Pickleball: The popular new sport takes off in Cumbria

  • Video report by Paul Crone

A new sport is becoming increasingly popular at a local Cumbria club.

Pickleball is the new racket ball craze which has seen Eden Valley Pickleball Club in Wetheral reach 90 members playing over 40 hours a week.

The game is said to be a mix of badminton, tennis, and table tennis combining elements of each.

Richard Wise from Eden Valley Pickle Ball Club said: "In an hour there's only something like ten minutes of actual play going on in tennis, but it is nearer half an hour in every hour of play in Pickleball."

Maisie Wise from Eden Valley Pickle Ball said: "You've got all age groups, I was talking to someone at work the other day and they didn't realise people who were so much older were able to play alongside the much younger players as well and I think it's really nice, that you can have that full mix and range of abilities and it's just open to anybody."

Pickleball is most popular in the US and was invented in 1965. Around 4,000 people in the UK have taken up the sport.

The game can be played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.

Terry Smith, who is a wheelchair player from Eden Valley Pickle Ball, said: "The size of the court is a good point for wheelchair users who maybe can't manoeuvre around a tennis court, because it is quite a big area.

"Basketball is very, very physical, so that's the advantage of Pickleball."

How to play Pickleball

Two or four players use paddles to hit a ball, over a net.

The ball is served underhand from the right side of the court and is played diagonally across to the other service court.

The defending side has to let the ball bounce first before it can be returned and, subsequently, the serving side also has to let the ball bounce.

It is only on the third ball that the ball can be returned immediately. Either you can play a volley or you can let the ball bounce first.

Points can only be scored by the serving side.

You win a point if the defending side does not manage to return the ball, hits the ball out, does not let the serve ball bounce, volleys in the non-volley zone, or is hit by the ball.

The game ends when one of the team scores gets 11 points, with a 2-point lead.

In Pickleball's "kitchen rule" you cannot be touching the kitchen zone or kitchen line, usually a blue line either side of the net, while volleying a ball.