What is pickleball, why is it so popular, and where can you play in College Station?

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

So, what exactly is pickleball, and why is it becoming such a popular sport?

Simply stated, it combines elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong. Singles and doubles players use solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball – similar to a Wiffle Ball – over a net.

The rules are comparable to badminton but altered to create a game that families can play together, regardless of age or fitness level. But don’t be fooled — pickleball is also a challenging, fast-paced, and competitive game for more experienced players.

Aging tennis players might also enjoy the lighter plastic balls and paddles, which are easier on the joints. The court is much smaller, too.

Those factors have all significantly influenced the sport’s growing attraction.

Bee Creek Park offers two pickleball courts located within the tennis courts. The net is shared with tennis and open on a first-come, first-served basis. The sport’s growing popularity has also led the Parks and Recreation Department to add eight pickleball courts to two of the existing tennis courts at Brian Bachmann Community Park.

Unlike the courts at Bee Creek, these courts don’t have a shared net, so players need to bring their own. Restrooms are located within walking distance at each complex.

If you want to play indoors, the Lincoln Recreation Center offers monthly ($16/resident, $19/non-resident) or day ($4/resident, $6/non-resident) passes to those 16 and older to practice or play pick-up matches. Balls and nets are also provided.

The fall schedule is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays through Dec. 14. We also offer a new competitive session for 3.0 levels and higher from Sept. 6-Dec. 13 from 6:15-8 p.m. Pickleball courts will not be accessible Nov. 21-23.

For more information, call 979-764-3486 or email parks@cstx.gov.

Here’s a crash course on how to play, courtesy of USA Pickleball:

About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 17 years, the last nine as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.

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