Serving Up A New Sport!

Looking to try something new? Then pickleball might be for you! We sat down with Ray Langenberg from Auspickleball to learn all about one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

What is pickleball and how do you play?

Pickleball is a racket and ball sport played across a net on a court a third the size of a tennis court. It can be played as doubles or singles, indoors or outdoors. The game is played a lot like tennis, but the shot options are a lot easier to execute. Players serve underarm which gets the game easily underway. A lot of pickleball takes place close to the net with an unpredictable and thrilling variation in soft ‘dink’ shots and harder volleys. Players take it in turn to serve - if you serve and win the point, you score. You keep serving until you lose a point. When you lose a point, the next player serves. The first team to 11 points wins!

Can anyone play pickleball?

Anyone from 5 to 95 years of age can (and do) play pickleball. If you can get around the block and can swat a fly, you can play pickleball! It’s the perfect game that takes 5 minutes to learn but a lifetime to master. Pickleball is more common that you might realise, with people playing games at community centres and clubs around the country. Pickleball is a very inclusive and diverse sport, so anyone of any age, disability or gender can play. Players mix up who they play with from game to game, and that’s the ethos of the sport – join in, have a go, mix it up and have fun.

What are the best parts about playing pickleball?

Pickleball is highly addictive – it’s currently the fastest growing sport in the USA, and Australia isn’t far behind. Pickleball makes you feel empowered from the first shot because of the solid connection between the paddle and the ball. You feel like a star from the first time you hit the ball because you get that satisfying ‘thwack’ sound that only a professional tennis player can produce. It’s an absolute buzz to have a dink and volley rally.

Then there’s the social aspect of the game. The small court and close play lend itself to plenty of laughs, jokes, support and banter. Off the court, the conversations blossom because of the light- and full-hearted approach to the sport.

How can I get involved?

Turn up to a session, join in, mix it up and have fun. Everything you need is provided free, or at a low cost (usually $5 or less). Go to your local community centre or club, and they’ll be able to provide you with the paddles, balls, court and net that you need to play – and everyone is welcome! Our ‘Come and Try’ sessions are run regularly, but you don’t need to wait for one of those. Follow @auspickleball on Facebook and Instagram to find out more and get involved.

Thursday 30 June, 2022

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