Pickleball is rapidly gaining popularity across the country. But what is this sport, and why is it suddenly gaining traction? 

In this article, we'll dive into the game's rules, benefits, and how to get started, making it a thrilling addition to your active lifestyle.

What is Pickleball? The Essential Questions 

Pickleball is a paddle sport that has taken elements from tennis, badminton, and ping pong, creating a unique and engaging game. 

Where Did Pickleball Start? 

The birthplace of pickleball is Bainbridge Island, Washington. It was invented in 1965 by three dads – Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum – as a backyard pastime for their families. 

Why is it Called Pickleball? 

The name 'pickleball' has a couple of rumored origins.

Some say it was named after the Pritchards' dog Pickles, who would chase the ball; others believe it refers to the 'pickle boat' in crew where oarsmen are picked from the leftovers of other boats, much like how pickleball was created from a blend of different sports.

How to Play Pickleball Infographic | Ultimate Nutrition

The Basics: Pickleball Rules and Gameplay

Ready to dive into the world of pickleball? Let's start with the essentials, from the rules to the equipment. We'll equip you with all the knowledge you need to step onto the court confidently. 

Setting Up the Game

In pickleball, the game starts on a 20-foot wide and 44-foot-long court, divided by a net standing lower than in tennis, at 36 inches on the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle. 

Players use solid paddles, larger than ping pong paddles but smaller than tennis rackets, and the ball used is similar to a whiffle ball but slightly smaller. This setup allows for a blend of strategies and skills from different racket sports.

Pickleball serve | Ultimate Nutrition


The game begins with the server standing behind the baseline and serving the ball underhand in an upward arc. 

The serve must be diagonal, landing in the opposite diagonal court, and continue until the server commits a fault. This starting play sets the tone for the match, requiring precision and strategy right from the get-go.

Serving Rules 

Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles, but the serving rules remain the same:

  • The serve is made underhand and must be hit in an upward arc.
  • The server's arm must be moving in an upward arc when the ball is struck.
  • The paddle must make contact with the ball below the server’s waist.
  • The server must hit the ball crosscourt (diagonally) so it lands in the opposite service box.
  • The serve must clear the non-volley zone, including the line.

Double Bounce Rule

A unique aspect of pickleball is the 'double bounce rule.' The ball must bounce once on the receiver's side and then once on the server's side before it can be volleyed. 

This rule adds a layer of strategy to the game, encouraging players to think two steps ahead and plan their moves carefully.

A man playing Pickleball | Ultimate Nutrition

Keeping the Pickleball Score

Scoring in pickleball is unique because only the serving team can score points. A point is scored when the opposing team fails to return the ball or commits a fault. 

Games are generally played to 11 points, and players must win by at least a 2-point margin. In doubles, the service and scoring opportunity pass between both team members before a fault results in a change of serve.


After the initial serve and the following double bounce, players alternate, hitting the ball back and forth. 

The objective is to outplay the opponents through skillful shots, strategic placements, and quick reflexes. The game combines power, agility, and strategy, making it challenging and enjoyable.

Pickleball serve | Ultimate Nutriton

Why Play Pickleball?

Pickleball isn’t just fun but also a fantastic way to stay fit and healthy. Discover why it's a pathway to a healthier, more connected lifestyle.

#1 Full-Body Workout

Playing pickleball is an excellent way to get a full-body workout. It involves cardiovascular exercise, coordination, and agility. Regularly playing can improve your reflexes, balance, and overall fitness level.

#2 Social Interaction

Pickleball is inherently social. It's often played in doubles, making it a great way to interact, compete, and have fun with friends. 

The pickleball community is known for being welcoming and friendly, perfect for making new connections.

#3 Mental Health Benefits

Like many sports, pickleball offers significant mental health benefits. It requires concentration and strategic thinking, which can help keep your mind sharp. 

The endorphins released during physical activity are also great for boosting your mood.

#4 Accessibility

Pickleball is accessible to a wide range of ages and skill levels. The rules are simple, and the game is easy to learn, making it appealing to beginners while offering depth and strategy for more advanced players.

Pickleball volley | Ultimate Nutrition

Rev Up For Pickleball With Ultimate Nutrition

As you prep for Pickleball, stay fueled with the best protein powders. At Ultimate Nutrition, we offer a wide range of products. Our options include: 

Whether you're a pickleball enthusiast, a gym-goer, or someone who enjoys a workout in the comfort of your home, incorporating a protein supplement into your routine can enhance your performance and results. So, grab a powder, grab a paddle, and fuel up! 

The information provided in our articles are meant for informational and educational purposes exclusively and should not be considered as medical advice. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting a new nutritional product and/or making significant changes to your diet and/or starting a new exercise regime. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, and/or prevent disease.

UN Editorial Team