As a paddleball sport that uses a court similar to that of badminton, tennis, or even volleyball, pickleball is really starting to pick up steam around the US and several other parts of the world. Among today’s most popular team and family sports, pickleball offers a great way for folks to get together for a fun time while also adding a healthy habit to your daily or weekly routine.
Pickleball uses up a fair amount of energy as well. In fact, depending on how casually or vigorously you play this sport, you can burn anywhere from about 250 to 475 calories in just 30 minutes on the pickleball court, making it a great source of cardio and an excellent way to lose weight, too.
If you haven’t played pickleball yet, you’re sure to enjoy this active and competitive game — but if you have already played, then you know how addictive it can be, and you’re sure to want to find a place nearby where you can play!
Even though pickleball is growing leaps and bounds in popularity across the nation, finding a place near you where you can break out the paddles and get busy on the court isn’t always as straightforward as it ought to be. And, for those of us making every effort to avoid crowded gyms, parks, and other venues, it can be quite difficult to locate a pickleball court available at the times of day when you’d most like to play.
For those of you who would like to play pickleball, but who would like to avoid having to drive too far to play, or, if you’d like to steer clear of congested gymnasiums and booked-up courts, here are a few pointers to find the best — and most likely to be available when you’d rather play — pickleball courts near you.
Get in Touch With Your Local YMCA
That’s right! The old, faithful standby for all manner of sporting events, courts, equipment, and more remains to be the YMCA. The great thing about the YMCA is that there are lots of them, they are typically open to the public, and often offer discounts for children and seniors who want to make use of their courts, workout rooms, pools, steam rooms, and more.
What’s great about this is that when you make use of the YMCA to play pickleball, you can burn loads of calories on the court, and then cool down in the pool, recoup your muscles in the steam room, or both.
Many area YMCA locations offer pickleball courts for everyday use, or you can also call ahead and reserve a court for a specific date and time. In this way, you’ll ensure your game is booked and you can plan other activities around it rather than just hoping a court will be available when you decide to go. The added benefit to this is that you won’t have to sit around and wait your turn — just show up when your appointment was made, play for your allotted time, and clear the court for the next group to have their turn.
And, another advantage to planning your pickleball matches this way is that you can set your match times as early or as late in the day as you like; if you’re trying to avoid large crowds, your best bet is to schedule your play times as early in the day as possible. Most YMCA locations open around 7 or 8 a.m., so you’ll likely get a good few matches in before your location starts to fill up, especially if you opt for a weekday.
Look for Other Local Community Centers
In most towns and cities, even those in rural locations, there are community centers meant to serve area neighborhoods for a host of varying needs. Community centers typically have basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and some even have soccer fields, green belts for walking and jogging, and indoor spaces for parties, get-togethers, and other local events.
Not unlike your local YMCA, community centers today often offer pickleball courts. And, like your local YMCA, it may be best to call your community center ahead of time to determine whether or not their pickleball courts have been booked. If they have been booked, grab the next available spot that works for your schedule, and when you arrive, ask the community center staff how far ahead their courts are typically booked.
This will give you the upper hand the next time you want to book a court, and once you have established a specific time you like to play, you may even find that other community members also have set times that they play, making it possible for you to switch reservations if you ever need to do so. What’s more, by engaging with other pickleball enthusiasts, there’s a very good chance you could wind up meeting aficionados who are in the loop on where else you can play pickleball nearby.
Look Into Your Local Tennis Centers
As another great alternative to often crowded local community centers and YMCA locations, you may want to look into some of the tennis centers in and around your city or town.
Because pickleball has become so intensely popular almost everywhere in the nation, a lot of tennis centers are starting to offer open pickleball courts to the public, as well as to those who pay for monthly memberships. This is a win for tennis center owners because it offers them a way to book what would otherwise be an empty or unused tennis court. Likewise, it is a win for people who live near such tennis centers who might not be all that interested in tennis, but who absolutely love to play pickleball.
Tennis centers can often be a terrific place to play pickleball because they have the space for it, they are air-conditioned, and, if you happen to enjoy tennis as well, you can squeeze in a few matches of either or both games when you visit. Another upside to playing pickleball at a tennis center is that the pricing is usually pretty forgiving — most of these types of locations will offer a day pass good for a half or a whole day, and these are pretty fairly priced at about $5 to $15 per person, depending on your location.
