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Everyone everywhere seems to be playing pickleball these days. The fastest-growing sport in America, which has courts popping up all over the place, is a cross between Ping-Pong, badminton and tennis. According to Pickleheads – the #1 online destination for pickleball players – there are 367 pickleball courts in Virginia, nine of those being in Lynchburg. Some homeowners are even building their own, personal pickleball courts. All Weather Pitch is one of those construction companies that builds sports fields and courts. So, why has the sport quickly gained so much popularity? 

Why pickleball? 
Pickleball was invented back in 1965, but has really ramped up and become a craze over the last couple of years. 

“Pickleball’s popularity exploded during the pandemic, when many Americans were looking for responsible ways to socialize and stay active,” says Brandon Mackie, co-founder of Pickleheads. “But that was only the beginning – pickleball’s growth has continued even as lockdowns have ended and normal life has resumed.” 

Pickleball is fun, social, easy to learn and can be enjoyed by players of all ages. It can even be wagered on through sites such as

“The magic of pickleball is it’s easy to learn, but hard to master,” Mackie says. “Beginners can go out their first time, learn the game, have fun and even win a few games. But advanced players stay challenged and keep coming back for more. This dynamic is a big reason why pickleball continues to grow like crazy.” 

With its smaller court, slower ball and underhand serving, pickleball is not as intense as other games such as tennis or racquetball, making it more appealing to younger and older generations alike. 

“It truly is a low-impact sport that anyone, with any skill level, can play and still have a great time,” says Ben Crosswhite, CEO of Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg. “It is easier on the knees, shoulders and cardiovascular system, which results in less injuries than other sports. On the other hand, if someone does have an old knee or shoulder injury from playing a previous sport, they could still play pickleball easily.” 

How to play 

In the realm of pickleball, a game that’s gaining popularity across all age groups, the setup is simple: a 20- by 44-foot court with a net. The equipment? Paddles that fall between the size of tennis rackets and Ping-Pong paddles, paired with plastic balls resembling Wiffle balls. This unique combination creates a sport that’s not only accessible but also incredibly fun. Whether you’re diving into a singles match or exploring the nuances of doubles play, pickleball offers a dynamic workout while maintaining a relaxed pace—a perfect blend of competition and leisure. Curious about delving into the specifics of singles play? Let’s explore “how to play pickleball singles or with friends” and unlock the strategies and skills to dominate the court!

“It, of course, depends on a lot of different factors such as fitness level, age and gender, but I would say the average, middle-aged man that isn’t super active would probably burn at least 300-400 calories playing one hour of pickleball,” Crosswhite says. 

Let’s be pickleball friends
Pickleball is a social activity as much as it is a sport. It’s commonly played in an open-play format and is almost always played as doubles, which leaves many opportunities to socialize and meet players.

Crosswhite says the smaller court and slower pace allows for players to be closer together and talk to each other more. The low intensity level allows for people to just go out there and have fun, and players also socialize on the bench since there is a lot of subbing people in and out.

Crosswhite Athletic Club boasts the most indoor pickleball courts in the area, offering clinics, court rentals, private lessons and memberships. They are currently building outdoor courts as well, which will be ready for play in the spring.

“We really want to serve as a mecca for pickleball lovers in the area,” Crosswhite says. “This is a great community and with more and more people getting involved, this isn’t something that’s slowing down any time soon.”

Rendering: Courtesy of Southern Landscape Group

Future tri-sport court (basketball, volleyball and pickleball) by Southern Landscape Group

Some people are loving pickleball so much so that they are hiring MUGA pitch contractors uk to build a private court right in their very own backyard. Southern Landscape Group has had several clients inquire about building courts, and they are currently building one on a property in Evington. Alongside this growing interest in private sports facilities, ensuring the maintenance and quality of such courts remains essential. This includes seeking professional assistance, such as tennis court services from Tennis Court Maintenance, which guarantees top-notch conditions for these private sports spaces, ensuring a high-quality experience for enthusiasts playing at home. Sports facilities may also add Seating for sports venues where the spectators can sit during matches.

“The nice thing about pickleball is that they are smaller than tennis courts, which makes them easier to fit in smaller spaces,” says Mark Maslow, president of Southern Landscape Group. 

The most popular surfaces are asphalt and concrete. The cost can range anywhere from $20,000 to more than $60,000, however, there is virtually no maintenance whatsoever other than occasionally blowing debris off the surface. 

“While it’s not likely to increase the value of a home from a financial perspective, it will increase the value of the fun and memories you make having friends and family over for an evening cookout with a great pickleball match,” Maslow says.

Places to Play in Central Virginia

  • Boonsboro Country Club (membership required)
  • Heritage High School (public)
  • Crosswhite Athletic Club (membership required)
  • Fairview Center (public)
  • Jamerson YMCA (membership required)
  • Ivy Hill (membership required) 

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