We know that you come to the Vanderbilt Beach Resort to experience the warm Naples sun, our beautiful beachfront location, and perhaps to try your hand at fishing or paddleboarding. But have you tried the latest craze in leisure sports right here at our Resort? We’ve refurbished our tennis court to accommodate not only tennis lovers but also pickleball fanatics!
What is pickleball, you ask?? Pickleball is a racquet sport that is played on a badminton-sized court with the net slightly lower than a net used in tennis. The equipment used to play pickleball is fairly simple: the paddles are generally made of wood or plastic, and the ball is perforated and looks similar to a whiffle ball. It is a relatively easy game for beginners to learn, but with experience, players will find it a quick, fast-paced, and competitive.
To start play in a pickleball game, the ball is served underhand, and the ball must bounce once on the returning player’s side before the serve is returned. The returned ball must bounce once again on the serving player’s side. After the ball has bounced once on each side, both teams may either volley the ball in the air or play it off the bounce. This is called the "double bounce rule" because the ball must bounce twice (once on each side of the net) before it can be volleyed. (To “volley” a ball just means to hit it in the air without first letting it bounce on the ground.)
Points are scored only by the serving side when the opponent fails to return the ball, hits the ball out-of-bounds, or steps into the “kitchen” area (the first seven feet from the net, also known as the “non-volley zone”) when volleying the ball. A player is permitted to step into the kitchen area to play a ball that bounces and may stay there to play only balls that bounce. But that player must leave the kitchen area before playing a volley. A team wins a pickleball game by being the first side to score 11 points, and that team must win by at least two points.
Pickleball is quickly gaining popularity in Florida and around the country, and we are excited to showcase it here in Naples! To find out more about this fast-growing sport, the USA Pickleball Association has a website with information on rules, tournaments, and how to play pickleball. Simply go to http://www.usapa.org.
So the next time you visit our hotel, don’t just sit on the beach! Get active, and be sure to try the latest sports craze! We have all the equipment you need at our front desk, and you can try the sport free of charge! It’s never to late to learn something new, and if you’re going to try something new, it might as well be something fun! We’ll see you on our pickleball court!
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