Easy Ways to Make Room for Pickleball at Home

Pickleball is a social sport and many may not be able to meet with their regular groups right now, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up practicing entirely. Whether you’re keeping to yourself or have family members to join in, there’s certain to be some type of equipment that will suit your needs, budget and space limitations.

Here are a few ideas you can implement to continue getting your pickleball fix from home:

If You Have a Lot of Space

If you can’t get to the court, then you can make the court come to you! Our portable net systems are reasonably priced and come USAPA-approved with standard dimensions (22’ wide, 34” tall in the center). They’re perfect for setting up in a driveway, garage, backyard or anywhere else you have a flat surface. Don’t let their size intimidate you—all of our systems are very simple to use and can be put together in minutes.

Portable nets come in a variety of weights so that you don’t have to worry about the hassle of transport and packing them down during inclement weather. “Heavier” systems still only average about 24 lbs and our lightest, the SwiftNet, is a mere 14 lbs!

When it comes to setting up court boundaries you also have a number of options ranging from something as permanent as paint to temporary options like tape, chalk and court lines.

The USAPA has a handy guide on how to plot out court dimensions for proper marking using a measuring tape. Click here to read more and watch the video.

If You Have Less Space

If you don’t have as much room to spare, don’t count yourself out of getting a net right away—a mini net might be your best option.

Mini nets are portable systems approximately half the size of a standard net (around 10’ wide). They’re great for practice and can even be used to play “skinny singles.”

With just one other player, you can play a typical game using your slimmer net. This is actually a great way to get into singles for players who usually find it too taxing on the body when they have to cover a standard-sized court. Skinny singles can help make you more consistent, allow you to work on your serve and third-shot drop, and get a great workout.

Mini Nets have a similarly “mini” price compared to the average portable net, so they’re a great way to keep your costs low when it comes to buying equipment. You can use the same affordable methods above to mark out your court boundaries including the base line, sides and no-volley zone.

Mini Net

If You Have Little Space

Maybe you live in a small apartment, share a house or otherwise can’t find the room for a 10’ wide net. That’s okay too! You might not be able to play with a net, but you can still practice technique and drills.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to practice with only a paddle and pickleball, there are a number of convenient accessories that can make the process easier. The following is an example of a pickleball skill challenge we set up, and while we made use of a full-sized court, you can use any individual component of this “obstacle course” in a smaller setting:

Our Rebounding Mini Targets provide a simple way to practice your aim or serve as a stand-in for a doubles partner so you can work on positioning. The Pop-Up Targets are meant to attach to a net, but you could also set them up using objects around your house. Target Rings can be placed on the floor to perfect your precision.

You can also make use of court lines in nontraditional ways such as laying them out to serve as targets or placing them in unique ways to create agility drills.

We hope everyone is staying safe and that these ideas might spur some of your own practice. If you’ve had more time at home lately, we’d love to hear what creative ways you’ve made use of your space to get in some pickleball.

Middletown – Pickleball Capital of Ohio

Middletown – Pickleball Capitol of Ohio

Middletown loves pickleball, and based on the claim they made in the local newspaper, their town has the most pickleball courts in the entire state: 16 total with 2 more on the way. (This is one more than Mentor, OH.)

With plenty of volunteer and community support for the game, the Middletown Community Fund gave the association a $1,500 grant last year to aid in expanding the courts, said Traci Barnett, executive director.

The association hosted the 12th annual Middletown Senior Pickleball Tournament on August 1-3. Open-aged singles played first followed by senior players (50 and older) playing doubles and mixed doubles.

The tournament had a record 268 registered players from eight states. Five years ago, the tournament drew 112 players.

Are there more “Pickleball Capitals” out there? Let’s start a “Bragging Rights” post.

Is your town the pickleball capital of your state? Tell us why.

Dave Thomas – USAPA Ambassador Growing Pickleball in Town of Riga, Churchville, New York

Dave Thomas – USAPA Ambassador Growing Pickleball in Town of Riga, Churchville, New York

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas, USAPA Ambassador and Recreation Supervisor, The Town of Riga, N.Y.

Hello pickleball folks! My name is Dave Thomas and I have been involved with the wonderful game of pickleball since 1983-84. I found out about the game at the New York State Physical Education Conference in Syracuse, New York. I immediately knew that this was an activity that I wanted to introduce to my students. I taught it in my PE classes to children in Grades 3-6 from 1984 until 2005 when I retired. I adjusted my teaching style to the ages of these students. I figure that I taught it to at least 8,000+ students.

After retiring from teaching, I joined our local YMCA and noticed that they were offering a pickleball league. I was SO surprised! I signed up because I had never played with other adults; I just taught it. After starting to play I researched my new activity. I couldn’t believe how huge pickleball was in 2006.

