People think this clip proves Pickleball is not a real sport

Pickleball Boom of 2022

Footage from a pickleball competition went viral for all the wrong reasons - with viewers saying it's proof that it's not a real sport.

In a video that was first shared to the TikTok account @pickleballtopspinpro, a doubles match between four professional players was called to a halt when one of the players, James Ignatowich, was called out for making too much of an "aggressive split step".

But many struggled to spot the foul move, and even once the rule was explained, some found it hard to get their heads around it.

Essentially, Ignatowich's split step is a move where the player's legs are open to better brace themselves and move across the court in any direction as the ball comes their way.

But the game's officiants judged that his move into the position was too forceful, which led to mockery on social media.

To get into the position, Pickleball University states that a player should stand straight, and "hop" into a split step, while lowering the "body."

The legs should also be about "shoulder-width apart" while slightly bending the knees.

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The video was also shared on Twitter, which caused people to think that the sport is all make-believe. Some even called it a "comedy sport."

One person on Twitter wrote: "This looks like a comedy sport."

"Thought [this] was a video game," another added.

A third wrote: "If you love ping-pong but always wanted to stand on top of the table."

Someone else added: "There's more dignity in playing beer pong competitively."

Others seemed to be all around disappointed in the sport, with one adding: "They've ruined many of our local basketball and tennis courts for this dumb s***," one added.

According to USA Pickleball, the sport was first created in 1965 near Seattle, Washington, by three fathers -Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum - whose children were bored with the activities available to them in the summer.

The game, which can be played as doubles or singles, is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong and can be played both indoors and outdoors.

It is played with a paddle and plastic ball with holes in it and can be enjoyed by anyone.

The sport has gained popularity in the US and Canada and has grown in other areas, with many European and Asian countries adding their own courts.

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