Intramurals: Understanding Pickleball Basics

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MISHAWAKA – On Mar. 20, Bethel kicked off Pickleball as the next Intramurals in Wiekamp gym. Intramurals is hosted by Resident Director of Oakwood Nicholas Geever.  

“Pickleball will run until the end of the school year,” Geever said. “There are no caps on teams; with us having an extra hour in the gym, we can accommodate more teams . . . [and] there is open or mixed. Mixed always requires a female. Open is any combination.”  

At the end of the season, the winning team will receive a prize that is yet to be announced. Matches are Mondays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. in Goodman Gymnasium. Students are encouraged to come out and watch the games to cheer on their peers. 

Although pickleball is growing in popularity, there are still many individuals who may be unfamiliar with some of the details. Pickleball is a popular racquet sport played on a court that is similar in size to a badminton court. The game is played with a plastic ball, similar to a wiffle ball, and a paddle that is larger than a table tennis paddle but smaller than a tennis racquet.  

Here are the basic rules of pickleball:  

Serve: The game starts with a serve, which is made diagonally from behind the baseline. The server must keep one foot behind the baseline and must hit the ball underhand. 

Return: The return must be made after the ball bounces on the court. It can be hit by any player on the receiving team, and the ball must clear the net and land in the opposing team's court. 

Volleys: After the ball has bounced once on each side, players may volley the ball (hit it in the air) as long as they are not standing in the "kitchen." 

Kitchen: The "kitchen" is a seven-foot area on each side of the net where players are not allowed to volley the ball. They must wait until the ball bounces in this area before hitting it. 

Double Bounce Rule: After the serve and return, the ball must bounce once on each side before players can volley the ball. 

Scoring: Points are scored only by the serving team. The first team to reach 11 points with a 2-point lead wins the game. 

Switching Sides: Players switch sides of the court after every point is scored, except for the first point of each game. 

These are the basic rules of pickleball, but there are also variations of the game, such as playing to 15 or 21 points and allowing different types of serves. It is also important to note that rules may differ slightly depending on the specific organization or tournament in which the game is being played. 

As for other intramural activities, Geever shared that there are plans currently in the works for a dodgeball event and a volleyball event before the semester is over, so keep an eye on the intramurals Instagram page @betheluniversityintramurals for the latest updates.  

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