I retired and secured a new post-retirement job as Recreation Supervisor for the Town of Riga in Churchville, NY. I put my name in with the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and became a USAPA Ambassador for Rochester, New York—the very first one from this area. Within a week I was receiving emails from “snowbirds” inquiring about outdoor play once they returned. In 2006 there were only 2 pickleball courts in the area at the Westside YMCA on Elmgrove Road in Rochester. I knew we had to try and get others involved, so with the help of many folks we spread the word about pickleball. Thirteen years later, we have indoor & outdoor courts in just about every town in the Rochester, New York area. We’ve gone from 2 courts in 2006 to over 180 courts in 2019!

New Courts in Town of Riga

Recently, I contacted our New York state senator and asked him if he could support the tiny Village of Churchville, New York in the town of Riga by securing a $50.000 grant to build a 2-court venue. He wholeheartedly agreed, and the pictures you see are the result of this grant.

Before pickleball courts

Before pickleball courts

Town of Riga Highway Department Boxing Out the courts

Town of Riga Highway Department Boxing Out the courts

Town or Riga Highway Dept. rolling out gravel base

Town of Riga Highway Dept. rolling out gravel base

First layer of asphalt

First layer of asphalt

Putting second smooth coat of asphalt down

Putting second smooth coat of asphalt down

Cutting out for poles

Drilling holes for sleeve installation

Drilling holes for sleeve installation

Getting ready to cement

Getting ready to cement net post holes

Finished fencing for the court

Finished fencing for the court

Starting the Primer coat

Starting the Primer coat

Town of Riga "Super Seal Gang" that painted the courts! A terrific job!

Town of Riga “Super Seal Gang” that painted the courts! A terrific job!

Painting lines

This is how they paint the lines, with a spray can, then followed along with a roller.

Last November they put the final coat of paint on the courts but alas… it did not take as the sun did not shine and the snow ruined it! As soon as we were able to string together 3-4 sunny & 60 degree days, the company came out and repainted.

Poles installed, measured to correct height and ready for the nets

Poles installed, measured to correct height and ready for the nets

ready for the Grand Opening on June 26, 2019

Nets attached, tables in place and ready for the Grand Opening on June 26, 2019

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer making the first official serve on the Town of Riga's Pickleball Complex.

New York State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer making the first official serve on the Town of Riga’s Pickleball Complex.

After our Grand Opening we were featured on Spectrum New’s “Your Morning Rochester” TV show, Wendy Mills was the host and we had a wonderful time bringing this facility and pickleball to the audience.

Thank you Dave for sharing your story about how you are growing pickleball in the Rochester New York region. Congratulations!

The Pickleball Magazine Provides the Latest and Greatest in Pickleball Trends

Pickleball Magazine continues to offer excellent articles about pickleball trends, best places to play and tournament features. In the latest issue, Wayne Dollard, publisher of Pickleball Magazine, shares his personal experience in “Building Your Dream Court.” Wayne shares the main reasons he considered building a home court, which include having a place for parties and social gatherings.

He also shares the list of things to consider before building a court, like space and cost. Excellent photos are included showing the stages of building the court, as well as a check list with a price breakdown. This article is definitely one of the best for explaining everything that goes into building a home court. The USAPA has also published a book, “Pickleball Courts: A Construction & Maintenance Manual,” that is helpful on this topic.

The Oct/Nov 2017 issue also contains two USAPA announcements: A Major Region Restructure for 2018 and the new USAPA Sanctioned League Play. It also has a great Q & A page “The Rules Guru” that answers some complex questions about the interpretation of the IFP Official Tournament Rulebook.

We enjoy hearing feedback from Pickleball Magazine subscribers. Here are some of our most recent customer reviews:

“This is a terrific magazine, and I’ve been passing it around the club for others to read. There is a good variety of articles, and the photos and physical pages are high quality! Personally, I would love to see more intermediate skills advancement articles, as well as product reviews.”

“I’m picking up useful tips from this magazine that are improving my game.
I highly recommend a subscription.”

A fellow pickleballer gave me a copy and it’s so informative to me (as a beginner trying to ‘catch on to how the game is played).
Articles with information are so appreciated”

Every Pickleball Magazine issue contains training tips from some of the best trainers in the country. Who doesn’t want to learn how to “Run Down a Lob Safely” with Sarah Ansboury or “Hit Down the Middle” thanks to Coach Mo? Subscribe today, and if you are already a subscriber, make sure your subscription does not expire.  You cannot afford to miss an issue!

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Building Your Own Pickleball Court Can Be An Easy DIY Project

Building Your Own Pickleball Court Can Be An Easy DIY Project

Randy Futty home court

Randy Futty home court

For years, pickleball players on a tight budget who wanted to build a pickleball court were forced to buy whatever exterior grade paint the counterperson at the local home improvement store recommended. Since the paint products sold in the consumer marketplace do not hold up to the foot traffic and UV degradation that pickleball courts experiences on a daily basis, this created many unsatisfying results.

When the USAPA asked California Sport Surfaces if they could formulate a ready-to-use, do-it-yourself, pickleball surface that homeowners, church groups, and pickleball clubs could use to turn their driveways, parking lots and patios into playable courts, California Sports Surfaces challenged their chemists to create a consumer-ready, easy to apply, and long lasting textured coating. The result was PicklePave Court Surfacing, the Official Do-It-Yourself pickleball court surface of the USAPA.

