Pickleball is the latest sport and recreation to hit these shores from the USA.  It’s a cross between Badminton and Tennis and played on a court with similar markings. It’s about the quarter of the size of a tennis court and played over a lower net than badminton with paddle bats and a kind of plastic airball (a plastic ball with holes in it) similar size to a tennis ball.

The rules are easy. You serve the ball underarm and carry on ‘dinking’ it across the net until you get the opportunity to volley a smash and hopefully win the point. There are tactics involved that can be picked up as you play but generally the idea is to move closer to the net and make it difficult for your opponents to gain the advantage. They, of course, have the same idea.

It’s fun. It’s low cost and low impact and anyone can play it. Doubles is preferred although not limited to that format and it can get quite intense with the speed of play, testing your reactions.

Birchwood Leisure Centre is the first in the area to actually have organised Pickleball sessions and they are getting a good turn-out. Once you start playing it seems to be contagious and it’s becoming quite popular. 

Rules for Pickleball can found here