What Is Pickleball?

Pickleball has been around for longer than you may expect and was thought up by families in Washington State’s, Bainbridge Island. It has, however, grown immensely in popularity in the past few years, and that is what has likely brought you here. To give you an idea, between 2019 and 2020, the rate of participation grew by 21.3%.

Your ball and racquet sports’ skill level will likely quicken the learning time, but on average, it takes people as little as 5 to 15 minutes to learn to play, while others may require a full hour to grasp the rules and manage to get a good rally going. Good memory and coordination will aid you.

If you want to learn about one of the fastest-growing sports in America, you have chosen wisely by deciding to want to learn pickleball. This sport is a mash-up of various sports such as badminton, ping-pong, and tennis. The sport is played on a tennis-like court, but it is much smaller. So to discover how long it will take to learn, be sure to read on.

The Time It Takes To Learn Pickleball

When it comes to most racquet/paddle sports, you will likely have noted (if you have played one before) that it takes an extended period to learn how to play correctly. This is in terms of the rules and gameplay, to the actual execution of playing the sport itself. There are special techniques for hitting the ball, holding the paddle, dominating the court, and so on.

However, with pickleball, the story is completely different, and you can be briefed on the rules, shown typical means of holding the paddle, serving, and engaging in rallies within under an hour. Some people may pick up the sport more easily than others, and they will have it down within minutes, whereas some will need to take a good hour or so to get a proper feel for it.

If you are agile, have quick reflexes and good coordination, as well as an affinity for memorizing rules quickly, you will have no trouble learning how to play this fun and fast-paced sport. To see a brief video summing up what has just been mentioned, take a look here.

Learning The Game Of Pickleball

So you want to learn how to play pickleball? Below, we discuss topics that will aid you along that journey and hopefully shed some light on the topic for you. Additionally, see the following brief Youtube video on the topic.

The Best Way One Can Learn How To Play

The best way to learn how to play any sport is by being briefed, but then actually picking up the gear and trying your hand at it. So once you know the rules and have a fair grasp on what to do and what not to do, then you can begin by simply playing the ball back and forth over the net. This will help you get more comfortable with the paddle and how to execute different types of shots.

For example, there is a space on the court known as the “no-volley zone”, sometimes referred to as “the kitchen”. Here, you may not volley or hit the ball directly out of the air, thus if someone uses this type of shot (a “dink”) against you, you will be forced to retort with a shot that is usually weaker or you might miss the ball completely.

The Dimensions Of The Court

The court for pickleball closely resembles that of a tennis court, however, it is much smaller, and its dimensions are 20 feet (6 meters) wide by 44 feet (13 meters) in length. Regardless of playing singles or doubles, this is the court size you will play on. In terms of the way the court is divided, it is split into two service zones, with the “kitchen” being 7 feet (2 meters).

Are You Too Young Or Old To Learn To Play?

Pickleball can be played by almost anyone, regardless of their age or abilities, and is a great place to start if you have never played a racquet/paddle sport before. The ages that play this sport vary extensively, and young children, to people upwards of 70 years old, are known to partake.

Also, suppose you would like to improve your coordination, agility, speed, cardiovascular abilities and meet plenty of wonderfully friendly people along the way. In that case, age should certainly not be a factor prohibiting you from partaking.

Where Can One Go To Play?

This one may surprise you, and that is the fact that many public parks now have this amenity added to them, and one can access them free of charge. Additionally, public and private tennis courts in certain areas are being refurbished to accommodate pickleball; this is often done by merely adding the lines to the existing courts.

The great thing about pickleball courts is that 4 of them can fit on a standard-sized tennis court, so in theory, up to 16 people could be playing on the same amount of space which would allow for a maximum of 4 tennis players.

What Is Needed To Start Playing?

When it comes to the start-up fees for pickleball, they certainly are not nearly as expensive as those of some other sports, including racquet sports. Before going out and purchasing the equipment and apparel, though, perhaps first try your hand at it, and if you enjoy it, purchase the following items:

  • Paddle: Various materials are used to make these paddles, which are smaller than tennis racquets, yet quite a bit larger than table-tennis paddles. You can purchase one made from graphite, wood (not recommended for beginners), and aluminum.
  • Pickleball: The ball is similar to Wiffle balls and is rather lightweight and has holes. Also, it must be noted that there are both indoor and outdoor types of balls, so be sure to purchase the one(s) for your needs.
  • Apparel and Footwear: What you might wear to play a game of tennis, such as a t-shirt (or golf shirt), comfortable and nonrestrictive shorts, or sweatpants, will work for pickleball. As far as shoes go, you will need a decent quality pair of tennis shoes for this sport.

General Pickleball Etiquette

Unless you are playing professionally, pickleball is likely simply a fun and friendly experience where you can keep fit and engage with others. So be sure to be kind and courteous with the other players; greet them when you arrive and compliment them on a game well played. Also, honesty is key; if there was a foul, then admit it and play on. Stick to the rules, control your attitude and have fun.


Although certain variables will come into play regarding how quickly one can learn pickleball, at the end of it, you will likely need, at most, a full hour (perhaps a lesson) to get the basics down. Others will pick up the paddle and be ready to go in minutes. Regardless, be patient with yourself and remember to have fun; hopefully, this article has answered that burning question.


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