Equipment

1/3rd The size of a tennis court

The pickleball court measurements are 44ft (13.4m) x 20 ft (6.1m), with some extra space on the sides and back for movement during gameplay.

  • An ideal pickleball surface is smooth concrete but it is possible to play it on a normal outdoor football playground.
  • You can make a TEMPORARY court in about 15 minutes using masking tape and a portable net – you just need a flat concrete surface
  • If you want to make a more PERMANENT court – you will need measuring tape, masking tape and some concrete marking paint (it will take about 2hrs to do this)
  • A Professional court is like a tennis hard court – (concrete with a cushioning component)
  • It is possible to play pickleball INDOORS hardwood floor. The court size, net size is all the same but you need different balls (because the balls bounce differently on wood floor vs. concrete)

For full details on Pickleball court construction and measurement – explore this link

Permanently Installed or Portable

Regulation net height is 36in (91.4cm) at the posts and 34in (86.4cm) in the middle. The length of the net is 22ft (6.7m) so the next extends 12in (30.5cm) on either side of the edge of the court.

A dedicated pickleball court uses Permanently installed nets – but portable nets are extremely popular (with or without wheels)
It takes less than 3minutes to setup a temporary net.

NET MANUFACTURERS

Wide variety of manufacturers and styles

Early pickleball paddles were made of wood – but all modern paddles are made of composite materials, like carbon fiber and fiberglass. The handle is very similar to a tennis racket handle (And the grip you use is very similar to a tennis racket grip – including two-handed backhands for some people)
They are approximately double the size of a table-tennis racket.
Some paddles are optimised for control, others for power.
The most successful modern paddles have a Raw Carbon outer surface which can give lots of spin to the ball.

Paddles used in competition have a very specific set of criteria they must follow regarding stiffness, size and friction.

PADDLE MANUFACTURERS

Hard plastic balls (with holes)

The balls are slightly bigger than tennis balls 3in (7.6cm) in diameter and are made of a hard plastic material with a lot of holes.
They can be made in any color and with a lot of different hole patterns – but the most common are a 40 hole OUTDOOR ball and a 26 hole INDOOR ball.

Because of the holes the balls start to slow down quickly as they are travelling through the air so even though you can hit a ball very hard (approximate maximum 60mph (100km/h)) it will be much slower when it reaches the other side of the court.

It’s important to note that overhead serves (like in tennis) are not allowed in pickleball.

BALL MANUFACTURERS

Footwear

Court shoes (with increased ankle protection) are highly recommended – while it is possible to play pickleball in regular running shoes – shoes intended for tennis, basketball or cross-training are more stable in lateral motion and often use more hardwearing rubber.

Some manufacturers are even making Pickleball Specific shoes (but they are basically tennis shoes with different colors)


Clothing

Wear anything you are comfortable running around in. Casual gym workout attire, t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, tennis skirts. If playing outdoors the sun is a big factor so many people wear baseball hats, sun visors and sunglasses.

How to Play

It is structurally most similar to tennis (there is a racket, a ball and a net and you score by making the other team/person miss the ball) – but there are a few unusual differences:

  1. No Overhead serves
    Unlike tennis where serves are hit overhead (in a smashing motion) and they can be extremely fast (the fastest serving men’s players on the ATP tour can hit 160mph (250km/h) first serves) – in Pickleball the serves must be underhand with an upward motion.
    The maximum speed is approximately 60mph (100km/h) so precision is often more important than speed.
  2. No Second serves
    There is only serve per person (in doubles this means your team gets two serves)
  3. TWO bounce rule
    You cannot volley the ball ANYWHERE on the court until the ball has bounced on the ground twice.
    This is why instead of tennis’ serve+volley game – Pickleball can sometimes be return+volley.

  4. Kitchen-rule (No-Volley-Zone)
    Even if the ball has bounced twice (see above rule) you can NEVER volley the ball while any part of your body is in the kitchen (the area very close to the net).
    This rule applies even AFTER you hit the ball and momentum carries your body forwards.

  5. You can only score on your serve
    If you win a point on your serve – then you get a point.
    But if you lose a point on your serve – you lose your serve.
    You keep serving until you lose a point.

  6. Games are short
    You play until 11 – win by 2 points.
    (there are very special case when you play until 15 in tournaments – but almost all normal play is until 11)

For a detailed list of rules see this link

All three of these sports are racket sports played with a ball and a net. However padel and pickleball are mostly doubles (with some singles) whereas tennis is mostly singles (with some doubles)

A padel court is smaller than a tennis court (about half the size) and a pickleball court is even smaller.

Padel uses small hard rackets with holes and the same balls as tennis but slightly lower pressure.

Pickleball uses smaller composite paddles (no holes) and hard plastic balls.

In Pickleball – the ball moves slightly more slowly when you hit it very hard but requires extremely fast reflexes at high levels of gameplay.

If you have experience in tennis or padel – you will find the transition to pickleball very easy.
If you do not have ANY experience in racket sports – Pickleball is the easiest to learn and the most accessible.

Pickleball is also unique because due to the mix of fast and slow play – players of different levels can still enjoy themselves when playing recreationally.

This is the fastest learning curve you have ever experienced in ANY sport.

It is easy to start with enduring intrigue as you advance through the levels. It is very rare to find a sport that is as fun for beginners as it is for experts.

You can start playing a basic game within 30 minutes of instruction.

Of course you will not be able to perform expert moves – but you will have FUN immediately.

Everyone.

This is one of the most inclusive and accessible things about Pickleball.

It can be played (and enjoyed) by people from age 6 to 96.

Of course if you are a capable athlete you might be able to progress faster to advanced gameplay/tactics/techniques – but even at beginner and intermediate level the game is very enjoyable.

While it is possible to play singles Pickleball (with 1 player vs. 1 player) the most common way to play Pickleball is doubles, specifically mixed doubles.

In doubles – 4 people play simultaneously (2 vs 2) but the games are very quick (they are played until 11 points)

Because the games are quick – when played recreationally so-called OPEN PLAY is a common method of mixing up teams – you  just place your paddle near the net of any court where a game is in progress – and you are now NEXT in line to play.

You can do this as a single individual and you will be assigned a partner when the game is finished.

This is very important – because a single tennis court over a period of (for example) 2 hours – can usually accomodate 2-4 people maximum.

That same amount of space can make 4 pickleball courts – with a total of 16 people playing at any one time – but due to the quick games 30-40 people can happily participate and enjoy themselves.

INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS

Pickleball on instagram

Where to play in Croatia

LOCATIONS

Veli Lošinj

Veli Losinj
  • Club name: PKBL (Pickleball Klub Bićanić Lošinj)
Get directions

News

First Pickleball store in Croatia

Both online and physical store. Please check out the store in Zagreb (at Savska 28,Profightstore, prolaz Cibona,10000 Zagreb or just…
15/10/2023
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