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This growing trend is here to stay. But why is this so popular, and how can you as a school or club get your own one?

Image of multi sports court marking to maximise the use of a small space
Pickle ball is here to stay!

A pickle court has nothing to do with the green gherkins you eat on your sandwich, in fact, a pickle court is where the sport pickleball is played. According to an article in STUFF, it may sound more like a playground game than a professional sport, but Major League Pickleball is in its second season in the US and NBA star LeBron James has even invested in a team.

According to a report by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), in the United States alone, pickleball has been the fastest growing sport for the third consecutive year with over 8.9 million pickleball players in 2023, up from 4.8 million in 2022. Pickleball was first introduced in New Zealand in May 2015 by US players Claire Spackman and David McNamara. Up to date there are already over 30 clubs in Aotearoa. Interesting right?

“But what exactly is pickleball?” you may ask. Back in 1965, when the sport was invented, one of the founders Joel Prichard and his wife Joan, named the game after their family dog Pickles, a cocker spaniel who used to catch the ball and then run away with it. The actual sport is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis (ping pong) and is played on a badminton double-sized court. You use a paddle and a hollow plastic ball with holes (also known as a wiffle ball) and the net is slightly lower than a tennis net.

The team at Line Marking Solutions have been doing a lot of work with schools and clubs for marking and remarking all their courts. Although they have been doing a lot of tennis courts, basketball courts and netball courts, they have seen a spike in the number of pickleball courts that are going into schools, clubs, public parks and public tennis courts. “This is definitely a sport that is growing in popularity and we see more and more schools come on board with this trend. We’re seeing a lot of underutilised tennis courts that are being repurposed as pickleball courts, and specifically the trend of multi-purpose courts across Auckland in particular at the moment. In general, for this trend we are able to mark the different courts in different colours, for instance tennis courts might be white, pickle courts might be blue and then the basketball courts or netball courts might be green,” says Jeff Driscoll, Managing Director of Line Marking Solutions.

The 5 rules of pickleball are simple and easy to understand and it can be either a competitive or social game, ideal for young and old.

If you now feel serious pickleball FOMO after reading about this, get in touch with the team at Line Marking Solutions to help you work out a plan to get your own pickleball court marked out and ready for action. The team does the sports court marking after hours so that it won’t interfere with your usual day to day school or club activities. Many schools and clubs make use of the multi-court marking system, where space might be limited. This is proving to be a popular use of existing court spaces. Click here for more information.


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