The First Rule of Pickleball

Pickleball has taken over St. Simons much like it has the rest of the country. It’s a fun game that’s easy to learn and enjoy with others whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced player. It’s harder to learn how to keep score in pickleball than it is to actually play pickleball! And remember the rule we learned from the movie Fight Club? “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.” Obviously that rule doesn’t apply to pickleball players. How do you know if someone plays pickleball? All they talk about is pickleball! The trick is translating what they’re saying if you don’t know the sport. The game has some interesting terminology that you may not understand if you haven’t embraced this relatively new sports craze. Here’s some common pickleball slang to help you hold your own in conversation the next time one of these avid players regales you with tales of their battles on the court.

Kitchen: Another term for the non-volley zone, designated by two rectangular boxes that enclose the net. You’re not allowed to step into the kitchen unless the ball bounces in it first.

Dink: To softly hit a ball from near the kitchen/kitchen line into your opponent’s kitchen.

Body Bag: A shot that successfully targets your opponent’s body; a body shot.

Getting Pickled: When you lose the game with zero points.

And my favorite, Volley Llama: An illegal move or fault where pickleball players hit a volley shot in the non-volley zone.

Now, excuse me while I head to my non-volley zone to grab a snack before I watch a movie that I can’t talk about because of the first rule. If you see me on a court with a paddle later, I’m probably getting pickled.

The First Rule of Pickleball originally posted on by Elegant Island Living magazine.

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