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Learn to Play Pickleball

Play Sask is teaming up with Saskatoon Pickleball to teach newbies how to play the paddleball sport that has been surging onto the sports scene for the past few years!

Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Played on a badminton-sized court with teams of two, players use a plastic perforated ball (like a Wiffle ball) and a solid-faced paddle to play a game similar to tennis. Because the plastic ball doesn’t have as much bounce as a tennis ball and the space is smaller, pickleball has a flavour of play that’s all its own.

Its popularity as of late is due in part to the fact that it’s easy to learn and play; check out the basic rules from Pickleball Canada.

We’re excited to host a Learn to Play Pickleball event on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 1 PM at E.D. Feehan High School at a cost of $6/player!

Saskatoon Pickleball will be leading the event, bringing equipment and experienced instructors to give guidance. The $6 player fee will be donated to Saskatoon Pickleball, a registered charity, to help them continue to grow the sport in the city.

Pickleball history & rise in popularity

Pickleball was invented in 1965 in Washington, U.S.A., by two friends who challenged their kids to invent a game when they found the shuttlecock was missing from their badminton set. Both the adults and the kids ended up getting involved and experimenting with different balls and paddles, including table tennis paddles. Today, the paddle used is specific to pickleball.

The game reminded one of the inventors of a “pickle boat crew” where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats, which is how it got its name.

It slowly gained popularity over the years, but the game experienced a boom during the pandemic as people looked for alternative activities to play outdoors. (Lucky for those of us living in a place like Saskatchewan with its frigid winters, the game can be played indoors as well!)

Other reasons it’s grown in popularity is that it’s easy to pick, and if you’ve played other racket sports, that experience transfers over.

So if you’ve ever been curious about this strangely-named sport, now is the time to try!