How To Get Into The Trendiest Sport Around Right Now, Pickleball

If there's any team sport that rose to sudden fame during the pandemic, it must have been pickleball. Although its name may sound too cute or culinary to be taken seriously, pickleball has been the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. for the past two years. In fact, according to a 2022 report from The Sports & Fitness Industry Association, participation has increased by 39.3% in that time. Even iconic football quarterback Tom Brady and basketball player LeBron James are getting involved with this trending sport (via CNBC). So what is it about pickleball that makes it so popular?

Though it's currently undergoing explosive growth, pickleball was actually invented in 1965 (via Pickleball Portal). A hybrid sport, it fuses certain elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, and can be played with two or four people. A pickleball game involves using a paddle, a plastic ball with holes, and a playing court divided into two sides by a low net. Think tennis court, but smaller. Because pickleball game rules are familiar and easy for players of various ages and athletic backgrounds, the game offers fun exercise and a competitive introductory sport suitable for all (per Sports Import).

Looking for a new way to work out or stay active? Given the current fervor surrounding pickleball, it's a great choice for broadening your athletic horizons. To help you get started, we've rounded up some information on getting into pickleball, the trendiest sport around right now.

A quick look at the rules of pickleball

Per USA Pickleball, pickleball can be played on existing surfaces like tennis courts or basketball courts if the appropriate markings are put down. A typical rectangular pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide, making it about the same size as a doubles badminton court (via Racket Sports World). You can choose to play with two people for a singles game or four people for doubles. Who will serve first is decided by a coin toss between the players.

Per an introductory video from, each team's side of the net is divided into three areas: the left serving court, the right serving court, and a non-volley zone near the net. A pickleball serve must be hit underhand from behind the baseline, arcing diagonally into the other team's opposite serving court. For instance, if you are serving from behind your right service court, you must bounce the ball once on the right service court of the opposing team.

Keep in mind the double bounce rule, which means the ball must bounce once on each side before either team may start volleying the serve in mid-air. A fault occurs if the pickleball strikes the net, lands out of bounds, or is hit from the non-volley zone before bouncing. If the ball bounces twice before being struck by the receiver, it is also a fault. When the receiving team commits a fault, the serving team can score a point. However, if the serving team makes the fault, the receiving team earns no points and takes the next serve (via Pickleball Experts). Whenever you score a point, you switch to the other service court. Pickleball matches conclude when one team reaches 11 or more points with a lead of two points.

Physical and psychological benefits of pickleball

The rules of pickleball might seem hard to understand on paper if you're new to racket sports. But it's easier to learn by doing, so if you give the sport a little practice, you'll understand how it works and master the rules in no time. After all, who can say no to all the physical and psychological benefits of pickleball?

Per a 2017 study in the Journal of Positive Psychology, playing pickleball as a leisure sport helped players perceive their well-being more positively. Also, according to Time, findings from a six-week study suggest that playing an hour of pickleball three days a week may lead to improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness. Not to mention, it provides a social outlet for players.

"That's why everyone loves this game and why it's growing so much, because it has such a fun, social atmosphere," says Laura Gainor, founder of pickleball marketing agency Vossberg Gainor (via Popsugar). Since the game moves fast, it's practically guaranteed to spike your adrenaline. And a pickleball court doesn't require a large space, so you can play indoors as long as you know how to mark the lines. Depending on your athletic level and goal, you can play the sport competitively or casually. Whatever your interest in pickleball, one thing is for sure: With its popularity on the rise, we won't be seeing the last of this sport anytime soon.