Racket sports are games that are played with rackets or paddles and involve hitting a ball or shuttlecock over a net or against a wall. Some of these sports are well known, and a few are even played at the Olympic Games. Racket sports include indoor sports and outdoor games, and they can be played on courts, on tables, and in the backyard. The following are a few examples of popular racket sports.
Table tennis is popular around the world. The game is played on a 9-foot by 5-foot table with across the middle. The table is 2 1/2 feet high and players stand about an arm’s length from the table on either side. The sport is played with small paddles, and the ball is a lightweight, hollow celluloid sphere. The game originated as an English parlor game in the late nineteenth century.
Racquetball is different from many other racket sports in that it is played in a fully enclosed court without a net. The court is 40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet high, and players can bounce the ball off of any surface. The players use teardrop-shaped rackets and hit a hollow rubber ball. As with all racket sports, the object is to hit the ball so that the opposing player can’t hit it back.
Tennis is probably the most famous of all the racket sports, and it is played on an outdoor court with a net across the center. Players can play individually or in pairs (“doubles”). They use an oval-shaped racket to hit a felt-covered hollow rubber ball over the net. The modern version of the game originated in England in the 19th century. Since it was originally played on croquet lawns, it was first known as “lawn tennis.”
Pickleball is a relatively new addition to the category of racket sports. It was invented in 1965 by three fathers who wanted to create a game they could play with their children. The game is played on an outdoor court similar to a tennis court, and players use solid paddles and lightweight, perforated celluloid balls. Though pickleball paddles were once made only of wood, lighter-weight composite paddles are also popular nowadays.