Racquet sports include tennis, squash, badminton, racquetball, and pickleball, among others. Most sporting goods and department stores carry a few select items for these sports, but have limited space to include much of a selection. Some racquet sports, like pickleball, are not represented in those stores at all. The best place to find a wide variety of equipment, accessories, gear, and apparel for racquet sports is online at a dedicated website. There are sites for each racquet sport, and a few sites that specializes in gear and equipment for all racquet sports, such as wolfesports.com, for example.
The sport of pickleball is not familiar to every area, but there is a USA Pickleball Association, and an International Federation of Pickleball. The game was first played in the middle nineteen-sixties by kids in their backyards, but soon caught on with adults. The game, played by two or four players, combines features of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Solid paddles are used to hit a ball over a net. The ball is similar to a wiffle ball in that it is perforated polymer. Paddles can be made of wood or composite materials, and come in different sizes and weights. The court is twenty feet wide and forty-four feet long, much like a doubles badminton court. The net is thirty six inches high at each end and thirty-four inches high at the very center.
The ball is served underhanded, and points can only be scored by the serving player or team. A point is awarded when the opponent hits the ball out of bounds, or fails to return it after one bounce. The winner is the first to get to eleven points and has at least a two point lead. Both criteria have to be met before a winner is decided. Tournament play can go to either fifteen or twenty-one points, with players switching sides in the middle of the game. When picking a paddle, players should consider the weight, the grip, and the hitting surface of the paddle. Beginners can ask players what type of paddle they prefer, and ask to borrow one for a game to decide what paddle they would like.