Aug
15
2013

If you know me, you know that I love racquet sports. I played tennis in high school and since then anything in which you have to hit a ball with any kind of racquet is just a lot of fun for me. You name it, I’ve played them all: badminton, ping-pong, racquetball, squash. Of them all, there isn’t a game I don’t like.

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However, unbeknownst to me there was one that I had never played. ProKadima. When we were at the beaches in Delaware last week, my son brought home a set which he bought at a grocery store. They were a whopping $7.99.

At first, I thought it was a waste of money. I had played similar games and previous thought them rather boring and they usually ended up going to Goodwill. However, once we took the racquets to the beach and played on that beautiful Sunday evening, I was hooked.

What is ProKadima?

ProKadima is a beach paddle ball or beach tennis game. It is the unofficial national game of Israel and there it is called matkot. There is no net just two paddles and a little rubber ball. The point of the game is to keep a rally going as long as possible without the ball touching the ground. That’s pretty much it.

The Game Improved

When we got back home that night, I did a search for how to play the game in a more competitive way. Looking for about an hour, I found nothing. I couldn’t believe it – not one website offered a variation of the game in which you could play it competitively. That just wouldn’t do so we went outside and created our own rules for a competitive variation of the game. Here is what we what we came up with.

The Court

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First, you need to measure out your playing area. The court is 10 feet wide and 20 feet long. Each side of the court is 9 feet long with two feet in the middle as no man’s land and if the ball lands here it is considered out. No man’s land  is crucial to the game – make sure you create that two foot space in the middle of the court. Each player’s court therefore is 3 yards by yards. If you are playing on your lawn, you can mark out the court with either rope, spray paint or something else. If you are at the beach, you would use a stick or your foot to mark out the court in the sand.

How to Play and Score the Game

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To begin, you must serve the ball to the person – you cannot serve the ball too short or too far to the left or right of the person. Both people must stand the middle of their court when the ball is being served. From then on out, you can hit the ball anyway you want to win the point. After the ball is served, you can also stand anywhere you want on the court. There is only one caveat to these rules – you are never allowed to spike the ball as you would in tennis (i.e., hit the ball in a hard downward trajectory toward the ground). Similar to ping-pong, the serve changes to the other person after each accumulated five points.

The game is played until someone reaches 15 and you must win by two points. Similar to ping-pong, for game point the losing opponent gets to serve. Depending on how you want to play, you can either end the game when one player reaches 15 or score the game similar to tennis in which the winner has won 3 of 5 sets.

So there you are – go grab a set of paddles and have a great time at the beach or just outside your front door.


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