Condo Media - July 2020 - 29

DO YOU HAVE AN UNUSED/FALLING APART TENNIS COURT AT YOUR
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION? OR DO YOU HAVE LIMITED SPACE,
BUT WANT TO BUILD A SPORT COURT?
Pickleball maybe the answer you are looking for. The sport of Pickleball itself is a combination of
tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, and is one of the fastest growing sports you may not yet heard of.
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) says playership has increased by 650 percent over the last
six years. It is no longer a sport for just senior citizens, but for all ages. It was founded in 1965 and
can be played with two, three, or four players. Pickleball has become the latest rage in court sports
in New England and the world. The USAPA states there are over 15,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball
courts in the United States. The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) put the number of
players in 2016 at 2.5 million in the United States alone.
THEN AND NOW
The sport started out as a social game,
but as more and more people play the
game (more than 3 million are currently playing the game according to the
SFIA) it is becoming more competitive.
In November 2019, 12-year-old Anna
Leigh Waters and her mother won the
USA Pickleball Pairs Championships.
So, it is growing as a sport overall and
has its own championship events. Pickleball is now being played in town recreational programs, physical education
programs in schools, and even in public
parks. Pickleball may be the answer to
your tennis/sport court dilemma.
Here in New England, we are seeing
an increased trend in the request for
either adding Pickleball lines to existing
tennis courts in condominiums, town
parks, schools, and even private courts.
The popularity of Pickleball has grown
enormously over the last five years.
While it seems there are not as many
avid tennis players, Pickleball is something everyone of all ages can not only
play, but play together. Spending time
with grandparents, parents, children,
siblings, and friends outside while we
have the nice weather is something
New Englanders are known for.
Condominium communities are a
great place to start with a Pickleball
court because there are usually very
different people in proximity with each
other who tend to be active and curious
about a new sport. They typically want
to learn what the sport is, how to play it,
and what the rules are. Since Pickleball
is for all ages and easy to learn, people
pick it up very quickly. Because of the

sport's simplicity, it allows more people
to learn to play and want to play quickly,
thereby growing the use of the courts in
a very short amount of time.
COMMUNITY COURT TRANSITION
The best part of this increased Pickleball
trend isn't just that it is a new sport and
people are outside being active, it's that
people of all ages can participate together. The sport itself is easy to learn, the
equipment needed to play is inexpensive, and it provides people with hours of
fun with friends, family, and even strangers they just met. So, if you have or know
of an old tennis or basketball court that
could use some more play time, think
about adding Pickleball as a sport to the
court and see the court's use grow! There
is no better time than now to make sure
old tennis courts are brought back to life
and given another chance at another life
if it's not being used regularly.
The actual dimensions of the court
are 20 feet by 44 feet for both singles
and doubles. The preferred court size is
approximately 34 feet by 64 feet. One
existing single tennis court can accommodate two Pickleball courts - one court
on each side of the tennis net with the
existing net acting like a barrier between
the two Pickleball courts. Some people
have chosen to leave the tennis court
layout as is (so not to upset the tennis
players) but just use portable Pickleball
posts and nets and stripe the lines using
a different color than the tennis court
itself. The court can then be used for both
tennis and Pickleball. Adding the ability
to play another sport on the same surface
is giving the tennis courts more play time

and keeping people of all ages active and
outside. In some areas, there is such a demand for Pickleball that places are building courts only for Pickleball by installing
permanent Pickleball posts and nets and
color coating and line striping the existing courts for Pickleball play only.
RULES AND EQUIPMENT
The equipment needed to play Pickleball is very minimal. First, you need
Pickleball paddles - which are smaller
than tennis racquets and were originally
made from wood, but are now made
from lightweight composite materials
like aluminum and graphite. You will
also need a net and balls. The balls have
holes in them like whiffle balls and there
are different balls for indoor and outdoor use. The ball must be all one color
and can be white, yellow, or green.
Pickleball players tend to wear
anything that is comfortable for the
weather conditions they are playing in.
Shorts, a t-shirt, or even a sweatshirt
is comfortable to play in, as long as it
doesn't restrict arm or leg movement.
As far as footwear, while sneakers or
running shoes do not give the support
needed for the side to side motions of
playing Pickleball, they will work. There
are actual court shoes that more serious
players invest in that are like court shoes
designed for badminton or volleyball.
Eye protection is also recommended.
n LAURAN SHERWOOD IS
MARKETING DIRECTOR WITH
NEW ENGLAND SEALCOATING, INC.

July 2020 CONDOMEDIA

29



Condo Media - July 2020

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Contents
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Condo Media - July 2020 - Cover4
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