Move over golf, there’s a new game that RVers are going nuts over and it takes far less equipment and money to have fun with it. Check out these three reasons why RVers love pickleball and you’ll understand why pickleball mania is now at RV resorts everywhere.
Why is this game taking over RV resorts?
Why RVers Love Pickleball
Pickleball is a scaled down version of tennis and today over 400,000 players are caught up in the craze. “In all my years working in the RV resort business, I have never seen a sport, other than golf, that is this popular,” said Vickie Jepperson, manager of Pueblo El Mirage RV & Golf Resort in a conversation with Motorhome Magazine. Jepperson’s park is happy to meet the needs of RVing pickleball fans with the park’s 16 courts and hosting the world’s largest pickleball tournament.
If you’re curious about how pickleball got its name, you’ll soon discover that nobody can agree on its origins. Some say it was named after the inventor’s family dog “Pickles,” while many argue otherwise. The important thing to remember is that according to the International Federation of Pickleball, the game was invented in 1965 as a cross between badminton, tennis and ping-pong.
Pickleball became one of the country’s fastest growing racquet sports because it’s fast-paced and challenging, yet easy enough to be played by kids and adults of all ages. Its popularity has skyrocketed lately as more baby boomers hit retirement age and become RVers. Here’s why they’re going crazy over the game.
1. Pickleball is played in a small space.
Pickleball is played in a 20′ x 44′ court – a space that’s just one-quarter the size of tennis courts. The net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle. With a small court and low net, older RVers especially love how pickleball games aren’t as physically exerting as tennis, but just as much fun. RV park owners also appreciate pickleball’s profitability, since games can simultaneously entertain more guests than tennis ever could. The same court is used for both singles and doubles play.
2. You don’t need a lot of complicated equipment to play pickleball.
Pickleball paddles are small and easy to handle, sized somewhere between a ping-pong paddle and a tennis racquet. Other than a court and set of paddles, the only other piece of equipment needed to play pickleball is a ball with holes that resembles a Wiffleball. When that holey ball is hit with a racquet it will travel at just 1/3 the speed of a tennis ball, making it popular for former tennis players whose days of spectacular net dives are long gone.
3. Pickleball games are easy on the body – even 99-year-old ones!
According to Tennis.com, pickleball is played when “An underhanded serve is delivered from one side of the court to the opposite service box, but only the serving team may earn points; the returners must break both members of the serving team before earning the right to serve themselves.” Games are normally played to 11 points (must win by 2) but tournament games may be to 15 or 21 (again won by 2).
As an informal sport with no official uniforms or body gear required, RVers love pickleball because they can get a good workout while having fun with friends. To find pickleball fun near you, visit the US Pickleball Association’s List of Places to Play Pickleball.