Pickleball pleasures and pitfalls

The game requires agility and quick thinking. But it can leave you in a pickle if you overdo it or fall.

Published: February, 2020

One of the fastest growing and popular sports among older adults is easy to play and lots of fun. But pickleball, with its funny name, comes with some serious risks. "It has a quick pace and a lot of stops, starts, and changes in direction that can lead to leg injuries and falls," says Clare Safran-Norton, clinical supervisor of rehabilitation services at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

What is it?

Pickleball is a hybrid racquet sport that combines aspects of tennis, table tennis, and badminton. The game is played indoors or outdoors on a small court (20 feet by 44 feet, about the size of a badminton court) resembling the top of a giant Ping-Pong table. The net dividing the court is a few inches shorter than the net on a tennis court.

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