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.


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

How To Start Pickleball Now In Any Community

The question comes up all the time.  How did you get pickleball going in a tiny town like Brookville, Indiana and then in all those places around you?

Well, the old adage of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” has never been more true.  In our case we took the time to make the right connections and build the right relationships first.  Then pickleball magically took off.    It’s hard to explain, so we boiled it all down into 3 simple steps, wrote it all down and made it available at .

We believe anyone can grow pickleball in any size community, town or city if you just follow the three basic suggestions / tips in the free report from

We enjoyed writing it.  Hope you enjoy abundant pickleball growth from it.

Grab your copy today at

Start Pickleball Now


Rocket, Josh, Abby, Zack and Stephanie

The Pickleball Rocks Team

Who Cares About Wooden Paddles? WE DO and Here’s Why


Mainly because the wooden paddle is one of the best tools we have for growing our sport faster.

We rarely sell a wooden paddle to an individual player.   Don’t even try to.

What a wooden paddle does is helps us eliminate one of the main barriers (COST) to finding new places to play.

An under $10 paddle opens up a myriad of new places to play very quickly and allows us to grow the sport faster.

We just recently opened a new church to pickleball. We put a good composite paddle in the pastor’s hand to try it. After he loved it, we explained that we could have them up and playing for under $200. We ordered the USAPA net and 4 wooden paddles for them. We donated a couple of balls to show good will and we now have 3 new indoor courts open to our community.

We did the same thing with a local fitness center last month. We put a paddle in the owner’s hand to try pickleball. As soon as he was hooked, we sold him a net and 4 wooden paddles for $200. We donated a few balls. Now there is pickleball there every single day.

When you are trying to get places to play, the first thing that place looks at is the cost to get started, and we have found there is a big difference in their cooperation and willingness to get started when you tell them it’s under $200 to get started as compared to $400+ for better paddles that they have to worry about getting beat up or taken. They don’t have to worry about a wooden paddle walking off or getting damaged so their stress level is less.

I’ve heard some people say we are doing players an injustice when we start them with a wooden paddle.  PLEEEEEASE!!!!!  Give those new players some credit.

From our experience, we rarely end up selling any wooden paddles to a facility’s new players nor do we try to. Weeks after starting a new location, we walk in and we don’t see any wooden paddles. Everyone is using decent paddles.   The new players just naturally want a good paddle. They don’t have to be told or sold.

I might be off base, but I believe our number one goal as players, and as ambassadors is to grow pickleball and that is done most efficiently through starting new places to play. Everything else seems to take care of itself.

At, you can buy a good, almost indestructible wooden paddle that is under 10 ounces for under $10 with FREE shipping.  It plays quite well.  We’ve tried it numerous times.  Pickleball Rocks Wooden Paddle

By the way, if you really feel you need to have a bag full of composite paddles before you can teach people the game then, if you are a free member of The Pickleball Champions Club, you receive, as part of your free membership, a personal use coupon good for 10% off any Pickleball Rocks gear, including paddles, at That would put you into the world famous Pro-Lite Classic composite paddles for around $43.

Personally, when I’m going to teach, I have my 2 “good” paddles in my bag and 2 wooden ones so I can just get a foursome on the court to experience the game. I don’t have much invested and that’s all I need to help pickleball grow.

Keep up the good work(s) everyone.

Together let’s double pickleball in 2015. #doublepickleball2015


Helping Pickleball Grow

One year in the making, the Pickleball Rocks team is proud to launch the new website

Helping Picikleball GrowWe love the time we spend on the courts and hanging out with our pickleball friends.  But the one thing we enjoy more than any other is helping communities grow this great sport all across the country.

It is so much fun to be a part of the great growth that pickleball is experiencing everywhere.

As much as we’d love to, we simply can’t be everywhere, so we spend a great deal of our time building programs that will help players and communities grow even faster than normal.

Our latest 3 programs, all available through, have all been built and tested to help pickleball grow anywhere, anytime.

They are:

The Pickleball Mile: Offering people the gift of good health through playing pickleball for exercise.  Track your pickleball playing and win rewards.  Introduce new players and win rewards.  The perfect tool to introduce and use in any community and/or club to help your numbers grow.

The Pickleball Champions Club Offering people who champion this sport, the tips, tools and specific techniques that will help grow their club and their community.

The Pickleball Rocks Paddle Foundation Providing free or extremely low cost equipment for schools, YMCAs, and parks and recreation departments.

We hope you will join us in the cause to double pickleball in 2015.

Though some wonder whether doubling pickleball would be a good thing, one thing we know for sure is that if we can get everyone to introduce pickleball to just one new player this year, we would double the number of players and in doing so we would attract the attention of sponsors as well as parks and recreation departments, YMCAs, and community and town leaders all across the country.   Rest assured this type of attention would bring more courts and more support than ever before.  #doublepickleball2015


IS ABOUT AT  HELPING PICKLEBALL  ====>>>>>>     Helping Pickleball Grow

How Pickleball Helped Change My Life

Talk about the power of pickleball.  It can be life changing.  JoAnnah is a great example of how pickleball changed her life and can yours too.  Enjoy.

Guest Columnist:  JoAnnah Micheal – USAPA Ambassador and one of the newest members of The Pickleball Mile Club.

How I Gained It:

In the past 6 years I’ve gone through life’s roller coaster of divorce, budget cuts, job loss, bachelor and graduate degrees, and hip surgery. I gained 75 lbs. in the process, because of almost no exercise and constantly eating junk food.

