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2 Main Types of Pickleball Nets

An outdoor temporary Pickleball Net.

Just when I thought all the games there could possibly be invented had been and I knew them all, Wifey and I were on Christmas Eve, introduced to pickleball by our second eldest, Myles.

So, there we were, Wifey and I excitedly opening our prezzies from the kids, while our kids opened theirs from us when, amid the oohs, ahhs, and wows, we opened our gift from Myles with….

“Wow, a fishing net! And an unusual one at that”.  Wifey and I exchanged looks, before shouting our thanks over to Myles.

“Thanks, son, for the fishing net. I am sure it will come in handy when your mom and I go deep water fishing!” I shouted, somewhat sarcastically.

“Yes, thanks, baby. It’s just we wanted”, added Wifey, a broad maternal smile on her face.

You can imagine our surprise when all the kids simultaneously burst out laughing.

“That’s not a fishing net sillies, it’s a portable pickleball net!” rejoined Myles, once the laughing had died down.

Wifey and I sheepishly looked at each other before saying…….

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Sorry son, we bad! But just what is pickleball?

A Pickleball in the middle of the court line.

Very much like badminton, racketlon, real tennis, pickleball is an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport. In it, two players, either as singles, or four players (doubles), hit a hollow perforated polymer ball over a 36-inch-high (0.91 m) net using solid-faced paddles.

Pickleball Master Course by Steve Dawson ($199)

To play pickleball, the two sides hit the ball back and forth over the net until one side commits a rule violation. In this respect, how pickleball is played, as well as the appearance of a pickleball court, very much resembles tennis. Though, however, the court is the size of a doubles badminton court-less than a third the size of a tennis court.

And what’s Pickleball’s story, son?… Same as that of a pickle? kkkkkk…

A young kid holding a paddle and a Pickleball.

Pickleball was invented in 1965 as a children’s backyard game on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. Consequently, pickleball has since been adopted as the official state sport of Washington.

The summer home of Joel Pritchard, who later served in the United States Congress and as Washington’s lieutenant governor has been identified as the place where Pickleball actually started. Apparently,  Pritchard and Bell returned from a game of golf one Saturday afternoon in 1965, they found their families bored. They had attempted to set up badminton, but no one could find the shuttlecock. So, Pritchard and Bell challenged their kids to devise their own game.

However, both the adults and kids ended up at the badminton court, where they began experimenting with different types of balls and rackets, including table tennis paddles. The 5-foot (1.5-meter) badminton net was eventually lowered to hip level to enable hitting the ball over the ball. Pritchard and two of his friends, Barney McCallum and Bill Bell, are credited with devising the game and establishing the rules.

Although the origins of the name Pickleball have not been solidly established,  according to Joan Pritchard, Joel Pritchard’s wife, “The name of the game became Pickle Ball after I said it reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats.”However, Pritchard’s friend, Bill Bell claimed he named the game “because he enjoyed hitting the ball in a way that would put his opponent in a pickle”.

Suffice it to say, soon after it was created, Pickleball became so popular with Pritchard’s local neighbors and relatives so much so that some of the founders and their friends brought pickleball to Hawaii where the game became known as pukaball.  This is such that as Pickleball’s popularity grew by leaps and bounds, in 1968, Pritchard, together with McCallum’s son David and two other friends, formed Pickle Ball, Inc.

From 2021 to date, the Sports and Fitness Industry Association has named the sport the fastest growing sport in the United States, with over 4.8 million players. The growing interest in the sport has been attributed to several factors including, its short learning curve (so you can learn it too, dad), appeal to a wide range of ages and fitness levels, fancy a game, dad?), and low start-up costs (that’s why I thought of you guys and gifted it).

Ha!ha!ha!ha!Interesting, did you say ours is a portable pickleball net? Does that mean there are numerous other types of pickleball nets?

Yes, but whilst there might not be numerous, there are different types. These are the…..

1. As already mentioned, portable pickleball net

What is it?

Just as its name says, a portable pickleball net is not permanently fixed to the ground. Examples of portable net systems are the Gamma Portable Pickleball Net, Franklin Portable Net System, USAPA Portable Pickleball Net System, the Tourna Net System, and the Deluxe Portable PickleNet System (wheeled).

3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System (Set Includes Metal Frame and Net in Carry Bag) | Durable and Easy to Assemble

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

Ideal for casual family games, Pickleball enthusiasts who like to take the game with them where, and whenever possible, the portable type of Pickleball net is convenient and versatile at its best. It is movable, transferable, and transportable, making it usable both indoors and outdoors.

AMA SPORT Portable Pickleball Net System Regulation Size Net 22FT for Indoor and Outdoor-Designed for All Weather Conditions-Powder Coated Steel Post-600D Driveway Bag

The portable Pickleballnet is a great way to get your game on, even when you’re away from home. This means it can be used anywhere as it is designed to be used in the backyard or driveway-even on the beach. It is lightweight and easy to transport.

The portable pickleball net is also easy to fold and unfold and can be stored away when not in use. However, while its portability is a plus, it can also be a minus as it makes it prone to getting lost, being left behind, or worse, stolen.

