By Christy Howden

What is Pickleball? Only a short time ago, this would be the first question people would ask upon hearing of the sport. However, now that pickleball has become the fastest-growing sport in the country, most are familiar with the game. If it’s still a new concept to you, think of pickleball as a combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It’s easy to learn the rules, and fun to play!

Pickleball is gaining in popularity, largely because it’s accessible to a wide range of players. You can begin playing at any age, and continue long into your senior years. The game does not require an advanced level of fitness or athletic ability, yet can still challenge accomplished athletes who seek to master its nuances. As a result, pickleball attracts players at all skill levels, including those new to paddle sports, former and current athletes, and even professional and Olympic athletes. It’s an easy sport to learn, yet for experienced players it can be fast-paced and intensely competitive. For everyone, pickleball is fun and social.

Top Five Reasons to Play Pickleball:

  1. EASY LEARNING CURVE – Beginning players love pickleball because it’s easy to learn, so gameplay happens quickly.
  2. FINESSE VS. FITNESS – The game is played with a hard paddle and a large wiffle-type ball, which slows gameplay and makes it more of a finesse game than a power game.
  3. ACCESSIBLE – There’s an area on the court known as “the kitchen” or “non-volley zone” at the net, which can also slow gameplay and make the sport less intimidating.
  4. THE SPEED-DATING OF SPORTS  – Games usually last 10-12 minutes each, followed by a rotation of partners. This provides a mix of partners and opponents and makes for great social interaction.
  5. CHALLENGING AND FUN – As players begin to master pickleball, they can focus on learning the advanced nuances and strategies of the game.

Chances are, you’ll soon be asked to play pickleball if you haven’t been already!  Whether you’re 13, 33, or 73, pickleball is a welcoming and encouraging sport to learn and play.


Christy Howden became hooked on pickleball five years ago. Desiring more, she co-founded Wolverine Pickleball as a second act in life after becoming an empty nester. Wolverine Pickleball has grown exponentially over the last three years and now Christy is at the forefront of the national pickleball facility trend. Christy lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, Don, with whom she raised two daughters.