If you take a look at the communities spotlighted on our Web site you’ll find pickleball courts are an increasingly common feature in new neighborhoods being built all over Delaware and in many that are being revitalized as well.
There are lots of reasons for this, but first and foremost is public demand. When asked about the courts being built at Tower Hill in Lewes, for example, Carl M. Freeman Companies sales and marketing director Jeff Evans referred to his conversations at a recent home expo event.
“No one who was there to learn about new developments asked about tennis. They wanted to know about designated pickleball courts because they all thought it’s much more fun, and because they weren’t as sore after playing pickleball as with other sports.”
Another factor in the sport’s growing popularity is that it tends to be easy to learn, with many players who view themselves as average athletes finding they’re able to play pretty well after just a few lessons and or practice sessions.
That’s largely because the ball – which is plastic and hollow – moves much slower than a tennis ball, and because the strokes tend to be a bit less complicated. In contrast to tennis, players also don’t run nearly as much or nearly as fast because pickleball courts are much smaller, with each player covering a lot less ground. The game certainly requires hand-eye coordination, but not nearly as much as tennis or ping pong because of that slower ball.
All of that creates an easy path to fun and fitness as soon as you start playing. It’s a great way to be more social while also getting in shape!
That statement makes good sense when you see a pickleball game in action. It’s played on a space that’s 20 feet wide and 44 feet deep, which is about the size of a badminton court. It looks a bit like tennis since players hit forehands, backhands, volleys and overhead shots, but it’s played with a paddle instead of a racquet. The game can be played on courts built specifically for pickleball, or on tennis courts that are marked off with tape for pickleball’s smaller space, and with portable nets.
Chances are, we’ll be seeing more and more of these courts. According to the USA Pickleball Association there are about 4.8 million players nationwide. And this march an article in Architectural Digest noted pickleball courts have replaced golf courses as “the hottest sports amenity in high-end developments.”
Equally telling, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association recently published a survey showing a 21.3 percent increase in the number of pickleball players in 2019.
Thanks to the game’s popularity, there are a growing number of courts in public parks, including many where you can play indoors all winter and outside during the rest of the year either for free or at low cost. Here’s a list, which also includes many sites spotlighted on the First State Pickleball Club’s website.
If you want to be able hit right in your own neighborhood, visit these communities, which either have courts in place or will be offering courts once they’re completed.
- Bishop’s Landing, Millville
- Captain’s Way, Milton (to be built)
- Coastal Club, Lewes (to be built)
- Headwater Cove, Lewes (to be built)
- Marlin Chase, Ocean View
- Middle Creek Preserve, Lewes
- Outer Banks, Lewes
- Peninsula, Millsboro
- Peninsula Village, at Millville by the Sea
- Plantations and Plantations East – Adjacent to Dave Marshall’s Tennis and Pickleball Center
- Reserves at Lewes Landing, Lewes
- Sawgrass at White Oak Creek, Rehoboth
- The Estuary, Frankford (Fenwick and Bethany area)
- Vines of Sandhill, Milton
- Walden, Harbeson