What is it used for?

Unless you have never seen one, at first glance you can be excused for thinking it is a miniature badminton/ tennis court net (or fishing net, kkk!!!). However, for those in the know, it’s a no-brainer really. The pickleball net is great for all types of pickleball games, including doubles, singles, and team play.

Key features

Portable Pickleball Net Set – 2 Pickleball Nets in 1 – 22 Foot Regulation Size and Bonus 11 Foot Half Court Option – Versatile Pickle Ball Net for Indoor or Outdoor Games on Court Driveway or Backyard

Coming in USA Pickleball Association Regulation Dimension sizes, and with the option of an 11-foot half court, this net is made of durable materials that will last for years to come. Its features also include a powder-coated steel frame that’s thicker and stronger than usual, a knotless net, an easy-to-see white, 2-inch wide net top banding, a superior net tensioning system, a more durable center height setting mechanism, pin-lock frame ( which can assembled without tools), and a sturdy carry bag.

Any other pertinent info to share?

The kind of pickleball net best suited for your court is one of the last things people put thought into. However, like all sporting equipment, there are variations on the market that cover nearly every situation you may find yourself in. A portable pickleball net is just one of them…consider it.

2. Pretty Permanent Pickleball Net, anyone?

Permanent Pickleball Net on an outdoor court.

If you work-from-home or stay-at-home mom/dad or simply a wealthy recluse who loves playing pickleball at home, then this is for you. You will be happy to know that a pickleball net type, a permanent option, is also available.

What is it?

Again true to its name, a permanent pickleball net is one that you find on permanently fixed pickleball posts.

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

Ideal for families with permanently constructed courses, the advantage of such pickleball nets is that while they are attached to poles cemented into the ground, the netting itself can be removed and replaced depending on season changes or wear and tear.

However, when you have an area dedicated to pickleball play most of the time, you’ll want a heavy-duty net system with wheels. Weighing around 230 pounds, this isn’t something you want to lug in and out of your trunk every weekend. As such, enthusiasts who like to take the game with them where, and whenever possible, will not be able to do so, unless they acquire a sturdy, tournament-grade net system that can be moved if it needs to be.

Other than that, you will have to make do with the inconvenience and inflexibility, immovability, of an indoor-unusable permanent pickleball net. The permanent pickleball net is not a great way to get your game on, once you’re away from home. Its permanence means it cannot be used anywhere else other than in a permanent court. It is not designed to be used in the backyard, driveway- or even on the beach. It is heavyweight and not so easy to transport.

A large court with multiple pickleball net.

The permanent pickleball net is also not that easy to fold and unfold and cannot be easily stored away when not in use. However, while its permanence is an inconvenience, its weight makes it less prone to getting lost, or at worst, stolen. It’s also great to just be able to simply roll it down or out to the sidelines or across to the other post and replace it when it needs to be.

What is it used for?

Unless you have never seen one, you can be excused for thinking it is a miniature tennis court net. Otherwise, like the portable pickleball net, this one is also great for all types of pickleball games, including doubles, singles, and team play.

Key features

For space that’s dedicated mostly to pickleball play, the Elite Heavy-Duty Pickleball Net System with wheels is recommended.

Elite Heavy-Duty Pickleball Net on the court.

Coming in USA Pickleball Association Regulation Dimension sizes, this net is also made of durable materials that will last for years and be able to weather the outdoors. The net is heavyweight and knotless with an easy-to-see white, 2-inch wide net top banding, a superior net tensioning system, and a more durable center height setting mechanism.

Pickleball Net and court beside a river.

Pickleball Nets Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What are the best pickleball nets?

A: Below is a list of the best portable pickleball nets you can find.

  1. The 3.0 Portable Pickleball Net System
  2. Oncourt Offcourt PickleNet Deluxe
  3. SwiftNet 2.1 Portable Pickleball Net System
  4. Franklin Sports Pickleball Net.
  5. Rally Portable Light Pickleball Net.

Q:  What should I look for when buying a pickleball net?

A: Make sure that you are not getting sags on each side of the net when you set it up. You want your net to look as close to a single U, rather than two. A loose net allows many more balls to roll over the net cord than on a regulation net. Most pickleball nets weigh between 20-25 pounds.

Q: What is the standard-sized pickleball net and what are its features?

A: 36″H x 22’W. The net can be used in multi-purpose gym spaces, at the local park, or even in your driveway. The USA Pickleball (USAPA) regulation size is 36″H x 22’W, making it great for tournaments or casual games. The net features an adjustable Velcro strap to achieve perfect tension for exceptional playability.

Q: Can you use a tennis net for pickleball?

A: Yes, you can use a tennis net for pickleball. Playing pickleball on a tennis court is one of the most common ways to play pickleball for the first time. So using the tennis net is allowed, and works perfectly when adjusted from 36 inches to 34 inches from the center using the tennis net’s center strap.

Q: How long should a pickleball net be?

A: A pickleball net is 36 inches high by 22 feet wide. In the middle, there is a 2-inch sag, making it 34 inches high in that spot. It is attached by two 24-inch-tall posts on either side. The net hangs over the center of the court, which is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide.