If you haven’t played pickleball yet, chances are you’ve at least heard about it. It’s taking the country by storm! In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. Why? It’s FUN, easy, and great for all skill levels and ages - a recent survey showed that 75% of participants are 55 or older. It may be best described as a combination of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis. Interested? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
The pickleball 4-1-1:
This is the pickleball formula = badminton-sized court + a tennis net + a paddle similar to ping pong (but bigger). Oh, and don’t forget the ball, similar to a whiffle ball. You could say it’s a mash-up of our favorite leisure sports.
Another reason all generations love it: it’s easy for the kids to learn and low-impact for seniors. And Copper Fit is the perfect pickleball companion to provide support while you play with compression technology that may help you stay injury-free.
The story of how pickleball came about makes sense. On a long and boring summer day (before cell phones), a group of friends grabbed whatever sports equipment they had, started to play, and made it up as they went along. That was in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, Washington, so it’s been around for decades!
Here’s the rundown of what you need to know to start your pickleball journey.
Where to play pickleball:
- The great thing about pickleball is that you can make your own court. You just need a couple of paddles, a whiffle ball, and a net (the net is slightly lower for pickleball than for tennis, 34 inches at the center, compared to 36 inches). You can get a “pickleball kit” online or at a local sporting goods store. A pickleball court is approximately one-third the size of a regular tennis court and is laid out according to the dimensions of a badminton court (20 feet x 44 feet). You can draw your court with sidewalk chalk or heavy-duty tape to outline the court too. The first time I played, I picked up a pickleball set at our local sporting goods store and headed to a friend's house that lives on a quiet cul-de-sac. We set up the court in no time!
- With the recent pickleball popularity explosion, you can find official pickleball courts at many playgrounds and community centers, including your YMCA and private clubs. You can also check out the USA Pickleball site under Places2Play.
Copper Fit Tip: Pickleball play involves lots of lateral movement, so paying attention to lateral stability and protecting the knees is essential. Copper Fit’s ICE Compression Knee Sleeve is a lightweight compressive knee sleeve that provides increased comfort and stability without limiting freedom of movement. Even better, it’s infused with menthol which provides a cooling sensation.
What you need to play pickleball:
- A Paddle - a specific paddle for this sport (smaller than a tennis racquet and larger than a ping pong racquet) - is usually made of wood or composite. The best bet - get a paddle board pack with paddles and balls. Food for thought: Maybe “pickleball elbow” is the new “tennis elbow”? When the tendons in your elbow have too much repetitive motion, you get a painful degeneration of the fibers of the tendons, and a long rest and recovery is involved. Do what you can to prevent that from happening. You can slip on a Copper Fit Elite Elbow Sleeve. The compression and support technology will help keep the elbow supported and helps relieve the pain that could keep you off the court.
- A Ball- there are two kinds of pickleball balls, the thicker and heavier ball is for outside play.
- Support for Feet and Legs - lots of repetitive motion and pounding on the ground means you need the right equipment for your feet! Copper Fit Zen Step Insoles are easily inserted into your shoes to provide anti-shock arch support for all-day energy on the court and off. An added plus - they combine stimulating micro massage with full-length impact-reducing cushioning to massage and soothe with every step. For premium comfort, couple them with Copper Fit Energy Compression Socks with New Arch Support Technology to provide a targeted compression band that gently hugs and lifts the arch and ankle to help reduce foot and leg fatigue.
- A Good Attitude and a Sense of Humor - yes, you will get a workout with pickleball, but it’s also a very social game for chatting and laughing along the way.
- Friends - old and new! For many people, pickleball opens a new world of friends you meet at the court. Forget about grabbing a glass of wine; making a pickleball date is a great and healthy way to reconnect with old friends.
And last but not least…
How do you play pickleball?
The general rules are like other racquet sports. It can be played single or with doubles. Here are the basics, but you can check out the official rules here:
- The serving team continues to serve (at the baseline) until a fault occurs. Only the serving team can score.
- A fault is when the ball does not clear the net, touches any part of the no-volley zone on the serve, is hit out of bounds, is volleyed from the no-volley zone, or is volleyed before a bounce has occurred on each side.
- Games typically are played to 11, 15, or 21 points.
Consider preventative care for your body when taking on pickleball. Copper Fit Compression Gloves help provide support, relief, and recovery from sore muscles and painful joint stiffness in the wrists, palms, and fingers. The silicone Sure Grip Technology throughout the palm and fingers is excellent for total control.
We hope we’ve sold you on pickleball. Dare to try something new, and you might love it! Include Copper Fit in your pickleball plans for optimal support. Stay safe, have fun, and laugh!