Breaking Point:

July of 2013, I was depressed, and did not know myself anymore. I hated my looks, had no energy, and avoided socials, cameras, and mirrors. Looking at photos of me alone brought such tears of frustration. It was a reality punch! The person who had gained all this weight just wasn’t me! Where was the fight, the grit that makes me, well me!?

I knew then that I had to step up and become active. I wasn’t sure how to go about it, but knew that the first step for better health and wellness was overcoming the past six years of life’s negative obstacles in my head to a positive image and then adjust my habits, such as the unhealthy eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and surgery.

Joannah Michael

How I Lost It:

So what was that first step? Having been an athlete all my life until these past few years, I focused on positive imagery of a healthier and slimmer me. In order to achieve this I needed to get back into exercising again to reach my ultimate weight-loss goal of 75 lbs.

I began to walk every day but that wasn’t enough. While volunteering with the Foundation for Shackleford Wild Horses in Beaufort, NC I decided to check out the Carteret County Parks & Recreation activity programs. Their website included a flyer for some oddly named game called, “Pickleball” offered twice a week at the local Morehead City gym. Much to my surprise I found myself eager to attend a session of this funny named game.

Walking in as play had started was tough. However, I was welcomed with open paddles and big smiles. The local USAPA Ambassador taught me this fun and social game, and I was immediately hooked! Pickleball allowed me to play at my own pace while being cautious of my hip/weight/lack of conditioning challenges.

Returning to my home in Asheville, NC I started playing locally. It wasn’t easy but other picklers supported me as we encouraged each other to lose weight together. With my background in highly competitive women’s sports I didn’t like being the slowest player on the court! It was hard for me not to overdo it so my hip gave me challenges. The exciting news was that the more I played, the more weight began to drop off and helped ease my hip pain and yes, improved my game too!

This motivated me to eat healthier. My pantry and fridge were emptied of all junk food. I boosted my veggie and salad intake and ate smaller meals more often instead of extra-large ones. I now understood why pickleball is the Nation’s fastest growing sport with players with previous injuries that could now get out on a court again and exercise again. I was delighted!

The Reward:

Now I usually play five days a week at different WNC venues and enter as many tournaments as I can.

My best motivation is to see the numbers on the scale going down and my workout clothes falling off. By setting mini-goals of losing 10 pounds at a time has really worked.

Other players saw the positive results and began their own health and wellness goals as we supported each other. While there’s more pounds to lose, I look back at my pickleball weight loss journey and am thrilled. I feel like a new woman at 55 with pickleball being the core of my weight loss success.

I love to play and the way this sport makes me feel. Pickleball has transformed my life and has motivated me to share not only my weight loss journey with others but also, promoting the sport, sharing the rewards of health and wellness, socialization fun and community cohesion. Just some of the reasons why I became the USAPA District Ambassador, NC Mountains District.

Joannah Michael: A Real Winner

This positive turn around has brought back my confidence. We all have different ways of reaching ultimate weight-loss goals, but the end results are often the same: a well-deserved sense of accomplishment and a new more positive outlook on life. I’ve earned a tremendous perspective on what it takes to live and maintain a healthier lifestyle. What surprises me the most is how those six years of weight gain melted away in only one year of playing competitive pickleball.

Get inspired to get fit and get the best body you’ve always wanted by playing this awesome funny named game!

Come join the pickleball weight loss movement and so much more! Everyone deserves to feel this wonderful! 

See you on the courts!  -JoAnnah


A Surefire Way To Get Indoor Pickleball Courts

Pickleball Champions Club

From The Pickleball Champions Club: A Helping Pickleball Grow Tip
Hey Pickleball Nation,One of the most asked questions we get from people who are actively trying to grow their community is this: How do I get my local church or YMCA or school to let us play pickleball at their facility?

Most of the time we hear people say, “I did a presentation to this or that organization.  I gave them all the benefits of playing pickleball and still they turned me down.  They just won’t work with us.”

It’s not that they won’t work with you.  It’s just that your approach to getting them to work with you might need to change.

In our communities, our success has always been based on a specific, well-planned strategy.

OUR STRATEGY?  We never approach any facility unless we have already had some key person in that facility try and embrace pickleball first.

Example 1: I have a friend who plays with us, who is friends with a Baptist minister at a church about 15 miles from us.  He asked his Baptist minister friend to do him a favor and come try pickleball.  He wasn’t approached with “hey you might like this and then we can use your church”.  He was approached by his friend to try it personally because we thought he would enjoy the fun.  The Baptist minister immediately fell in love with it and painted an indoor court and two outdoor courts at his church.

Example 2: I have a friend who is a Phys Ed teacher in our school system.  I asked him to do me a favor and meet me at our outdoor courts to try this silly sport. He instantly loved it, put it into the school curriculum and now helps us get indoor gyms to use in the wintertime.

Bottom line is, If you think THE MAYOR is the key person who can help you get a place to play, then find someone, who knows someone, who knows the mayor well enough to invite him/her to play. Find and invite the right individuals to play who you or one of your players already have a relationship with. Once they are hooked, they will naturally help you get a facility that they have some influence over.

The old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is very true when it comes to finding facilities to play pickleball.

It’s not about shouting the benefits at people.  We all know that doesn’t seem to work.
It’s all about building relationships with “THE RIGHT PEOPLE.”

Find the right people and they will do the rest for you.