Why I Hate Pickleball (As a Tennis Player)

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Today’s article is dedicated to me explaining the reasons why I hate pickleball once and for all. Just to be clear, the bones I’m picking here are with the game in general and some players and enthusiasts, obviously not all of them!

But before that, what is a pickleball game? Pickleball is a sport that combines badminton, tennis, and table tennis. You may have noticed people enjoy playing pickleball in your community. Pickleball involves a hard paddle striking a hard wiffle ball, so you have undoubtedly heard them playing. Compared to other racket sports, it uses a paddle.

A pickleball court resembles the tennis ones at first glance, but there are significant distinctions. The pickleball nets are smaller than tennis nets. Pickleball rules are borrowed from other racquetball sports, but it also has its own. Although pickleball may be played as a singles or doubles sport, the majority of players choose the doubles.

I know what you’re thinking; “hate is a strong word, surely you don’t mean that!”. Well, as a tennis player, I’ve been sitting on my ‘dislike’ feelings for a long time now, hoping that things will get better, go away, or just turn out to be a misunderstanding. Also, some tennis fans won’t be pleased with this new sport.

Unfortunately, the situation only seems to get worse and my distaste for pickleball has grown more intense that I can only describe it as “hate”.

Without further ado, here are 9 reasons why I hate playing pickleball and other tennis players hate too (may be):

1. It’s a Tennis Knockoff

“I just love knockoffs”, said no one ever (well, except for Oreos, sorry Hydrox). This is exactly what I think pickleball is; a knockoff game created by someone who thought tennis was too hard or something.

As long-term tennis players, I can admit that the two sports (if you can even call pickleball a sport) share many similarities — many people even say they have the same roots. But that’s only because the root of pickleball is tennis; tennis is the root folks!

So, when pickleball players and enthusiasts keep comparing their game to tennis, saying things along the lines of “it’s an easier workout” or “it’s just like tennis, but (blank)”, you can bet I won’t stand for it!

The issue gets worse as pickleball grows more popular. Folks start to forget the fact that this game is merely a simplified version of tennis.

Sadly enough, a lot of people are crossing over from tennis to pickleball because the latter is less intense or whatever. Now I don’t have anything against someone going with their preferences, but don’t forget or trash talk where you came from..

2. It’s Barely an Exercise

Every single article or person pushing for pickleball I’ve come across always goes on and on about how beneficial it can be for your health. While I’m not denying that pickleball can be good for you, its effect isn’t nearly as strong as tennis.

I mean, be honest, which of the two sports involves more running and moving? Which sport works your muscles and brain more? Which sport makes you use your arms and legs more?

That’s right, tennis, tennis, and tennis.

Compared to tennis, pickleball doesn’t offer that much exercise. Yes, it’s a good option for older folks to stay active because its intensity is low or -if I’m being generous- moderate, but that’s exactly the point.

If pickleball fans would just market their game for what it really is instead of raving about how much “easy” exercise you can get from it, that’d be cool..

3. It’s Invading Tennis Courts

When I -or tennis player for that matter- go to a tennis court to play our beloved game, we expect to find just that; a tennis court.

Sounds reasonable and simple enough, right? Well, pickleball disagrees.

Because there aren’t any dedicated pickleball courts (or maybe only a couple), guess where its players go to play? Yes, tennis courts.

So when I say that pickleball is invading tennis courts, I’m not exaggerating. It’s literally taking up the court space and time where tennis matches should’ve been held.

It doesn’t even stop at tennis pickleball players hogging tennis courts, they actually modify them to fit the rules of the game using tape and -get this- leave them all taped up.

Now every time I go down to a tennis court, I’m met with pickleball lines that mess up our sport because they confuse tennis players and frequently cause them to second-guess the position of shots.

Just imagine playing soccer on a football field or the other way around. It’s just wrong..

4. It’s Everywhere

Pickleball is everywhere, and not in a good way. I’m all for a sport getting exposure, but it feels all too suffocating with pickleball. It’s almost like it’s being pushed on us as if we have to like it or else we’re not “trendy” enough.

Actually, it’s probably the fact that pickleball is a trend that it’s becoming so popular.

What makes matters even worse is that some cities are turning tennis courts into pickleball courts to accommodate the growing interest in the sport.

As such, it’s understandable why I and other tennis players aren’t happy with pickleball.

5. It Lacks Excitement

Pickleball games aren’t as entertaining or exciting to watch as tennis matches. The courts are smaller and the games end all too fast.

I know that tennis matches can drag on for hours, but this doesn’t make super short pickleball games any better.

Not to mention, there isn’t much athleticism and competitiveness involved in pickleball, which makes it pretty boring.

6. It Feels Old

Although this one is a stereotype, it sure holds a lot of truth to it.

Remember the lack of excitement I just talked about? Well, a big part of that is the “old people” vibes that pickleball gives off.

The sport is a huge hit among seniors -no doubt about that-, so it’s heavily associated with old age. Being playing tennis for years, who appreciates high-paced, active sports, pickleball isn’t my cup of tea.

7. Its Name is Ridiculous

Pickleball just sounds unbelievably ridiculous and lame. No one can argue with that (mic drop).

8. It Makes Annoying Noises

If you’ve ever been to or watched a pickleball game, you know you can’t escape its annoying noises.

For starters, the ball itself makes a louder noise when it hits the paddle compared to tennis. Additionally, more players fit into a small area in pickleball, and all the players talk and banter a lot more frequently because they’re so close.

9. It’s Unnecessarily Complex

Finally, pickleball seems to be unnecessarily complicated and I think it’s just to try and make the game more serious.

For example, can someone tell me what’s up with the pickleball scoring system? It’s confusing and doesn’t make sense!

Also, don’t get me started on terms such as ‘poach’, ‘kitchen’, and ‘dink’. I mean, seriously, why not use normal words like other normal sports?

Wrap Up

There you have it, 9 reasons behind why I hate to play pickleball as a tennis player. Hopefully, some of these issues/aspects will get resolved and improved, only then will I be ready to maybe only dislike pickleball.

The Pickleball game is increasingly catering to all age groups and most importantly the retirement communities are playing pickleball. Moreover, it is growing quickly in popularity since it is enjoyable and low-impact. It is a great opportunity to connect with your families or friends while gaining some exercise. Pickleball takes simply a paddle to hit the ball; no other equipment is necessary.

Let me know how people play pickleball and enjoy this sport.

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