Adaptive Pickleball (APB) led a training session for Special Olympics athletes in Columbia, SC. The local ABC news station attended the training session and aired the following story.

APB is super excited to help Special Olympics South Carolina athletes, coaches and volunteers FALL IN LOVE with pickleball.

APB has facilitated seven pickleball clinics in Greenville (Area 4), Columbia (Area 7), and Rock Hill (Area 11), Clemson (Area 13), Charleston (Area 6), and Clinton (Area 5).

If you attended a recent training session, click the button below for coaching resources.

Greenville HOT SHOTS Pickleball Team

The HOT SHOTS are excited to be competing as Greenville’s first Special Olympics Pickleball Team.

The Greenville HOT SHOTS trained hard to compete in the Fall Greenville Smash Pickleball Tournament (Oct. 5) and in future Special Olympics South Carolina events.

Learn more about how much passion these athletes have for playing pickleball from this WYFF News 4 story.


The following resources will help you coach your Special Olympics athletes. Resources include: how to play pickleball, the history of the game, a rules summary sheet, how to keep score, and advice on buying a paddle.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. The game combines elements of tennis and ping-pong. The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a quick, fast-paced, competitive game for experienced players.

Pickleball History

Pickleball was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island (just outside of Seattle, WA) by three families who wanted to keep their kids from being bored during the summer. They used an existing badminton court, used some wooden beach paddles, found a plastic ball with holes and went to work creating this quirky game called Pickleball.

How to Play Pickleball

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court: 20’ x 44.’ The ball is served diagonally (starting with the right-hand service area), and points can only be scored by the team that serves. At the start of a point, players on each side must let the ball bounce once before volleys are allowed. There is a seven-foot no-volley zone on each side of the net. The serving team can only score points. A game is to 11 points, win by 2 points. 

How to Keep Score

For new players, keeping score isn’t easy. Watch this helpful video and play a few games with someone who knows how to keep score and it’ll become easy to keep score!

Buying a Pickleball Paddle

Choosing a paddle has become increasingly complicated. There are so many shapes, sizes, materials and brands that it’s confusing for both beginner and advanced players.

Expect to spend between $60 and $100 for a nice paddle. Paddles with the latest technology will cost between $150 and $250. Choose a paddle with a “USA Pickleball Approved” certification seal to ensure the paddle has passed basic quality control tests.


AIHOYE Raw Carbon Fiber – 2 Paddles  | $70-$90 (Amazon)

Franklin Signature Paddle  | $80-$90  (use FORUM20 discount code)

The following paddles are inexpensive. Overall quality and playing performance may be subpar. 

YC DGYCASI (set of 4 paddles)  | $75 – $100  (amazon link)

Upstate Pickleball

Upstate Pickleball represents the greater Greenville, SC area. What started out as a few friends getting together to play Pickleball back in 2007 has blossomed into a very large and growing community. The Upstate South Carolina area has over 120 dedicated public pickleball courts.

The Upstate Pickleball website shares helpful information. There’s a Current Playing Calendar, and Resources to help you become a better pickleball player.