLean Recreation Centre, Rolleston Street
No need to bring any equipment just some indoor court appropriate shoes.
Pauanui: Every Wednesday at 2.30pm at the Pauanui Club Hall.
Whitianga: Sundays 4pm-6pm starting 8th December at the Mercury Bay Area School Gymnasium