Is Pickleball the New Tennis?

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Activities, Events

It’s extremely common to see tennis courts in communities across the world, and for good reason. Tennis is a generally simple sport to pick up and play for all ages, and it doesn’t require much equipment. It’s a great way to stay active and hone skills like hand-eye coordination and agility. But what if I told you there was another racquet/paddle sport that is even simpler to learn, but just as fun to play? There is, and Bear Lake Reserve is the perfect place to try it out!

In short, pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Players face off as either singles or doubles on a badminton-sized court using a tennis-sized net. Using paddles similar to a ping-pong paddle, players hit a whiffle-ball style ball back and forth until a fault is committed. Games are typically played to 11, 15, or 21 points with a “win by 2” rule. Pretty simple, right?


There are many elements within the rules of pickleball that arguably make it a better social sport/activity than tennis for all ages and skill levels to play. For example, serves are made underhand and cross-court, and both the returning team and the receiving team must let the ball bounce once before hitting it back. This helps encourage longer back and forth rallies and takes away advantages a server or receiving team would ordinarily have. Also, there’s a non-volley zone within 7 feet of both sides of the net which is commonly called “the kitchen”. This means players are not allowed to hit the ball from this area unless it has already bounced, thus preventing crowding of the net to “spike” the ball in a way the opposing team can’t defend. These rules help shrink skill gaps, allowing players of all ages and levels of athleticism/coordination to enjoy playing together!

As with any sport, you’ll gain a better appreciation for it by trying it out yourself and Bear Lake Reserve has you covered! Whether you’re a first-timer or a long-timer, our pickleball and tennis courts at the summit are a breathtaking setting to play a few games or compete in a tournament. Our Director of Racquet Sports, John Green, can get you set up with equipment, learning the rules, lessons, and more. When you meet him, it won’t take you long to realize how passionate he is about pickleball! His favorite thing about the sport? “It’s easy to learn, easy to play, it’s the fastest growing sport in the world. You can learn to play in one session….then join in on all the fun.”

And he’s right! Between easier to handle paddles, a lighter ball, and less area to cover on the court, pickleball is even easier to pick up than tennis. So if you have kids that struggle to wield cumbersome racquets or your athletic days are behind you, maybe pickleball is the new tennis that you’ve been looking for!

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