Story and image provided by Pickleheads
If you’re a fan of racket sports, you’ve probably heard of pickleball. This sport has been gaining popularity in Stillwater over the past few years, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.
According to Carolyn Walstad, executive director of the Stillwater All Sports Association, pickleball is “up and rising” and is continuing to attract players of all ages and backgrounds. Local players are enthusiastic about the sport and believe it’s only going to grow in popularity in our city.
In this article, we’ll talk about what pickleball actually is, as well as where you can find some of the best pickleball courts in Stillwater.
What is pickleball?
Pickleball is a hybrid sport that blends elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Although it draws inspiration from these classic sports, it has its own set of rules that makes it a unique game in its own right.
This sport is played on a badminton-size court using solid paddles and a perforated ball that’s similar to a wiffle ball. Your goal is to score points by hitting the ball over the net, while preventing your opponent from returning it.
The sport’s accessibility and ease of playing make it appealing for many different people, including those who might not be as active as they used to be. Even beginners can quickly learn the basics of how to play pickleball in just a few minutes. And with games typically played in doubles, pickleball is a great way to socialize with friends and family.
“It’s pretty diverse in the age groups,” Walstad said, commenting on the inclusivity of the sport. “I have college kids that come in and play. And then there’s the older set group.”
Pickleball is currently considered the fastest-growing sport in the country, with an estimated 36.5 million players.
Where to play pickleball in Stillwater
If you’re looking for a place to play pickleball in Stillwater, here are some of the top pickleball courts in our area:
This fitness center is conveniently located across from Westwood Elementary. It features two dedicated indoor pickleball courts with lines and portable nets, which are available for free to Total Health members. For non-members, day passes are available for $5.
The courts are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and can be booked for up to 2 hours at a time, with bookings allowed up to 2 weeks in advance. The center also offers a variety other fitness facilities and programs for people of all ages.
Stillwater Armory Recreation Center
This historic sandstone armory building now serves as a community center for various events and activities, including pickleball. The armory is the most popular pickleball venue in Stillwater, featuring two indoor concrete courts that are available for public use.
Stillwater recently renovated the venue after receiving a generous donation of $86,000 in 2022. The facility now opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. every day.
This private club features four outdoor pickleball courts with permanent lines and portable nets. The courts are exclusively available for use by members and their guests. The club also offers several other amenities, including a tennis court and a recreation house.
After a game of pickleball, players can cool off by taking a dip in the club’s two swimming pools, and enjoy food and cocktails at their restaurant. The venue is also perfect for hosting events such as family celebrations, theme parties, weddings, receptions, and business meetings.