Pickleball, one the more compact and slightly less intense racquet sports, is taking the nation by storm. It has become so popular that tournaments have been set up to feed the hungry. The most recent tournament scheduled for this purpose is in Rockford.
Pickleball enthusiasts from far and wide have decided to gather in Rockford for a good cause. This is a phenomenon that is slowly sweeping the nation. These tournaments are known to produce tens of thousands of dollars for the charities that they are set up for. This will, in turn, feed a lot of hungry people.
Similar versions of this type of charitable tournament have raised $17,000 for charities like the Good Shepherd Food Bank. This is an impressive altruistic application of this growing sport.
What is Pickleball?
So what is pickleball and how is it played? The following is a short Pickleball Guide. Pickleball is a condensed version of tennis with very similar rules. The main differences between Pickleball and tennis are the intensity of the game and the size of the court. There are several rules in pickleball that are designed to make the game a little less intense than a tennis match.
For example, the area of the court designated as the kitchen forbids a player from returning a volley. This seems to be to avoids aggressive returns of serve. There is also the concept of a replay that allows players to replay a point that is too close to call. This is often the result of the ball landing in a spot that is too close to call.
Another difference is that Pickleball is not played with racquets. The apparatus that is used to maneuver the ball is a paddle. This is an important distinction as enthusiasts take the descriptions of their sport quite seriously.
When a ball is about to be served, the server must yell “Pickle!”. This is also slightly different than tennis where a service is not indicated vocally, or if it is the word ‘pickle’ is generally not used. There are other dimensions and equipment differences as well.
Tennis is played with a tennis ball that is usually a green rubber ball that is covered with a loose felt-like substance. The rubber properties of this ball contribute to professional serving speeds that can exceed 100mph. This is simply impossible to do with the plastic paddles striking a pickleball, which is simply a plastic whiffle ball.
The primary design of a whiffle ball is all of the holes that slow the ball down. This also makes the game much less intense. The court, as a result, is also much smaller than a full-size tennis court. Pickleball is generally designed to be less competitive and more community-oriented.
Charitable Nature of the Game
Because the game is designed to be less intense and less competitive it is a perfect candidate for altruistic applications. There is a much greater amount of people that can play pickleball due to it being much less physically demanding than tennis. This makes it a great sport to organize a community fundraiser around.
There are plenty of other successful tournaments that range in sports from golf to football and hockey. The layout of these tournaments is quite different than that of the pickleball tournament, however. Due to its less aggressive nature, a Pickleball tournament encourages a vast array of participation, whereas tournaments on the other end of the spectrum focus more on drawing a crowd of spectators for their success.
The nature of the sport lends itself to a wide array of participation versus other sports that are more driven to create more spectators than people who are capable of participating.
The growing popularity of this sport is also a good sign for the success of these types of altruistic applications. Pickleball is a sport that both creates and sense of community among its participants and has a great capacity to help communities in a greater sense.