PHOTOS | Students hit the court to play pickleball at Woodhill State School

STUDENTS picked up the pickleball paddles at Woodhill State School on Monday, and were impressed with their own skills during their first go at the game.

They swarmed the tennis court at the school, but play looked vastly different to the more traditional racquet sport.

Pickleball is played on a smaller court, and combines elements of tennis, table tennis and badminton.

Pickleball Queensland president Jen Ramamurthy said the game was like playing table tennis, but while standing on a giant table.

Less of an emphasis on athletic ability, and more on tactics and gameplay, made pickleball ideal for all skill levels, she said.

"I am 53, and my doubles partner is 26, and we can take it to 30-year-olds," Ms Ramamurthy said.

Students from years 3-6 took to the court for a go.

School captain Isaac Gleadhill said he was keen to keep playing after his first taste of the game. He lauded the easy nature of picking up the sport.

"It's easier than most other sports," the 11-year-old from Cedar Grove said.

"It's easy, safe and fun."

The sport was invented in the US in the 1960s, reportedly by fathers whose children were bored with usual summer sports.

The game is played on badminton-sized court, with serves conducted underhand.

Players must not volley the ball, or wiffle.

"The returner has the advantage," Ms Ramamurthy said.

A section in the centre of the court is called the kitchen.

"I think that was named by men having fun in the 1960s," Ms Ramamurthy said.

Games are played to 11 points, and players must be ahead by two points to win.

Ms Ramamurthy said players improved quickly.

"The big difference with pickleball is the early success," she said.

"Once players get on the court, they can improve quite quickly."

About 2000 players take to the court across 12 Queensland clubs.

Pickleball is played on Tuesday and Saturday mornings at Beaudesert Showgrounds.

That followed a come and try day at Beaudesert Tennis Club.

To find out more, contact Wayne Jackson on on 0421 204 084 or email

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