Pickleball fun for all

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Back in 1965 in the US the fathers of a bored family on summer holidays invented a game. Finding wooden paddles, a perforated plastic ball, and a badminton court and net, pickleball was born. The family’s dog, Pickles, kept stealing the ball and inspired the name!

Now there are more than 3 million players in the US where pickleball is taking over tennis courts, and pickleball courts are spreading fast to retirement complexes – that’s the popularity of the fastest-growing sport in America.

Australia caught the pickleball bug in 2015 and now there are 3,000 players all over the country. Pickleball found its way to Adelaide in late 2019, picked up by a group of walking club seniors attracted to an easy-to-learn, lower impact court sport.

It’s played on a badminton court size, both indoors and outdoors, blending skills from tennis, table tennis and badminton. A hard plastic paddle, a little like a bat from children’s backyard games, hits a tennis-sized plastic ball with holes. It moves slower than a tennis ball over a net a couple of inches lower than in tennis.

Mostly played in doubles format, pickleball is great for all skill levels.

“Every player who picks up a paddle soon says they are becoming addicted to pickleball, it’s so social and fun”, enthuses Andrew Reilly, Chairperson of Pickleball SA.

“The oldest member is 89, and the average age is 67. Lots of older and experienced tennis and racquet sport players are looking for a less physical game on a smaller court. People new to racquet sports pick it up really quickly too.”

Pickleball has grown fast, despite lots of stops during Covid restrictions, enjoying 150 players this year. Take a look at how easy it is to play.

Players talk enthusiastically about benefits they didn’t expect. In a recent survey by Pickleball SA, players reported positive impacts on their mental health (95%), physical health (100%) and social connections (97%).

Find a Pickleball venue near you and try today!

Pickleball South Australia

Pickleball Association of NSW

Pickleball Victoria

Pickleball Association of Western Australia

Pickleball Tasmania

5 on the fly: sports to take up in later life – Go55s


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