Pickleball is the ultimate family friendly sport. Invented in America in the mid-1960s, by a group of dads looking for a fun new game to play with their kids, it quickly gained popularity as a low-impact sport the whole family could play together. Although it took almost 50 years to take off in the UK, the Pickleball revolution is well underway. Loved by celebrities and sports stars alike. Fans include George Clooney, Emma Watson and Shaquille O’Neal. Judy Murray was recently unveiled as the new ambassador for Pickleball Scotland and Tennis icons Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi even played a charity exhibition game in 2018. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for Dundee!
How can I play Pickleball?
From Saturday 27th January, Intro to Pickleball and Group Pickleball Sessions are currently running across 3 of our facilities throughout the week.
Intro to Pickleball: These are coach led sessions that introduce the rules and basic skills
Who does this suit? Individuals or small groups who have never played before, or are very inexperienced and need the support of our coaches to get started.
Group Pickleball: Social Group sessions where you come along and play for fun with others.
Who does this suit? Individuals or small groups who have played before and want to join a sociable group to play for fun.
8.00pm – 9.00pm
|St. Paul's Swim & Sports Centre
7.00pm - 8.00pm & 8.00pm - 9.00pm
|Douglas Sports Centre
10.00am - 11.00am & 11.00am - 12.00pm
We have made some change to the way Pickleball sessions are booked. We now require everyone attending to book for themselves in the same way you do for group x bookings and other activities. This ensures all Member Rewards points are allocated correctly and everyone who attends is swiped in and recorded accurately.
The easiest way to book an Intro to Pickleball or Group Pickleball session is still to use the Leisureactive app. Bookings open 7 days in advance for members, 5 days in advance for active lifestyle card holders and 3 days in advance for everyone else. Pickleball is FREE for Leisureactive members, and for non-members or those playing out-with their membership type, prices are:
Adult Concessions & Juveniles £3.30 (under 18 years)
Active Lifestyle Adult £3.60
Active Lifestyle Concession £2.80
- Make sure you're logged into your account and head to the facility page you'd like to book for - Douglas, Grove or St Paul's. Need to create a free account? Click HERE
- Select 'Racket Sports Bookings' and tap 'Intro to & Group Pickleball Bookings'. You'll see any upcoming sessions listed, simply tap on the one you'd like to attend.
- Tap BOOK to confirm your space.
- Make any payments for your booking if required.
- You can now view, amend or cancel your booking under 'My Bookings'.
Alternatively, book via CONNECT online booking. Follow the same instructions once logged in.
When attending your Intro to Pickleball or Group Pickleball session, go to reception to swipe in. They will record your attendance. Then make your way to the sports hall where everything will be set up ready for you to enjoy your game of Pickleball!
For more information about pickleball, a beginners guide and special terminology read more below.
Played as singles or in pairs and suitable for all ages & abilities, Pickleball is a cross between tennis, badminton and table-tennis. As one of the world’s fastest growing sports, the game is easy to learn and simple to play.
Played on a badminton-sized court with a lowered net, Pickleball uses large, flexible paddles to hit a plastic ball with holes in it. The ball is less bouncy than a tennis ball and doesn’t fly as fast through the air. The table tennis-style paddle is also much easier to handle as it’s shorter and lighter than a tennis racquet.
The size of the court and design of the ball - with its reduced velocity compared to other racquet sports - means people of all different ages and abilities can enjoy the game together. It’s an exciting, social game that still provides a good workout and is also easier on the body than tennis or squash, meaning it’s the perfect game for all ages to play together. Racquet sport novices and enthusiasts alike will enjoy Pickleball, with the added benefit of improving their reaction time and coordination.
Like any sport, it takes a bit of practice to get good but if you’ve ever had a go at hitting a ball or shuttlecock around during P.E or at the park with friends, you’ll soon be able to pick up the basics.
A beginner’s guide to the rules of Pickleball:
- The first player or pair to win 11 points (with at least a 2-point lead) is the winner.
- Service is made diagonally cross-court and serves must be underarm. There are no second serves.
- There’s a 7-foot non-volley zone on either side of the net (often referred to as ‘the kitchen’ – see below for more terminology!)
- The service ball must bounce in the receiving court (beyond the non-volley zone) before it’s returned, then bounce in the service court on its way back before it can be returned again (the double bounce rule).
- The rally can then continue with any combination of volleys and strokes (except in the kitchen).
- Only the server can win a point. If they fault, service goes to the opponent.
- If playing doubles, player one serves until they fault and service then passes to their partner. When they fault, play passes to the opposite team.
- Ways to fault include: not following the double bounce rule, hitting the ball into your side of the net or out of bounds, violating the service rules and volleying in the Kitchen.
- In a bit of a pickle? For a more detailed explanation of the rules, here’s a handy PDF and you can watch a short video demo on the official Pickleball Scotland Website.
Part of the fun of Pickleball is all the unique terminology that you will soon pick up and incorporate into your games.
Useful Pickleball terms to know:
- The Kitchen: Informal term for the non-volley zone - the area within seven feet of each side of the net where volleying is not allowed.
- No-Man’s Land: The area on the court between the kitchen and the baseline. Also referred to as the transition zone.
- Dink: A light, controlled shot that moves downward shortly after it clears the net, landing in the no-volley zone.
- Pickle!: Some players shout ‘Pickle!’ to let the other players know they are about to serve. Don’t worry, this is totally optional!
- Pickled: If a team scores zero points by the end of the game, they have been pickled.
- Volley llama:If you fault by hitting a volley in The Kitchen then you are a Volley Llama!