top of page


How Pickleball Disrupted Outdoor Sports

Contrary to popular belief, pickleball isn't new. In fact, it's been around since the 1960s. However, its very gradual growth for four-plus preceded a title wave of new players in the last 10 years or so. It took some time for Americans to realize their love for the game, but now that they have, it's a wonder it didn't happen much faster.

One of the main differences between pickleball and most other outdoor sports is that it provides different options for how many players can play at once and allows for athletes of all ages to take part. Up to four players can play on a court at a time, but combinations of one-on-one, two-on-one, and two-on-two are all playable. That's similar to tennis, but a difference is that small courts mean players, especially in teams of two, don't need to cover so much area to return their opponents' shots.

Smaller courts have made pickleball a very popular choice in retirement communities in warm-weather climates, such as parts of Las Vegas and Southern California. Retirees find that they can play without having to sprint from line to line just to keep allies alive. However, pickleball still favors more agile players, just not in such an extreme way as tennis. The game is balanced well in terms of not penalizing less mobile players too much, but still rewarding athleticism. Go to a local pickleball complex and you are guaranteed to see players of all ages, from young kids learning the game to more mature players keeping up with their workout routine.

Another great aspect of pickleball has to do with the amount of control that the equipment fosters. The paddle is short, wide, and close to the hand, meaning that the handler doesn't have to rely as much on distance perception as in sports with longer implements, such as tennis, lacrosse, or baseball. This results in fewer mishits. Additionally, the pickleball itself is light like its relative, the wiffle ball, and therefore doesn't jump off the paddle like a tennis ball. Players aren't penalized nearly as much for not hitting perfect shots, which is a relief for tennis novices who see their repeated attempts fly out of bounds.

Finally, the minimal square footage requirement for pickleball gives it a great advantage over most other outdoor sports. In a compact arrangement, four pickleball courts can fit in the size of one tennis court with extended sideline and backline areas. This allows for many players at a time and gives communities greater bang for their buck than sports like tennis, basketball, and soccer.

Installing pickleball courts is a guaranteed win for your budget and the community. Nobody does it better than MTJ Sports. Let us know what you have in mind, and we'll provide next-level sports surfaces to make your dream a reality.


bottom of page