The Growing Popularity of Pickleball: A Sport Anyone Can Play Anywhere

Pickleball’s Rapid Growth and Accessibility

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, has seen incredible growth in recent years. It is no secret that the popularity of this game has reached new heights, with 66 new courts being added in the US every month in 2021. While it is difficult to ascertain the exact number of new courts today, it is safe to assume that this number has at least doubled, if not more. What’s even more impressive is that this growth does not even include the makeshift courts set up in backyards, driveways, and even on ice! The beauty of pickleball is that it can be played virtually anywhere, making it an accessible sport for people of all ages and skill levels.

Creating Your Own Pickleball Court

If you are interested in joining the pickleball craze and want to set up your own court, it may be easier than you think. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a makeshift pickleball court:

1. Choosing the Right Location

To begin, find a flat, level area that is large enough to accommodate a pickleball court. The official court dimensions are 20 feet by 44 feet, but you will also need additional space around the court for player movement and safety. Ideally, select a hard surface such as concrete, asphalt, or a gym floor for optimal play. It is recommended to have at least 7 feet of space between the baseline of the court and any walls or barriers.

2. Gathering the Materials

To set up your pickleball court, you will need a few essential items. These include a measuring tape, chalk or court marking paint (preferably in a color that contrasts with the playing surface), a straightedge (which can be anything long and straight like a ruler or hockey stick), and a pickleball net and posts. If you don’t have a net, you can repurpose a tennis court net or create a makeshift barrier using materials like cardboard boxes. It is also worth exploring online options for purchasing pickleball nets and equipment.

3. Marking the Court Dimensions

Using the measuring tape, mark the length of the court (44 feet) and the width of the court (20 feet). Use the straightedge to draw boundary lines using chalk, court marking paint, or tape. Additionally, mark the non-volley zone, also known as the “kitchen,” by measuring 7 feet from each net along the sidelines and connecting these points parallel to the net. This creates a 7-foot by 20-foot zone on both sides of the net. Next, mark the centerline and service boxes by measuring the halfway point along the length of the court (22 feet) and drawing lines from one sideline to the other. Draw lines parallel to the centerline on both sides of the court at a distance of 15 feet from the net to create the service boxes (15 feet by 10 feet on either side of the centerline).

4. Installing the Net and Posts

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble and install the pickleball net and posts. The top of the net should be 36 inches above the ground at the sidelines and 34 inches at the center. If you are installing permanent posts, you may need to dig holes and set the posts in concrete before attaching the net with screws or nails. For those seeking a more professional touch, consider using a high-quality court marking paint to paint the lines, which will be more durable than chalk.

5. Equipment and Skills

Now that you have a court, it’s time to equip yourself with paddles and balls. Numerous online retailers offer a wide selection of pickleball paddles and equipment. If you are a former tennis player and want to make a smooth transition to pickleball, there are informative paddle guides available to help you find the right fit. Once you have the necessary equipment, the best way to improve your game is to practice regularly and seek advice from experienced players.

Embrace the Growing Pickleball Community

Pickleball’s rising popularity has led to the formation of a vibrant and supportive community. Joining a local pickleball group or connecting with like-minded enthusiasts on social media platforms can provide valuable insights, tips, and opportunities for friendly matches. It is also worth exploring newsletters or websites dedicated to pickleball that offer regular updates, news, and helpful resources for players of all levels.

Conclusion

Pickleball has undeniably become a phenomenon, captivating players of all ages and backgrounds. Its accessibility, ability to be played anywhere, and ease of setting up a court have undoubtedly contributed to its exponential growth. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just starting your sports journey, pickleball offers a unique and enjoyable experience. So grab a paddle, find a suitable location, and join the ranks of pickleball enthusiasts worldwide!

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