Building an Indoor Pickleball Facility: Creating the Ultimate Pickleball Destination

Introduction

Pickleball, one of the fastest-growing sports in the country, has an expanding player base and is gaining popularity through organizations like USA Pickleball and Major League Pickleball. As the number of players and fans increases, the demand for quality indoor pickleball facilities also rises. Unlike outdoor courts that are subject to unpredictable weather conditions, indoor facilities provide year-round protection and allow play to continue regardless of the weather. Building an indoor pickleball facility requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that it meets the requirements of the sport and provides an enjoyable experience for players and enthusiasts.

Designing the Structure

When planning the structure for an indoor pickleball facility, several factors need to be taken into account. The first question that needs to be resolved is the number of courts to be covered and whether they will be pickleball-only or a combination of tennis and pickleball. Tennis and pickleball courts have different dimensions, which will influence the size of the structure and the number of courts that can be accommodated. Additionally, the decision of whether to have an open-air facility or a fully enclosed and insulated one depends on the climate and the desired playing environment. The choice of cladding is also crucial, with options including insulated metal panels or fabric cladding. Each option has its advantages in terms of durability, installation, and temperature control.

Court Considerations

To create a superior pickleball experience, courts must be sized correctly and comfortable to play on. Indoor pickleball facilities should use a 100% acrylic coating for the court surface to ensure a dependable base for play, limit slipping and player injury, and produce a true pickleball bounce. Court colors should contrast with the color of the pickleball to improve ball visibility. The dimensions and layout of the courts should follow specific guidelines, including the length of sidelines, baselines, centerlines, service areas, non-volley zones, and net height. The recommended playing area for casual play is 30′ wide by 60′ long, while competitive and tournament play should have dimensions of 34′ wide by 64′ long.

Court Quantity and Spacing

Indoor pickleball facilities should have a minimum of eight courts to allow for various types of play. It is becoming increasingly common for facilities to start with over fifteen courts right from the beginning. Court spacing is crucial to prevent injuries and ensure a comfortable playing environment. Adequate spacing allows players to move freely without being too close to walls, fencing, or each other. For all-in-one style venues, additional space should be allocated for amenities such as concession areas, restrooms, locker rooms, spectator sections, or a pro shop.

An Example to Follow

One example of a successful indoor pickleball facility is the Opelika Sportsplex in Alabama. The facility incorporated a clearspan fabric truss building that provided ample coverage for twelve indoor pickleball courts. Regardless of the weather conditions, the sportsplex was able to host various events and tournaments, offering a consistent playing experience to players and enthusiasts. The community of Opelika saw immediate growth in its pickleball player base, which led to plans for further expanding the facility in the future.

Conclusion

Building an indoor pickleball facility requires careful planning and consideration to provide a superior playing experience and accommodate the growing demand for the sport. Factors such as court dimensions, surface types, court quantity, and spacing all contribute to creating the ultimate pickleball destination. With the right structure, amenities, and attention to detail, indoor pickleball facilities can become premier destinations for players and enthusiasts alike.

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