Where We Be
Pickleball? What an odd name! Well, don't be surprised if you find it at a court near you in the
near future. It's catching on fast. We became quite addicted to it during our month in Arizona.
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 just to keep up with demand. It's becoming more popular all over the U.S.
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 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 tennis or any other racket sport 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