Where We Be
You can play pickleball as a novice, intermediate, or advanced player and have fun at any level
We watched this demonstration pickleball match between top-level players at the grand
opening of eight new pickleball courts at Robson Ranch. The sport has become so popular
here that they went from 4 courts to 12 courts to 16 courts just to keep up with demand.
We discovered a new favorite sport during our
month at Robson Ranch: pickleball! As you can
see from the pictures, it looks a lot like tennis
but on a smaller court and with a different ball
and racket. The ball is like a hard whiffle ball
and the racket like an oversized ping-pong
racket. While there are specialized rules
related to serving (you have to serve under-
hand), playing up at the net (you can't venture
into the forecourt or "kitchen" unless the ball
bounces into it first), and scoring (you play to
11 and only score when serving), for the most
part it's similar to tennis but on a smaller court.
This means it's great for older players with
more limited mobility.

Pickleball is usually played as a doubles game,
and it's as much a social affair as a sport. Folks
in the mood to play meet up each day at Robson
at 10 am for an informal pickleball match. They
play six or seven games, each time with a
different partner, and play for about two hours
all told. It's a lot of fun -- and quite addictive!
The green area near the net is called "the kitchen" and
you can only venture into it if the ball bounces into it first
The strokes are similar to tennis so if you've played racket
sports before you'll feel right at home on the pickleball court
Notice how the woman stands behind the line and doesn't venture into the
kitchen as she leans forward to return a ball in the air before it bounces
Pickleball? What an odd name! Well, don't be surprised if you find it soon at a court near you.