Pickleball: The fast-paced sport loved by Lebron James and Bill Gates | News

Ever heard of Pickleball? It’s the trendy, fast-paced sport played and loved by big names around the world, from Shaquille O’Neal to Emma Watson.

Last updated: 02/28/23 23:44

Pickleball is fast becoming one of the fastest growing sports in America and beyond

Pickleball is fast becoming one of the fastest growing sports in America and beyond

The game is a unique mix of tennis, badminton and table tennis, played on a smaller court with racquets and a perforated plastic ball. While it started out as a leisurely pastime for retirees of a certain age, it has quickly grown into a serious sport with a loyal following.

How did Pickleball start?

In 1965, a group of friends on Bainbridge Island, Washington invented pickleball using improvised equipment. The original court was created by painting lines on a badminton court and the net was lowered to accommodate the lower height of the ball. The sport has evolved and grown over the years, with official rules and equipment now in place.

Many will confuse pickleball and padel as they are very similar looking sports. The main difference, however, is that in pickleball players have wooden racquets that they use to hit a perforated ball over a net, similar to tennis. While padel has walls around the court against which the ball can be hit, similar to squash.

Why is it so popular?

Pickleball’s popularity can be attributed to a variety of factors. First, it’s an incredibly inclusive sport that can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. The smaller pitch and slower ball speed make it accessible to beginners, while the fast-paced action and advanced strategies keep experienced players busy.

Additionally, Pickleball is a very social sport, with players often forming close-knit communities around the game. The sport is played in a doubles format, allowing for team bonding and camaraderie. Tournaments and events are also a great way for players to connect with others who share their passion for the game.

Don’t be fooled by the friendly and sociable nature of the sport, however – Pickleball is highly competitive, with experienced players displaying lightning-fast reflexes, strategic shot placement and impressive athleticism. Top players can hit the ball at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, and matches can often last for hours. Because of this, former tennis pros like Noah Rubin and Sam Querrey excelled in the sport.

Is pickleball a pro sport?

Pickleball has gained wide recognition in recent years with the creation of professional pickleball leagues and tournaments. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) is the sport’s governing body and has established an official set of rules, equipment standards and a player rating system.

Why is pickleball the new trend among celebs?

The sport has even caught the attention of some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment. Tennis legend Serena Williams has been spotted playing pickleball, and former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has become a vocal advocate of the sport. Pickleball was even featured on the popular animated series Family Guy when Brian played the game in front of a large crowd. With its rapidly growing popularity, it’s no surprise that Pickleball is making its way into the mainstream. Others who have played Pickleball are: The Kardashians, Bill Gates, Michael Phelps, Kelly Rowland and Emma Watson to name a few.

Bill Gates (pictured) is a pickleball advocate

Bill Gates (pictured) is a pickleball advocate

Is pickleball played in the UK?

British players like Thaddea Lock and Louis Laville are now sweeping Europe in competitions – most recently Laville won a singles title at the Pickleball European Open in Rota, Spain. As talent continues to thrive here in this country, it’s only a matter of time before major television networks start broadcasting competitions nationwide.

Shall I try?

Why not try Pickleball? Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking for a fun new hobby, the sport has something for everyone. Grab a racquet and a ball, find a seat and join the millions of people around the world who have fallen in love with this exciting and addictive game and we here at Sky Sports News will be trying to find more Provide Pickleball content for your viewing pleasure in the near future.

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