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Versatility | Learning about the game | Balls and Rules | Video | History of Pickleball | Example of a game at Rossmoor | A Remembrance

Why do I want to play Pickleball?
Since 1965, Pickleball has become an increasingly favorite game for families, for schools, for teams and especially for retirement communities such as Rossmoor. Part tennis, part ping-pong and part badminton - it is now one of the faster growing sports in the county. In 2011 the USA Pickleball Association estimated that over 100,000 individuals are now playing the game.

Anyone who has seen the game played will tell you that it is great exercise. But its amazing versatility is what sets it apart from many other sports - even those whose basic play is similar. It can be played by any age group, especially because it is low impact and easier on the body than many other games.

The challenge of a Pickleball Game can be as great or as relaxed as the players wish. Others have described Pickleball as a great "Equalizer" - Women vs Men, Teens vs Seniors - and they can still be matched. (Which only adds to the enjoyment.) And as the current players smile and quickly admit: "It is very addicting!"


The Versatility of Pickleball
Because its 20' x 44' court dimensions - one third the size of a tennis court - the sport can be played temporarily placed on a regulation sized Tennis Court. Because of this, the sport can continue out-of-doors throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn months.

As we will describe, the 11 points to win (this can be informally changed to 7) allows a continuous rotation of players. We have a "spectators Gallery" alongside Court where spectators line up "to be next" - and the wait is not long while allowing pleasant conversation and cheering for the teams in play.

And while "just for fun" play is common, there are more serious tournaments such as ones Rossmoor has already played with a neighboring retirement community. And there are other possibilities for competition currently under discussion.


Learning about Pickleball
The Rossmoor Pickleball Group very much encourages new members. One does not have to be a superb athlete, but one who is looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon. To this end, the current leader makes himself available frequently to provide basic instruction in the sport. The basic rules are discussed (basic rules and more advanced rules are easily available from the USAPickleBall Association Website. Click HERE to read), and common sense sports safety is reviewed.

Pickleball Schedule of play (as of 4/2011) is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 4PM. Then on Saturday and Sunday from 9AM until approximately noon. It is not unusual to see a group of 14 - 20 or more persons representing all levels of experience thoroughly enjoying themselves rotating through the 4 person successive games. As noted above, the Rossmoor group offers Pickleball Clinics - such as one held on Saturday, May 14th, 2011 at 10AM in the Hawthorn Room - for instructions and rules about the game, followed by actual play on the out-of-doors court.

On Fridays there is a "Pickleball Social" at 6PM in the Maple Room, with an occasional venue change to a nearby restaurant!


Pickleballs and Paddles
A pickleball is similar to a wiffleball, but the ball is made of a stronger material, though the holes in the ball are smaller. Balls come in white, orange or yellow color, the white variety are more commonly used for inside play.

PickleBall Paddles can be made of either an older wooden construction, or a more contemporarly lightweight fiberglass.

The Court and some Basic
Rules of Play

  1. The Initial Serve is cross-court into the right service area.
  2. Return must allow a single bounce on return to the opposite team.
  3. From then on, volley (direct hit into the opposite court) is allowed, as is a bounce return.
  4. The 7 foot "Non-Volley" zone on either side of the net prohibits anyone "volleying" while standing within this space. No one volleying can even step on the Non-Volley Line.
  5. Any return, that is outside of the side and baselines, is out.
  6. Game is won when one side wins 11 points - but this requires a two point difference or the game continues until a two point difference is achieved.
  7. At Game's end, the winning team plays one more game only, and the losing team is replaced by those from the sideline seats in order.
    As always there are additional rules as well, and these can be found on the USAPA website.

Diagram courtesy of the USA Pickleball Association Website

A video from the USA Pickleball Association Website (google video)
This 12 minute video is not only a demonstration of Pickleball Play, but gives some description of the rules and method of play.

Throughout the video, different locations in which pickleball can be played are shown. The many different groups from youth to very elderly seniors (many in their 80's) can also be seen.

<<< Click the button on the video to start play.

A 2011 YouTube video from CBS television about Pickleball can be viewed by
clicking on this link


A History of Pickleball and when it began Clubhouse at Rossmoor

Even at its start, Pickleball has a fun story! It all began in 1965 when two friends from the State of Washington decided to come up with a game their mutual families might enjoy. One of them owned an old Badminton Court which - over time - they modified into the court now very familiar to Pickleball enthusiasts.

The name of the game came from a cocker spaniel named "Pickles," who became very interested in this new game. "Pickles" decided that all balls that aimed in his direction were his private property and would run off with them! After all, any of these balls were "Pickle's Balls" - and hence the start of the name.


The origin of Pickleball at Rossmoor
In early 2008, Frank and Yvonne Nobile visited a location in Florida - a large community that hosts over 100 different Pickleball Courts! They tried the game and were immediately taken, and felt that they wanted to import the game to Rossmoor.

In March 2008 they gave a Demo as part of the Expo in the Gallery. The idea rapidly gained acceptance and the Nobiles helped create a Team Play Project and Pickleball in the community in approximately 7/08.

Play for "fun" and for competition caught on quickly, and the Nobiles sponsored the first competition matches with another local retirement community. They also anticipate that Pickleball will join other sports playing for an annual "Mayor's Trophy" in Monroe Township.


Pickleball Play

An example of Pickleball Play at Rossmoor in the Hawthorn Room before the out-of-doors courts became available.



<<< Place the pointer on the video screen.

Then click the button on thelower left of the video to start play. (2m 56s)

    Watch a YouTube Video about Rossmoor
Courtesy of which filmed Rossmoor as one of its featured Communities in 2010.

Click HERE to watch the video. Watch for the Pickleball Team filmed towards the end of the video!

Clubhouse at Rossmoor This little "Smiley Face" on a pickleball is in remembrance of Sunny Hancher - an enthusiastic Pickleball player and advocate, a special friend to so many,
and with a caring disposition which matched her name. She will be missed.

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