Pickleball

Pickleball is Highlands Falls Country Club's latest addition to its numerous activities.  Added in 2016, the Club offers pickleball clinics and organized play for the members of the Club, their family members and guests. 

WHAT IS PICKLEBALL?

A paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players. Currently, the sport of pickleball is exploding in popularity all over the country. The number of places to play has more than doubled since 2010.

THE BASICS

A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.
Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.
Played with a paddle and a plastic ball.

A LITTLE HISTORY

The game of Pickleball was born quite accidentally in the summer of 1965.  Joel Pritchard, a Washington State congressman along with friend and successful businessman, Bill Bell returned to Pritchard’s home on Bainbridge Island, WA (near Seattle) to find their families sitting around with nothing to do. Housed on the property was an old badminton court,  so Pritchard and Bell went looking for some badminton equipment.   Unable to find a full set of rackets, they improvised by playing with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball. The game began with the net at badminton height of 60 inches, but the weekend progressed, the players found that the ball bounced well on the asphalt surface and as a result, the net was lowered to 36 inches. The following weekend, Barney McCallum was introduced to the game at Pritchard’s home. Relying heavily on badminton, the three men began creating rules. Their original purpose; to create a game that the whole family could play together.  In 1967 the first permanent pickleball court was constructed in the backyard of Joel Pritchard's neighbor and friend, Bob O'Brian and in 1972 a corporation was formed to protect the creation of this new sport and by 1990, pickleball was being played in all 50 states.

PLAY

The ball is served with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level (waist is defined as the navel level) in an upward arc from behind the baseline, diagonally to the opponent’s service zone.

Points are scored by the serving side only and occur when the opponent faults (fails to return the ball, hits ball out of bounds, steps into the non-volley zone (the first seven feet from the net, also known as the 'kitchen') in the act of volleying the ball, etc. A player may enter the non-volley zone to play a ball that bounces and may stay there to play balls that bounce. The player must exit the non-volley zone before playing a volley. The first side scoring 11 points and leading by at least two points wins.Tournament games may be played to 15 or 21 points with players rotating sides at 8 or 11 points respectively.

The return of service must be allowed to bounce by the server (the server and partner in doubles play); i.e. cannot be volleyed. Consequently, the server or server and partner usually stay at the baseline until the first return has been hit back and bounced once.

In doubles play, at the start of the game, the serving side gets only one fault before their side is out, and the opponents begin their serve. After this, each side gets 2 faults (one with each team member serving) before their serve is finished. Thus, each side is always one serve ahead or behind, or tied.

In singles play, each side gets only one fault before a side out and the opponent then serves. The server's score will always be even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10...) when serving from the right side, and odd (1, 3, 5, 7, 9...) when serving from the left side (singles play only).