The game itself is played on a court that is the same size as a badminton court (20 feet wide by 44 feet long). The net is set at 36 inches high on the edges and 34 inches in the middle.
Pickleball's small court allows younger players or those with varying degrees of mobility to participate in a way that the larger court of tennis sometimes prohibits. Additionally, a rule prohibiting volleying (hitting the ball in the air) in the non-volley zone (the space 7 feet from the net) helps to equalize play and reduce overpowering smashes at the net.
Pickleball has become a common high school sport in gym classes and has gained popularity with teenagers as well as seniors. Schools often host tournaments. In New York State alone, it is estimated that over 500 schools include Pickleball in their curricula.
The Pickleball Paddle
The paddle is similar to a ping pong paddle in that it is solid and easily maneuverable with a turn of the wrist. When game was invented, wooden paddles were used and are still used at many institutions due to lower cost. The best quality paddles are made of lightweight fiberglass due to their lower weight and higher durability. Fiberglass paddles come in a variety of bright colors.
The Pickleball Ball
A pickleball is similar to a wiffleball, but it is made with a more rigid, heavy material and has smaller holes. They come in three colors -- white, yellow and orange.
The common practice is to play outdoors with yellow or orange balls and indoors with white balls, but anything goes. The big hole ball is a slightly slower ball that many people prefer for indoor play.
Some baseball coaches use pickleballs for batting practice.