Pickleball has become fast-growing sport, particularly among children and teenagers. It is a paddle sport that combines elements of different sports like badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. The best thing about Pickleball is that it suits people of all skill levels and ages. It is not difficult to learn, but it can be a challenging and fast-paced game.
If you want to introduce your kids to this fun sport, this guide will help you start, including its rules, benefits, equipment, and tips for parents and coaches to help kids excel.
Benefits of Pickleball for Kids
Equipment Needed for Kids Pickleball
Youth pickleball need the following equipment:
Getting a quality product is essential when picking a Pickleball paddle for kids. Several brands have launched Pickleball paddles specially designed for kids under 12. Here are some features that you must consider when purchasing Pickleball paddles for kids:
Weight of paddle
Junior paddles should be lightweight and easy to handle. The ideal weight for junior paddles is between 6.5 oz to 6.9 oz. This is the maximum weight suitable for kids and junior pickleball players.
Size of the paddle
Kids have small hands, which means they need a smaller paddle grip. Ideally, grips sizes for paddles start at 4 inches, which is considered small. This makes the ideal choice for kids under the age of 12.
The paddle is the primary tool to hit the ball over the net. It is made of various materials, including wood, composite, and graphite. For kids, a lighter paddle made of composite material is recommended.
The ball used in pickleball is a wiffle ball with holes that make it lightweight and easy to hit. For kids, a ball with a lower compression is recommended.
Pickleball courts are similar to a badminton court, measuring 20 feet wide and 44 feet long. Smaller courts can be created for kids using chalk or tape on a hard surface, such as a driveway or a basketball court.
The net in pickleball is 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high at the center. A portable net system can set up a court anywhere to play the game for much fun.
Pickleball Rules for Kids
Rules for child’s are similar to those for adults but with some modifications to accommodate their age and skill level. Here are the basic rules:
Serving: The serve must be made underhand and diagonally across the court. The serve must land within the boundaries of the service court on the opposite side.
Scoring: In pickleball, only the serving team can score points. A point is earned when the opposing team fails to return the ball within the boundaries of the court, hits the ball out of bounds, or commits a fault.
Double Bounce Rule: The double bounce rule requires the ball to bounce once on each side before players can hit it in the air. This rule helps to keep the game fair and balanced, especially for beginners.
Non-Volley Zone: The non-volley zone is a 7-foot area on each net side where players cannot hit the ball in the air. This rule helps to prevent players from hitting it without letting too close to the net and makes the game safer for all players.
Tips for GrandParents and Coaches
If you’re a parent or grandparent of a child interested in playing pickleball, here are some pickleball tips to help them succeed:
So they can play with their grandparents.
Pickleball Tournaments for Kids
Pickleball tournaments for kids are a great way to get them involved and provide a platform to showcase their skills. Local clubs often organize these tournaments, or organizations having all pickleball facilities.
Junior pickleball Tournaments typically include singles and doubles competitions, and players are grouped according to their age and skill level. They offer an excellent opportunity for children to compete against other players, meet new friends, and experience the thrill of competition.
Pickleball recreational programs are a great way to introduce children to the sport or help them improve their skills. These camps are designed for children of all ages and skill levels.These camps provide a fun and engaging environment for kids to learn and play pickleball.
Pickleball summer camps typically include skill-building exercises, drills, games, and social and recreational activities. They are usually held several days a week and led by experienced coaches and instructors.
Pickleball as a Family Activity
sport of pickleball is a great way to stay active and spend quality time together. Parents can play with their children, and siblings can compete against each other.
Wanting to Play pickleball as a family can help build stronger relationships. It provides a fun and healthy activity that everyone can enjoy together. It is also a great way to introduce children to the sport and help them develop a lifelong passion for it.
Pickleball for Kids and Beginners
If you’re new to the sport, you must familiarize yourself with the rules of Pickleball. Each game is played to 11 points, and players must win by two clear points. Points are scored only to the serving team. When it’s your team’s time to serve, you and your partner will get to serve and score. You can continue scoring points until you fault, and then your opponents get the chance to serve.
In doubles matches, the score is called three numbers, the serving team’s score, the server number, and the receiving team’s score. If you win a rally against both serving partners, it is a side-out, and the receiving team becomes the serving team, and vice versa.
For singles matches, scoring is more straightforward since there is no second server. If the receiving player wins the rally, they can serve again.
Formats of Pickleball for Kids
Pickleball includes several play formats: open play, traditional tournaments, round-robins, ladder leagues, luck-of-the-draws, and shootouts. Some venues also have a challenge court occupied by the winning team until the challengers defeat them.
Pickleball is a great sport for youngster to learn and enjoy. It is easy to play, and the rules are not too complicated. With the rising popularity of Pickleball, more and more recreation programs and parks are now offering Pickleball in their youth sports programming. If you want your kids to be more active, introduce them to Pickleball. Hopefully, this guide has given you a good understanding of kids how to play pickleball.