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A Californian's Guide to Pickleball

A Californian's Guide to Pickleball

Discover the exciting world of pickleball in California, how to play, and where to find the best courts! Team


2 min read

April 28, 2023

Welcome to the world of pickleball – California style! As one of the fastest-growing sports in the Golden State, pickleball has won the hearts of residents from north to south. Whether you're a seasoned player or a curious newcomer, our Californian's Guide to Pickleball will provide you with everything you need to know about this exciting sport. From understanding the basics to discovering the best places to play, you'll be ready to hit the courts and join the pickleball revolution in no time.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fun and addictive paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Played on a small, rectangular court, it's perfect for all ages and skill levels. With simple rules and fast-paced action, California pickleball has quickly become a favorite among Californians.

Pickleball is often compared to a more approachable form of tennis.

How to Play Pickleball

In pickleball, players use solid paddles to volley a perforated ball over a net. Played in singles or doubles, the game's objective is to score points by landing the ball in the opponents' court while preventing them from doing the same. To serve, players hit the ball diagonally to the opposite service court. Points are scored when the opponent fails to return the ball legally or commits a fault. A unique aspect of California pickleball is the non-volley zone, also known as the "kitchen," where players cannot hit the ball in the air before it bounces. This creates an exciting blend of power and finesse in the gameplay.

Pickleball's explosion in popularity has coincided with the creation of courts and associations across the state.

The Rise of Pickleball in California

California has embraced pickleball wholeheartedly, with the sport's popularity skyrocketing in recent years. The state boasts numerous clubs, leagues, and tournaments, fostering a strong sense of community among pickleball enthusiasts. California pickleball has also seen a surge in youth involvement, thanks to schools incorporating the sport into their physical education programs. This growth has contributed to an increase in the number of public courts available, making it easier for players to find a place to play.

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Pickleball courts are often similar to tennis courts with a few key differences.

Where to Play in Northern California

Northern California offers a wide variety of pickleball venues, from community parks to sports complexes. Some popular locations include the Marin Pickleball Club in San Rafael, which has six dedicated outdoor courts and offers clinics, lessons, and social events. The Sacramento Pickleball Courts at McKinley Park provide eight lighted courts for public use, and the facility hosts several tournaments throughout the year.

Another Northern California pickleball hotspot is the Silicon Valley Pickleball Club, located in San Jose. With over 20 courts available, it's a fantastic place to learn, practice, and compete. The club offers regular drop-in sessions, organized play, and tournaments for all skill levels, making it a welcoming environment for new and experienced players alike.

Southern California Pickleball Hotspots

Southern California is home to countless pickleball courts and clubs, catering to players of all abilities. The Los Angeles Pickleball Association is a prominent organization that promotes the growth of California pickleball in the region. They maintain a comprehensive list of courts and host a variety of tournaments and events for players to enjoy.

The Orange County Pickleball Club, located in Mission Viejo, features six dedicated courts and offers a range of activities, including social play, clinics, and tournaments. San Diego's Bobby Riggs Tennis Club & Museum in Encinitas is another popular destination for pickleball enthusiasts. This facility hosts top-tier tournaments, including the annual California State Pickleball Championships.

With the continued growth of California pickleball, players across the state have more opportunities than ever to enjoy this exciting and addictive sport. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to give it a try, there's no shortage of places to play and people to meet in the California pickleball community.

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