Pickleball is a relatively new sport, but it's one of the fastest-growing activities in America. And pretty much anyone can play.
According to the official USA Pickleball’s website, the sport was invented in 1965 in Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington. By 1990, pickleball was being played in all 50 states.
Interested in playing? Here's what you need to know about pickleball, including the rules, equipment and more.
What is pickleball?
The game consists of two or more people hitting a ball with a paddle over a net. It's described by some as a mix between tennis, badminton and table tennis.
How do you play pickleball? What are the rules?
First, the opposing sides must determine who will serve first. A simple coin flip or rock-paper-scissors match will suffice.
Each pickleball serve must be underhand and land in the opposing server's box cross court. Both the serve and the return serve must bounce once before it's hit.
From there, after the serve and return serve, each team can volley, meaning each team can hit the ball either out of the air or after a bounce. The rallies continue until someone makes a fault, like a double bounce, the ball goes out of bounds, the ball hits someone anywhere other than below their paddle-side wrist or when someone hits it into the net.
You can only score if you're the serving team. If your team wins a point and you're serving, you continue to serve but switch sides with your teammate. In singles, it's based on your score; serve on your right side if you've got an even score, the left for odd.
If you lose a rally as a serving team, the serve moves to the next player on your team. Each player gets a shot at serving before turning it over to the opposing team.
One thing to note: You cannot hit the ball if you're standing in the non-volley zone or if you're momentum carries you over that line.
Once you've got this down, it's time to play. Pickleball is played to 11 points, but you must win by two.
How does scoring work in pickleball?
There are three numbers to keep in mind when coming up with a pickleball score, if you're playing doubles.
The first is the serving team's score, followed by the receiving team's score and then the serving turn for doubles.
For example, if you're part of a serving team, you're winning 4-2 and you're the second serve turn on your team, the score would read 4-2-2.
A pickleball court is compromised of two sides, with a net in the center.
Each half of the court is then divided by the center line, giving each team member their own box to hit into. The non-volley zone lines, commonly called "the kitchen," sits directly on each side of the net.
The lines surrounding the entire court are called baselines.
You'll need a paddle to play pickleball
But that's just about it.
You'll also need at least one other person — an opponent — to play. But as long as you've got a paddle, a ball and an opponent, you can play just about anywhere with a makeshift court.
Where does the name pickleball come from?
Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum are credited with coming up with the game, according to USA Pickleball. And the name comes from a term in rowing.
In crew, a rowing sport, the rowers not a part of starter boats would be added in their own competition, called "pickle boat" races. Since this newly-created game was a mix of existing spots, Pritchard's wife called it "pickle ball."
Where are pickleball courts in Springfield, Missouri?
Springfield boasts a handful of indoor and outdoor pickleball courts.
You can play outside at Horace Mann School-Park, Meador Park, Nichols Park and Zagonyi Park, according to the Springfield-Greene County park board's website.
You can also play inside at the Chesterfield Family Center, Dan Kinney Family Center, Doling Family Center and the O'Reilly-Tefft Gymnasium.
Springfield will host the 2023 and 2024 USA Pickleball Middle States Regional Championships
In May, the Springfield Sports Commission announced the championships will be held at the Cooper Tennis Complex in 2023 and 2024. Springfield beat out Chicago and Milwaukee to host the events.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: What is pickleball? Breaking down the rules, equipment needed to play