Randy Futty, VP of California Sport Surfaces, felt it was important to personally test out the new formulation when it was first created, so decided to use his own driveway as his “petri dish.” Together with his wife, he spent a weekend turning their driveway into a beautiful emerald green pickleball court.

Driveway prep

Driveway prep

Since a 22’ x 40’ pickleball court wouldn’t fit in their space, Randy scaled down the court’s playing lines to 16’ x 26’. To create the court, they first treated and scrubbed two oil spots from the asphalt.  A solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid and a stiff scrub brush did the trick. Then they power-washed the area to be coated, allowing the driveway to dry overnight.

First coat of paint

First coat of paint

The next morning they located the corners of the court and snapped chalk lines for the sidelines, service line and kitchen. After following the PicklePave mixing directions, they poured out some of the ready-to-use acrylic paint and rolled the first coat onto the court.

Final Coat and Lines

Final Coat and Lines

After applying a second thin coat and letting it dry overnight, they re-marked the playing lines with a chalk line,  then taped and trimmed the line tape, added a coat of Line Rite Tape Sealer, and hand-painted the playing lines. The only thing left was to peel up the tape around the lines and the court was complete!

While not tournament approved, the court turned out beautifully and has provided countless hours of fun for Randy’s family, friends and neighbors – so much fun that after playing on his court, two other nearby families installed driveway courts of their very own.

Picklepave Court Surfacing is an excellent surface for any pickleball court, whether indoors or outdoors. Pickleball Central’s sister company, Pickleball Station, selected a commercial version of PicklePave called PlexiPave for our four state-of-the art indoor courts. Since opening in May 2017, Pickleball Station’s courts have received excellent reviews from the many players making Pickleball Station their home court of choice.

Pickleball Station courts

Pickleball Station Courts

For people looking for a pristine, smooth, and perfectly level court, Randy recommends working with a certified court builder. But for those looking to create a place to play the game you love on a tight budget, you can quite easily turn your driveway into a pickleball court. To watch a video showing step-by-step instructions for how to surface your own courts, visit our PicklePave court surfacing product page to learn more.

 

Mickey Mouse Loves Pickleball

It’s no surprise that Disney is often associated with gifts. The gift of childhood, the gift of magical animation, the gift of… pickleball? While you might not think Mickey and friends have anything to do with the game, in truth, they’ve funded a new pickleball court at Tweila Reid Park in Anaheim, home of Disneyland!

Image courtesy of Pickleballmax, sharing pickleball with Disney power couple

Image courtesy of Pickleballmax, sharing pickleball with Disney power couple

According to the OC Register, the court was just recently completed with the good news announced on Oct 1st. During the talk, it was also revealed that five local parks would be getting new playgrounds as well. Never let it be said that The Mouse leaves out his biggest little fans.

The pickleball court was created thanks to a $200,000 donation that also supplied residents with a new soccer field and upgraded softball field.

Councilman Jordan Brandman added, “This pickleball court and field renovations came about as a result of input from the residents. They said they wanted more sports intensive activities at the park.”

You heard it here first: If you want more pickleball, all you have to do is ask. We recommend asking city officials or wealthy mice over Santa, since he tends not to have as much sway these days. (Santa, if you want to prove us wrong, our paddles are ready!)

We think Buzz's jetpacks would give him a slight advantage during a game... (Credit: Pickleballmax)

We think Buzz’s jet pack would give him a slight advantage during games… (Credit: Pickleballmax)

Remember that Disneyland’s big cousin, Disney World, is located in FL aka Pickleball Paradise. Why haven’t we seen more toon-supported pickleball action there? It was noted that many pickleball courts could fit in Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which was re-branded in 2010.

Is there any progress being made down there, Floridians? If not, get on it!

Oyster Bay Pickleball Club Transitions from Tennis to Pickleball Courts

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this business, it’s that when a determined group of picklers get together, they can make anything happen. In Dowell, Maryland the Oyster Bay Pickleball Club has completed their project of transitioning several unused tennis courts to 4 much-loved pickleball courts.

Oyster Bay courts before...

Oyster Bay courts before…

We were particularly flattered to hear that they completed this giant undertaking using supplies and equipment from PickleballCentral!

Cecelia Rasmussen, Chairman of the OBP Club, decided to move forward with the project when PBC ran a clearance sale on Wilson equipment.

“We used our PBC club discount code for additional savings and got a great deal. As always, PBC made it easy for us to make the decision. Our courts look beautiful and professional grade.”

And the lovely Oyster Bay courts after!

And the lovely courts after!

Rasmussen indicated that there were hundreds of labor hours put in from the volunteer residents at Oyster Bay. Trench digging, crack filling, post hole installation, painting, lining… all the ingredients needed to accomplish the stunning end result.

Congratulations to OBP on their success and truly incredible courts! They sound like a fun group for many reasons. Check out our post about their epic superhero tournament if you haven’t seen it already.

If you or any players you know may be interested in our Club Rewards Program, be sure to read more here and either email or give us a call to start getting discounts on your equipment, too.