Exploring the popularity of Pickleball

It’s the fastest growing sport of the 2020s

SHREVEPORT, La. (Ark-La-Tex Weekend) -

It seems that lately, we’ve been seeing more and more pickleball in our lives. From TV commercials using the sport as a theme to coverage of tournaments and championships on sports networks. The popularity of this sport is growing and you can find local clubs and places to play all over.

The sport started in the 1960s in Washington state by three dads: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum. They took ping pong, tennis and badminton and brought them together. Pickleball is played on a badminton sized court (20′ x 44′) with a net that sits on the court like tennis. Players use a paddle that’s larger than a ping pong paddle and smaller than a tennis racket. Players use the paddles to make volleys, smashes, drop shots and more to score on their opponent. There is a Non-Valley Zone that is the area within seven feet of the net. Only the serving team can score points with the game ending once someone scores eleven points and wins by two points. For a complete list of rules, click here. The scoring system may be the hardest part to learn. If you’re just starting out, don’t worry. You’ll get lots of help out on the court.

In the past few years, the popularity of pickleball increased due to exposure on national sports networks covering big tournaments. Plus, word of mouth on how much fun it can be added fuel to the fire for this racket sport. Currently, Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation. There are over 100 players in the Shreveport area alone and more pickleball courts are popping up all over the area.

If you’re starting out, you need sneakers, t-shirt and shorts. Some groups might have a few extra paddles to use if you are a beginner. Purchase paddles at local sporting goods stores or online. Prices range from $50-$100. The groups usually have plenty of balls for the games.

Find Pickleball near you

Join several groups in the Ark-La-Tex that play this progressive sport. Some locations might charge a fee to play. If you’re looking for Pickleball locations outside of the area, click here.

Shreveport - Bossier City Pickleball - Facebook page - Plays at Christ United Methodist Church, Noel Methodist Church, Querbes Tennis Center, Shady Grove Community Center, Southern Hills, The Training Ground, BHP Billiton YMCA of Northwest Louisiana. Available at Stonebridge, Eastridge, Pierremont Oaks and Southern Trace Country Clubs for members only and invited guests.

Texarkana - Website - Play at Southwest Community Center

SouthWest Arkansas Pickleball - Facebook page - Play at Stephens, El Dorado and Magnolia

Marshall - Website - Play at Marshall Christian Academy

Natchitoches - Website - Play at First Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church and the MLK Recreation Center

Hemphill, Tex - Website - Play at Hemphill City Park

If you know of a Pickleball place to play, let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Robert Streeter

Robert Streeter

Lead content producer for the Ark-La-Tex Weekend as well as Creative Services Producer.