Clooneys and DiCaprio both adore it. Now, this ridiculous sport is popular among Indians.

Pickleball is a game you can master by the 15th ball if youve ever played a racquet sport . The sport was introduced to Indians more than ten years ago .

What if it was a yellow plastic ball with holes that ricocheted off my paddle with a thwack before fluttering towards my opponent who finely blasted it against my head?For a person whose last sport experience was dodgeball in elementary school or wielding a mosquito bat in adult life, tossing a ball across the net with a backhand swing made for a confident ego and a gyrational introduction to pickleball.Pickle what is best described as a mashup of tennis, badminton, and table tennis played with a squarish paddle and a perforated plastic ball over a lower-than-usual tennis net on a badminton-sized court in the United States that is slowly emerging from the brink here in India for reasons not too difficult to comprehend.For starters, it's people like me who have rudimentary sporting skills and can hop onto a court and play a real match, as I do.

To get started, all you need is a net, paddle, and a ball.Like with all racquet sports, the intention is to push the ball over the net and keep the opponent from kicking it back.Pickleball is a game you can master by the 15th ball if you've ever played a racquet sport.With a lightweight paddle and ball, pickleball is more exciting than a heavy and high-impact tennis racquet, which is what makes pickleball fun.

The sport was introduced to Indians more than ten years ago.People scoffed at the game at first, and the name did not help.Valavalkar's usual reaction was: Kya hai yeh pickle ka ball Achaar ka gola recalls.Leena Mulgaonkar, a 46-year-old mother and housewife, had never played a sport in her life until a neighbor suggested pickleball to her.

She has been playing on a regular basis since 2018, earning two silvers at a national tournament in Hyderabad last month.She is also one of the 60 people in her Goregaon housing complex who have picked up a pickleball paddle.Ajeet Bhardwaj, 64, a Delhi tennis player, had laughed at the idea, but is now a convert who won gold at the Asia Pickleball Open in Thailand in April and established the Delhi Pickleball Association.Pickleball is something that I find complements my tennis game and makes me more adaptable.

We want to promote pickleball and make Delhi a force to be reckoned with, he says.To what extent has pickleball reached India?With a cult following of over 4 million picklers including Bill Gates, George and Amal Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the Kardashians, the sport has increased from a few hundreds to over 10,000 registered players in 15 states in the last two years.Private clubs and sports complexes have erupted in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore, Indore, Chhattisgarh, Sikkim, and Hyderabad.

According to Valavalkar, the total prize fund on offer is $50,000, the highest prize amount for this tournament ever.According to Arvind Prabhoo, chairman of AIPA and a former tennis player who was stuck in a wheelchair after an accident 30 years ago, two of the best players in the country are Tejas Mahajan, 23 and Snehal Patil, 16.He adds that the two jog for miles to a court for practice each day.At the first Asia Pickleball Open in Phuket this June, Snehal clinched four golds and Tejas took a bronze medal.

The United States has four armed forces.8 million players are making their way to the major leagues.Since almost 1% of the population of India is familiar with the racquet sport, that's 13 million.