Pickleball in Louisville
Are you looking for places to play pickleball in Louisville, KY?
Pickleball has exploded! So many parents in Louisville are looking to learn to play pickleball or they have really gotten into the sport and want to find places to play.
Pickleball isn’t just for retirees anymore! The ping-pong/tennis-type sport has grown so popular in the last few years that indoor pickleball clubs, some of which combine aspects of restaurants and bars, have opened up everywhere. Even in Louisville, Kentucky, new public and private pickleball courts number in the dozens in public parks and social clubs. So what is pickleball and how do you get started playing it?
What is Pickleball?
The best way I’ve heard pickleball described is that it’s ping pong if you were standing on the table. It is played with two or four players on a designated pickleball court. The court is a little smaller than a tennis court and the net is a little lower. The level of strenuousness in a pickleball game is entirely dependent on the players — you could basically stand still and volley to each other or you could get really competitive and run all over the court. The ball is not especially bouncy and has holes in it, so it travels slowly and does roll far out of bounds most of the time.
The rules of pickleball are not simple. To serve, the paddle must arc upward and remain below the waist until contact with the ball, similar to serving in badminton. The ball has to go to the opponent’s side of the court diagonally and should bounce once in bounds but past “the kitchen,” the blocked-off area closest to the net.
Scoring and serving is pretty complicated and depends on who is serving – you can only score a point if you were serving or on the team that was serving. The serve changes sides when there’s a fault but the serving side or team. Points are only scored by the serving team and game play goes to 11 points and the winner typically wins by two points. The official USA Pickleball website has additional details about game play, faults, and scoring.
Much like net sports like volleyball and badminton, whoever serves states the score of the game and, in doubles matches, whose serve it is. It starts with, “zero, zero, two” in doubles, or just “zero, zero” in singles. Fortunately, it is just as much fun to volley back and forth without even keeping score, and gameplay isn’t drastically different without going to the extra trouble of keeping score.
The only equipment you need is pickleball paddles for two or four players and a pickleball, which is very similar to a wiffle ball. Serious pickleball players may opt for high-end pickleball equipment made of materials like carbon fiber. Almost every store from grocery stores to department stores to sporting goods stores carry pickleball sets that typically include two paddles and two balls. Prices for pickleball sets range from $10-$200 or more. My set came from Target and was on sale for about $20 and included two paddles and two balls.
Where to Play Pickleball in Louisville
During the pandemic, a lot of local municipalities received federal funds to build multi-use courts in public outdoor spaces. Many parks that had old tennis courts were able to use these funds to add pickleball courts so there are many (and growing) options for pickleball in Louisville. As a result, searching for pickleball courts near your home is likely to yield some surprising results.
Please note that some parks will show pickleball courts available but you would need to take your own net to put up and chalk to mark lines, so those are not included below. Generally speaking, park hours are dawn to dusk, but some with lighting may accommodate later play.
Free Pickleball Courts in Louisville
- E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park – near the tennis courts, 16 courts available, takes reservations
- Hounz Lane County Park – near the tennis courts, 3 courts
- Tyler Park – 2 courts
- Ray Lawrence Park (Clarksville, IN) – 8 dedicated courts available
- Pee Wee Park – one court
- Sam Peden Community Park (New Albany, IN) – one court
- Sun Valley Park – one court
- Charlie Vettiner Park – 14 courts, lighted
- Des Pres Park – 3 courts
- Wayandotte Park – 6 courts, lighted
Paid Pickleball Courts in Louisville
- Pickleball Euphoria – $24/hour court rental, book online
- Springhurst Tennis Club – $24/hour court rental, book online
- Louisville Racquet Club – One-time registration fee + $12 per person for two hours
- Pickle & Social – coming soon to Lyndon!
- Good Bounce Pickleball Yard – River Road. Hourly or membership options, reserve online. Food & drinks also available.
Pickleball Classes and Clinics in Louisville
- Blairwood Pickleball Clinics – Beginner, intermediate, and next level
- Louisville Racquet Club – beginner and intermediate lessons
- Jewish Community Center – free for members
There are also membership-only clubs with pickleball courts, including the Jewish Community Center, Blairwood, Westport Road Baptist Church, Goodbounce Pickleball Yard, several YMCA locations, Hurstbourne Country Club, Louisville Boat Club, and more. Pickleball leagues are available for competitive play at local YMCAs, Southeast Christian Church, and more.
Pickleball is a lot of fun to play. It’s great exercise, but it’s also a gentle sport that can be played by people with a low level of athletic ability. The hardest part about playing pickleball is learning the rules. The second hardest part about pickleball is waiting for a court to open up. We hope to see you on the courts soon!
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