What you need to know and why you should give it a try

Some sports are not only good exercise but also a great way to meet new friends. Pickleball is one of those sports.

Great for all ages and skill levels, pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. Pickleball can be played outdoors or indoors, as singles or doubles, and all you need is a paddle, a ball and a court. Rules are simple—a game is usually played to 11 points and must be won by 2. Like tennis, you only score while serving. However, your serve must be underhand, and the ball hit below hip level. Experts estimate that there are more than 2.5 million pickleball participants in the US. To find a court near you, google Twin Cities Pickleball Club.


Outdoor ball

Harder material

40 holes

Allows for wind

Moves faster

Indoor ball

Softer material

26 holes

Travels better indoors

Moves slower


01 Intermediate and experienced players often prefer the harder outdoor ball that moves faster

02 Beginners should consider using an indoor ball in the beginning, both for inside and outside play

[hosting tip 1] shoes

There is a lot of lateral movement, so shoes should support your feet well. Cross-training shoes would be a good starting point.

[hosting tip 2] attire

Comfortable clothing that allows for movement is important. Tennis apparel is sometimes used.




Grip Size

Paddle core


Hitting Surface

Paddle and grip length


01 A light paddle gives you movability while a heavy paddle gives you stability and follow through.

02 Grip is important to control. If you have small hands, look for a 4 – 4/18” grip, medium hands 4 ¼” grip, and large hands 4 3/8” and above. Ideally, you should be able to fit your index finger between your thumb and fingers on the grip

03 Paddle core varies from plastic blends that gives you touch and control, to cardboard blends for power and aluminum cores for touch and power.

04 Other considerations are price, hitting surface, paddle and grip length.

[hosting tip 3]  attitude

As in any sport, there are written and unwritten rules. Ask your new playing partners for advice and they will likely be happy to fill you in. Then enjoy—and have fun!

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