Moving Pickleball Indoors - How to Ensure Your New Facility is Safe for Participants

    Posted by Ryan Wilby

    Mar 25, 2024 5:17:00 AM


    Image: Pickleball Kingdom

    If there’s one game that is making big moves, it’s one that you’ve likely been exposed to in one way or another over the past few years. Popularized throughout the 2010s, we now find ourselves in the middle of what many are labeling the “pickleball gold rush”. With the first national tournament in 2009 drawing over 400 players from Canada and the United States, the pickleball bug has since bitten participants of all ages.

    As such, the search for space has become a growing challenge for facility managers and communities alike. Although many have repurposed tennis courts and converted other under-utilized outdoor spaces into pickleball courts, it has hardly kept  up with demand. As part of the rush, we’ve watched as individuals and even commercial real estate players get into the game in an effort to secure more space for additional courts.

    In fact, developers across North America are buying up old malls, vacant anchor space, offices and defunct big-box retail stores to design and build out new pickleball facilities. As of last year, it was reported that nearly 130 new pickleball courts were installed each month in the United States alone. According to USA Pickleball, the governing body for the sport, even that is not enough to keep pace with demand.

    Many estimates indicate that nearly 25,000 courts are needed to keep up with the record growth of this new sport, requiring about $90 million in additional investment. In response to this need, converting large, existing, and often vacant, properties has become  a no-brainer for those with a vested interest in the development of the sport. This is especially true for those in northern climates looking to offer indoor playtime for pickleball players year-round.


    Inside a new indoor facility under construction (image: Dill Dinkers)


    The Role of Safety Padding in Indoor Pickleball Facilities

    As with any fast-moving indoor sport, the need to ensure the safety of the participants is always a chief concern. Much the same as gymnasiums require wall padding surrounding basketball and volleyball courts, the same is true for indoor pickleball courts.

    Given that some of these facilities can boast more than 10 courts (or more!), many are turning to us to help them design inclusive padding systems to help keep everyone safe. In addition to perimeter wall padding, a number of spaces have beams and columns that require custom safety padding to protect users in the event of a collision.

    With no two facilities alike, a very customized approach to padding solutions is required; something we happen to specialize in. We’ve worked with a number of facilities over the years to help them assess their padding needs and look forward to helping many more.

    If you have an indoor pickleball facility and are in need of safety padding, netting or anything a little out of the ordinary, be sure to give our team a call to see what we can design and install for you.

    Topics: Custom Padding, Pickleball


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