Pickleball Rocks: Celebrating 10 Years Helping Pickleball Grow

Celebrating 10 Years Of
Helping The Sport Of Pickleball Grow

“The Pickleball Rocks Clothing & Equipment Company”

The Pickleball Rocks Team in 2020

Just ten short years ago, the sport of pickleball was very different.

Only 10 years ago, to buy a pickleball paddle, you had to mail a check to one of the very few existing pickleball manufacturers (remember the Champion paddle and the ProLite Classic). Then they’d mail you a paddle.  

Only 10 years ago, there were only 200,000 players in the entire world and the best player was over 60 years old. My how times have changed.

Over ten years ago, I created a simple website called AllAboutPickleball.com
This website allowed people to purchase a pickleball paddle and actually pay for it online with a credit card.

Additionally, this very simple website allowed anyone and everyone to “Ask Rocket” any question about pickleball, and receive a well thought out, mostly accurate, answer.  Kinda the original Pickleball Forum without all the snarky feedback. J

Also, over ten years ago, I hand ironed on the words and thus printed the very first Pickleball Rocks tshirt. Along with that I made a commitment to do everything I could to help grow the sport of pickleball in my travels as well as in my home community. As Pickleball Rocks began to take off, Josh and Zack Grubbs took a big leap of faith, leaving their careers and joined the team.  At that point we actually made “Helping Pickleball Grow” our corporate mission.

Over the years, we have developed programs such as “The Pickleball Mile” and “The Pickleball Champions Club” and “The Pickleball Paddle Foundation” as well as others to help you help the sport grow.

Besides our home website at PickleballRocks.com, we have developed websites such as PickleballRules.com and WhatisPickleball.com as well as WhyPickleball.com and more.

Today, the Pickleball Rocks Team consists of ten dedicated people who are not only great pickleball players, but also phenomenal human beings, dedicated to helping the sport of pickleball expand and grow in communities around the world.

And thanks to you, the Pickleball Rocks apparel has become the most recognized and best selling apparel brand in the sport of pickleball.

We are indeed thankful to all of you, for all the support, and of course purchases of the Pickleball Rocks clothing line as well as our other branded products. 

We certainly would not be here today without you.

We look forward to seeing you on your courts soon and we hope you are playing pickleball, because as everyone knows…..Pickleball Rocks!

Our warmest thanks,

Rocket, Zack, Josh, Abby, Stephanie, LeEllen, Mindy, Cam, Jason and Wyatt.
The Pickleball Rocks Team

Some of our original cotton t-shirts along with some of our early polyester Dri-Fit shirts.

Our 2 Best Selling Dri-Fit Shirts for over 10 years and still going strong.

Thank You For 10 Fantastic Years

COME JOIN THE FUN AT

Watch for our 30 days of Thankfulness Giveaway
starting March 1st.

To be eligible to win, you must be a member of the Pickleball Rocks Club.

To join today go to www.PickleballRocks.com and subscribe.

Pickleball Juniors? UNSTOPPABLE

It’s Coming and It’s UNSTOPPABLE

In case you haven’t noticed, kids love pickleball.  And the number of juniors playing pickleball is growing like crazy.  Yes, the junior pickleball movement is coming…..and it’s UNSTOPPABLE.

The number of clinics is increasing as coaches and players everywhere are teaching young girls and boys to play this great sport.

Likewise the number of tournaments now accepting players under the age of 19 is growing like wild too.

We knew it was only a matter of time before pickleball came full circle. 

And now it has!

A lot of people don’t realize that pickleball was played in phys ed classes in many schools over 30 years ago.  The problem back then was that there were no pickleball courts where kids could play once they graduated.  Consequently, kids went off to start their careers and their families, and didn’t pick up a paddle until many years later.  We are now seeing many of those kids rediscovering the sport they loved in school, and excitedly introducing pickleball to their kids and grandkids.

But the really great news is that schools and YMCA’s across the country are now introducing boys and girls to pickleball in record numbers.  And this time, those kids have places to play.

 

So What Can Everyone Do To Help???

Many of you are already out there teaching and helping the kids everywhere you go.  THANKS and keep up the great work.

Whether you are teaching juniors or playing with juniors, we hope you are part of the youth movement.  As much as we love pickleball now, the juniors are our sport’s future and the more we help them now, the better the sport will be in the coming years.

The more we promote the various junior activities, the better it is for all of us.

So a couple of things we at Pickleball Rocks are doing and we hope you will too.

  1. When you post a junior related pickleball activity online, use the hashtag #unstoppable or #unstoppablejuniors in your post or description. When we see your post, we’ll help share it through our Facebook pages and our other social media platforms.
  2. If you send any of your pictures of junior clinics, tournaments or other activities to playservices@allaboutpickleball.com,  we will post them to our Instagram account, acknowledging you as the submitter and we’ll hashtag it #unstoppable and #unstoppablejuniors
  3. And most importantly, help a kid play pickleball today.

