Para Pickleball, also known as adaptive or wheelchair Pickleball was introduced in 2016. Players with disabilities who need a wheelchair or players who wish to play in a wheelchair are allowed to contest in this category of the sport. The wheelchair is considered as a part of the player’s body.
The recommended court size of a para Pickleball match is between 44 to 50 ft wide and 74 to 80 feet long. The scoring rules in this discipline is the same as for the other categories of the sport. In terms of game play, the ball can bounce twice before the player returns. However, it is mandatory for the second bounce to occur within the playing surface of the court.
When a player readies himself or herself to serve, the rear wheels of the wheelchair must be positioned behind the baseline and must not touch any lines or markings of the court when the ball makes contact with the paddle.
The highlight of Pickleball is the non-volley zone or the kitchen. This zone is 7 feet long on either side of the net. Players cannot be inside this zone in order to volley. However, in wheelchair pickleball, players are allowed to have the front wheels of their wheelchair inside the non-volley zone. Moreover, in doubles wheelchair pickleball, if the volleying player makes contact with his or her partner during volleying, then it results in a fault.
Para Pickleball can be played in singles, doubles and mixed doubles format. There is another format where one player with a wheelchair and another without a wheelchair play a doubles match with a similar team on the other side of the net. In such matches, the wheelchair players adhere to the rules set for them whereas standing players stick to the rules that apply to them.
Wheelchair Pickleball is yet to make its mark as a sport to be included for the Paralympics.