Learn to Play and Love Pickleball

Some of our January 2023 Academy graduates, along with their instructors

Lorie Stockton

You’ve probably heard about the game sweeping the country. Is it tennis? Is it badminton? How about ping pong? No, it’s pickleball, the latest game sweeping the country that is fun, social, friendly, and, best of all, easy to learn.

According to the USA Pickleball website, pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Wash. Three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum, whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities, are credited for creating the game. Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout the U.S. and Canada. The game is growing internationally as well, with many European and Asian countries adding courts.

Here at Robson Ranch Texas, we have 16 outdoor courts and 2 indoor courts. The game is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes (like a wiffle ball). You can play doubles (which is mostly played here) or singles. And it’s age and skill friendly!

Interested? You can reach out to our pickleball ambassador at [email protected]. Kathleen Raices or one of our other ambassadors will familiarize you with the game and courts, the website, the ratings process, and, most of all, how to register for Pickleball Academy to get you started. Academy sessions are offered about once a month. Days and times vary based on the season. At the Academy you will learn the basic rules, how to keep score, and the basics of how to play. You will understand the serve requirements, when you can go in the “kitchen” and when you must stay out, and how points are scored.

I moved to Robson Ranch during the “High Season” (of COVID-19, that is), and all the indoor activities were shut down. As people began to venture back outside, golf, pickleball, and tennis became activities we could enjoy for our exercise and social needs. I came to Robson as a tennis player but decided to give pickleball a try through the Academy. Let me just say, a pickleball paddle is much shorter than a tennis racket, the ball doesn’t bounce nearly as high, and, oh my, is the scoring different! But after those few lessons with the great teachers here at Robson, I was quickly able to enjoy this new sport.

Once you complete the Academy, you will have lots of opportunity to practice your new skills, find additional opportunities for player development, and learn how individual players are rated and able to challenge up to new levels.

Join us for this fast-growing sport and experience a fun new game.