Congratulations to all those communities that already have youth pickleball growing.

For everyone else, have fun growing pickleball at the junior level.  Pickleball rocks now and well into the future because of all of you.

We are just here to help.

The youth movement is coming and it is definitely #UNSTOPPABLE.

Keep up the great work,

Rocket, Josh, Abby, Zack, Stephanie, LeEllen, Cam, Mindy, Jason and Wyatt
THE PICKLEBALL ROCKS TEAM

 

How To Layout The Perfect Pickleball Complex or Venue

The word is out and pickleball courts are popping up everywhere.  Parks departments are building pickleball courts. Towns and cities are building pickleball courts.  County’s are building pickleball courts.   Yes, the word is out that having pickleball courts can be a boost to the local economy, and can do wonders in pulling communities together socially.  But be careful.

Consider this as a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

Let us start by saying that In our opinion, any pickleball court is a good pickleball court.  Give me a piece of chalk and some portable nets and we’ll have some fun. That is what is making pickleball grow so fast.  But many communities are spending the money to build pickleball courts and some do a great job, and some…..not so much. We’ve seen the best and the worst of pickleball court planning.

Happened to recently catch a new court layout (location will remain unnamed here) where they had a nice distance between the courts, but decided to place a light pole between two of the courts, positioned about half way between the non-volley lines and the baselines.  Guess they wanted good lighting, but OUCH when players start running into that misplaced pole. 

Almost as bad is the court layout that leaves so little room between the baseline and the back fence or wall, that you can’t take a good back swing to serve, let alone running down a lob that was carefully placed over your head.  I’m sure many of us have bruises to show from that lack of court planning.

So this PSA is to help you help those who are building the courts and complexes across the country. There are a lot of things to consider when you build pickleball courts.  So the best thing you can do is educate those builders before they build something they will regret later.

So if you are laying out a new pickleball court complex, what kinda things should be considered?

1) Think seriously about the number of courts you’ll need. 
Are you building courts to simply accommodate the number of players who currently play in your area.  This is the most common mistake made by communities.  Keep in mind that the sport of pickleball is without question, the fastest growing sport in the country and on track to continue its growth path for years.  So plan ahead now.  Otherwise you will have a logjam of disgruntled players very soon, and your growth will stop.

2) Plan adequate space for your courts
This is the second biggest mistake made by pickleball court planners.  Everyone of course wants to squeeze in as many courts as they can in their available space.  But if you squeeze too much and leave too little room between your courts or beyond the baselines, you will create permanent problems, including creating injuries from running into fences or even a player from an adjacent court. 
The USAPA provides the following minimal guidelines for each court:
A total playing area 30 feet wide (9.14 m) and 60 feet long (18.28 m) is the minimum size that is recommended. A total size of 34 feet by 64 feet is preferred.

3) Plan proper access to your courts.  
We see so many pickleball venues that have lots of beautiful courts, but no easy way to enter into the courts. This causes continuous interruption of play.  In placing your gate access to the courts, a good rule of thumb is to position your gates in such a way that a player never has to cross more than one court to arrive at the court they are going to play on.

4) Plan your court useage.  It’s one thing to build a pickleball complex for recreation only play.  But quite different if you are planing to hold tournament play at your venue.   The idea behind holding a tournament is to give a very unique feel for your registered players that is quite different from just playing socially on their home courts.  Otherwise they might as well stay home and play. If you intend to hold tournaments at your new complex, then plan ahead for having a designated area for some vendors.  That area should be in the high traffic area where the players will hang out between matches.  You will need an area for a hospitality tent for your players.  You will need an area for your referees and volunteers to hang out and rest between matches or between duties.  And you will need an area for your tournament operations desk.  What else might you use your courts for?  Plan accordingly, otherwise you potentially shut the door on those additional opportunities to utilize your courts.

The video below was shot recently in Griffin, Georgia where Spalding County has built as close to a perfect pickleball complex as we’ve seen.  They have thought of, and covered so many issues which make for a great pickleball venue.  Do you have to incorporate all their ideas?  Of course not.  But our hope is that this video will help stimulate thoughts and ideas for your next pickleball courts.

Watch This Video For Great Pickleball Court Layout Ideas

So there are a lot of things to consider as you plan that next great pickleball facility.  But it is certainly worth the time it takes to figure it out now rather than later.  The results undoubtedly will show up as increased growth.

Put in the planning time now and you’ll be very happy you did.

Keep up the great work everybody.  Pickleball Rocks because of you.

Rocket, Stephanie, Jason, Wyatt, Josh, Zack Cam, LeEllen and Abby
The Pickleball Rocks Team