Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Have you heard of the Newest Fitness Craze for all Ages?

Pickleballs
By Stephen James Hall (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
It is Fall and many people are wondering what they are going to do to keep fit during those months that are not conducive to Jogging or other outdoor sports. Today I will review a new craze that is sweeping the nation from one coast to the other. It's a relatively new game that combines tennis, badminton and table tennis all into one game and it's lots of fun for all ages.


Have I got your curiosity yet?


What if I told you that you can play this game indoors or out and that there are clubs all over just waiting for you to join them?


So now do you want to know more?


Okay, the game was started in 1965, by a family and friends who were bored at the cottage. They were given some table tennis paddles and a whiffle ball.  The instructions to the kids were, "get out of our hair and have some fun.  That was the beginning of Pickleball!  Everything after that was tweeking the game.   In 1972 it became a recognized sport, with rules and regulations.  Today this sport has over 2 million players world-wide and is one of the fastest growing sports of all time!

  Well it's called PICKLEBALL!


 I first heard about this on my latest trip to Myrtle Beach,  South Carolina.  We happened to be staying at a resort where there was all kinds of people, young, old and in between.  They were all interacting with each other and having a great time!  We found out that this was one of the places where the East Coast Pickleball Tournament had just been held.  The winner was a young lad of 17 and the runner up was and older gent ( I think he was in his 70's).   So when I say it can be played by anyone, I really mean anyone. Where a tennis racquet and balls can already set you back quite a few dollars, Pickleball is inexpensive and until you really become hooked, you can play with a minimal investment.

 


But just a word of caution as always, if you have been sedentary for a long time, have a check up just to make sure you are alright to play this game.


What I really like about this game is that it combines several games that I no longer can play.  I'm just not as fast as I once was.  It is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis too!  Because of the type of ball that is used, the speed part of the game has become much less of an issue.  Pickleballs are similar to whiffle balls and because of the holes in the balls, they don't move as fast as a tennis ball.  That for me is a great bonus. But the game still gives you a great workout, without tiring you in 5 minutes.

There are Pickleball Associations and Clubs all over the world.  So I'm sure you can find one in your area too.  But, if there are no clubs near you, start your own.  The game is easy to play without a myriad of rules and regulations (until you become a pro). Even then the rules are easy to follow.  I bet once you start to play, you won't be able to stop!

If you have a flat area 20 feet by 44 feet long, you can map out your own Pickleball court.  Get a set of paddles, balls and a net and you are ready to join the 2 million others who are enjoying this game.  I just saw a great info graphic on the number of people and the demographics of age who are currently playing Pickleball.  The largest number of people playing Pickleball are 60+ at a whopping 70%.  Participants 40-59 make up 24% and 6% of players are under 39.  How's that for a wrap up?  70% of the players are over 60!  There is hope for us who are older and still want to play.

As the saying goes, "You don't grow up until you stop playing!"




learning to play pickleball, Olivia post, new game for everyone regardless of age


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

26 comments:

  1. I can honestly say that I have never heard of pickleball, but it does sound like a lot of fun. I'll have to see if there's any clubs here in Australia.

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    1. If there isn't one, you can always start one of your own. Gather up some friends, get a beginner set like the one I highlighted for you and have some fun. Two friends tell two friends and before you know it you will be having your own Pickleball Tournaments. Have fun and be fit!

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  2. I have never heard of Pickleball. But this article brings backs GREAT memories of a game we used to play that was very much the same. Instead of wiffle balls, they were rubber-ish balls. I'll have to try to remember the name. Such good memories. I'll have to check out pickleball !

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    1. It shouldn't be hard in the States. There are Pickleball Clubs sprouting up all over the place. It's one of the fastest growing new sports in the country. Glad it brought back some fun memories.

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  3. Pickleball is new to me. Sounds like a fun game. I'll have to ask my 'kids' and/or teenage grandsons if they know about it.

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    1. Bet they might know about it, if not check out this link and see if there isn't a Pickleball Club near you. Try the International Federation of Pickleball at http://ifpickleball.org/

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  4. I have several friends that play this game. I myself have not tried yet. It sounds interesting.

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    1. Oh lovely Mary Beth, when I was speaking with the people in South Carolina, I could just hear how much fun they had with the game. It amazed me at the ages of the players and how all of them got along so well. It truly seems to be an intergenerational type of game. Great for all ages and stages in life!

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  5. Sounds like the perfect sport activity for me! I love ping-pong and badminton, but I was never particularly fond of having a hard speed ball headed my way when playing tennis. Therefore, this new game seems ideal to me.

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    1. If you played table tennis and badminton, then yes this is a perfect game for you. I loved badminton and played on my high school team, ping pong was played for fun and I dabbled in Tennis. I like to have fun when I play and could not get used to the intensity of the tennis players on teams, so only played tennis with friends and never in a "tournament setting". Pickleball is more my style these days as it's a touch slower, but still requires the movements and will still be a great workout! I hope you get a chance to try it out!

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  6. I can't participate, but it sounds like something my family would love at our gatherings. We played a homemade Jinga game (big pieces of lumber) at one of our reunions and everyone loved it. They're always looking for something new. As for me, I supervise! HA!

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  7. Well Nancy, every good game needs a referee and scorekeeper so that's the spot for you. Right down the center and you have to keep your eye on the ball. It's a great game and lots of fun. Doesn't cost a lot to start up either. Less than 20.00 will give you a set to play with.....

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  8. I would love Pickleball I bet because I was pretty good at Badminton. For some reason I was not good at Tennis or Volleyball though. Probably not fast enough. Anyway, I will check this out. Thanks!

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    1. Glad you are going to check it out Heather, please come back and tell me what you think! I'd love to do a follow up. I know it's a game that I would enjoy.

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  9. This is a new one for me, I have never heard of pickleball but it sounds interesting.

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    1. Doesn't it Angie. I know I would love it! I loved Badminton in my early years and this sounds like it would be about that speed. I'm sure once proficient the speed factor would probably go up.

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  10. This is the first I have heard of pickleball, thank you! This sounds like a whole lot of fun. I enjoyed tennis and badminton in my youth so why not pickleball now!

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    1. Go for it Ruth, I know you would enjoy it. I just found one club close to my house about 10 minutes away. I think I know what I'll be doing on Tuesdays from now on.....

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  11. We have Pickleball courts right down the street from our house. It is so popular here that there is always a wait to get on the courts. Great way to stay in shape Olivia. Thanks!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad to hear this report. So far you are the only one who has a Pickleball court handy. I hope you get a chance to play once in a while too! It is a popular sport for sure....

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  12. We have drop-in pickleball at the local rec centre here. I'm still not exactly sure how it's played, though! I like the idea that it's good for people who can no longer play games like tennis. Any adaptation that keeps people active longer is good.

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    1. Thanks Kyla, and I agree, so many sports are just too hard or require movements that are no longer possible for older players. Pickleball takes some of that pressure off and still lets you be active and having fun too!

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  13. Sure sounds like great fun. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Well there is nothing stopping you. I hope you do try it and enjoy it too! I'm scoping out rec centers right now in order to start a group!

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  14. I've heard my parents and grandparents talk about pickle for years! I know I would enjoying playing this, it's right up my alley lol

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    1. I'm sure you'd have a great time playing this game Barbara. Pickleball is for all ages and I really like that. Anything that keeps the older and younger generations interacting is great in my humble opinion.

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