Tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton and now pickleball — humans seem to be innately drawn to racquet sports. Maybe it’s the quick pace at which the game is played, the adrenaline of the competition or the community it brings. Racquet sports like pickleball have become token “networking sports,” often bringing together business associates or used for employee bonding. For whatever reason it may be, what’s all the rage about anyways?
Being the fastest growing sport in the nation, people from elementary age to the elderly are rushing out to courts nationwide to try out this court sensation. Described as a tennis and ping-pong mix, pickleball is beginner friendly and super fun to pick up. Its ability to be played in pairs makes it create a social environment for the players.
How to Play
Pickleball is often compared to table tennis or racquetball for its similarity on the court. The game is played on a regular tennis court with four players on the court, in pairs. The pairs play with racquets that are like table tennis, as they are solid and slightly smaller than a tennis racquet.
Players battle back and forth with a wiffle ball, making the ball move faster through the air and bouncier when it hits the ground. Pickleball is fast-moving and upbeat, keeping players on their toes and making the game always fun to play or to watch.
Pickleball is fun for all ages, as it is safe for all bodies. Pickleball is played in the front section of the court keeping players closer to the net. This allows for less running and risk of injury, which makes the game all the more fun.
Sophie Aanes, a University of Miami freshman studying finance and global management, even plays with her parents.
“My parents joined a pickleball league together about a year ago, and they play with other pairs of all ages. The players and even the fans get super into the sport, making it both social and competitive,” Aanes said.
Aanes has been playing pickleball recreationally for about a year and loves to play with friends for fun. She enjoys not only being able to get some fresh air and a good workout but uses pickleball as a bonding experience with her friends that is different from going out to eat or watching a movie together.
UM has its very own pickleball club. This club is a place for students who want to pick up the sport, have previously played or are just looking to get involved in a low-stakes, fun student organization.
The club has “equipment people can borrow and it’s a lot of fun,” said Brian Kanzer, a junior majoring in advertising, and the Pickleball Club president. He describes the club as a great way to meet other students and play with people of all different skill levels.
Interested in getting involved? You can find the club’s players on the courts at the Shaffer Tennis Center, near Stanford Residential College, and in the Herbert Wellness Center every Friday from 5 – 7 p.m. for open play events.
Pickleball is all the rage and is glorified by all those who play. Are you ready to take a hit at the new sport sensation?
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