Paddleball is a game based on handball. It is primarily played in urban environments, in part because of weather concerns. It is generally an outdoor game and is not well-suited to environments that are overly hot. Though it theoretically could be played indoors, it rarely is. Furthermore, you must have at least one wall to play the game. Just as in handball, you must volley the ball against the wall with each serve. The ball must hit both the wall and the floor of the court at least once to be a valid play. Paddleball evolved from handball because the inventor's hands were becoming chapped from the painfully cold weather. He developed a short and squat wooden racquet with a wrapped handle and a wide surface to enable him to play without exposing his hands. Other than that change, the rules of both paddleball and handball are very similar.
In New York's Central Park, you can play paddleball on any of the 12 handball courts located at the North Meadow Recreation Center. These courts are nearby to 97th Street, in the middle of the park. Paddleball equipment is not available to borrow, but no permit is required to use the courts.
There are several paddleball associations in the United States, and some of them organize games in New York City and in Central Park. To play paddleball, you must have at a minimum one paddleball and one paddleball racquet. Though the original racquets were made of wood and sometimes leather wrapping, paddleball racquets now come in a variety of materials, including graphite.