Additionally, tennis centers, like many other indoor sporting venues, will let children under the age of 12 play for free, or for a highly discounted rate, making pickleball — or tennis — an attractive option for parents in search of something fun to do during the summer months that will get the kids up off the couch and away from the video game consoles and social media.
In an Urban Area? Look for Pickleball-Specific Venues Near You
If you live in a large city anywhere in the US, there’s a very high chance you have a dedicated pickleball venue right in your neck of the woods. With the growing popularity of the sport, these locations are starting to pop up all over the place.
What’s more, it can also be the case that the owners of other indoor sporting venues near you have invested in pickleball courts as an addition to their existing businesses. For this reason, it can be a wise idea to look for pickleball courts where you would usually find things like indoor soccer, trampoline parks, and even your larger local gyms.
Pickleball-specific locations are going to be your best bet if you have access to them. That’s because these locations are going to have tons of courts available, and that means you won’t have to fight off crowds in order to play. And, if you’re new to pickleball and aren’t sure if you want to invest in paddles and other gear, at a pickleball-specific venue, you can rent these items and find out for sure before spending any money just to wind up with more sporting goods collecting dust in your garage.
No Luck Nearby? Turn Your Own Backyard Into an Outdoor Pickleball Court
Whether you are a novice at pickleball or consider yourself a veteran of the game, setting up a pickleball court in your own yard is easy enough for almost anyone to do, and it is also pretty cost-effective. And, if you just can’t seem to find a local place to play pickleball that’s within a reasonable distance from your home, if you really love the sport and the exercise it brings to your life, there’s no reason not to set up your own pickleball court.
A simple visit to your local sporting goods store or just about any online retailer, including Amazon, Walmart.com, or Dick’s Sporting Goods will ensure you find everything you need to get started. You can buy each item separately if you’re a pro and happen to already know the name brands of the best paddles, nets, pickleball balls, metal frames, and so on. Likewise, if you’re making the effort to save time and money, or if you just prefer the simplicity of getting everything at once, you can also find pickleball bundles online or in sporting goods stores as well.
Prices will vary wildly here, and just as with anything else, how much you spend is going to determine the quality of what you get and how long it is likely to last you. For this reason, it is probably best not to purchase the absolute cheapest pickleball set you can find, but there’s also no need to spend a king’s ransom to get one that will accommodate all of your needs. A mid-range pickleball set, complete with four paddles, four pickleballs, a net, a metal frame, a rules sheet, and a carrying case (which you can use to take your set to the beach or a friend’s house) will run you anywhere from $165 to $350.
If you enjoy playing pickleball outside, setting up your own backyard court is definitely a win for the whole family — and the price of setting the whole thing up will be comparable to what it would have cost you to pay for the whole family to play pickleball at a dedicated facility for about three to six months or thereabouts, so it’s a pretty good deal!
Create Your Own Pickleball Group Among Friends, Family, or Co-Workers
If you do not want to underwrite the entire cost of the pickleball set yourself, or if you’d rather not make your own backyard the permanent home to a pickleball court, you could get creative and pull your friends and family into the mix! In this way, you can pool everyone’s money together and afford the higher-end pickleball set, perhaps one that best lends itself to regularly being broken down and set back up.
In addition to sharing the cost of the pickleball equipment, you can also set up a monthly calendar and decide as a group who will host pickleball at their house each weekend or weeknight, whichever works best for you all.
Not only will this lessen the financial burden of obtaining the equipment, it will also offer you and your loved ones, co-workers, or just local pickleball enthusiasts a way to get together on a regular basis. And, the great thing about setting up your net at someone’s home is that when you’re done playing pickleball, you can barbecue, enjoy drinks, go swimming, and just generally enjoy one another’s company!
When All Else Fails: Google It!
With all of these ways to look for pickleball, you may find that you come up shorthanded if you’re trying to find places to play just by making phone calls. If you are unable to find pickleball near you at a YMCA, community center, or a dedicated pickleball venue, your best bet might just be a good old-fashioned Google search.
Believe it or not, pickleball is now so popular that courts, both indoor and outdoor, are springing up in some of the most unusual places you would never have considered. For this reason, you may have the most success by simply doing an online search using some of the following search terms:
- Pickleball near me
- Pickleball courts near me
- Where to play pickleball
- Local pickleball venues
Best of luck finding a pickleball court near you — or setting up your own pickleball court. Whether you’ve never played before, or you’re an old hand at this phenomenally fun game, everyone deserves a great place to play pickleball near them!