Pickleball is a paddleball sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis. Two or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, much like a wiffle ball, over a net. The game can be played by anyone able to hold a paddle. Youth, seniors and everyone in between may enjoy this sport with little investment needed to play. Pickleball is also growing rapidly across the nation and within South Dakota. Games can be played 1 vs. 1, 2 vs. 2, or 2 vs. 1 in a three player “cutthroat” version. 2 vs 2 is the ideal game size for Pierre Area Pickleball.
Pickleball is an extremely popular sport in South Dakota and throughout the nation. Over 4 million people in the United States play pickleball. It is a fun game for players of all ages and abilities. Grandparents, parents, and youth can simultaneously play this sport with equal fun. In Pierre, the majority of our members are over age 50, with many in their 60’s and 70’s, and a few have played, or are playing, into their 80’s. Although pickleball started mainly with older players, more and more younger adults in Pierre (under 50) are getting involved - appreciating that it’s easy to learn, competitive, good exercise, and fun. Last summer, the two tennis courts in Griffin Park that are already marked with pickleball lines received a lot of attention. Retirees normally played in the mornings (ten to twelve consistently), while in the evenings, after work, there was a dedicated group of players that often required additional space.
The game of pickleball does require a dedicated court to provide proper, purposeful play. All elements of the game may not be experienced fully on tennis courts or mobile court components. Tennis courts are structurally similar to pickleball courts, with pickleball courts having smaller dimensions for both court size and net width/height. Having the ability to share space with the tennis courts is a great benefit to the club and the community. Even after designated pickleball court space is available in Pierre, these shared tennis/pickleball courts will still be utilized for tournament space and pick-up games when necessary.