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And the Newest Active Community Craze is …. Pickleball?

Category: General Retirement Issues

You thought maybe you would be spending a lot of time on the golf course or tennis court once you retired. But you might just be surprised about that, as our faithful correspondent Len discovered after he moved to The Villages, Florida. As he told us recently: “Pickleball has supplanted golf as my primary outdoor activity since I moved to The Villages. It’s good exercise and is somewhat addictive!”

Len is not alone – pickleball has caught active adult communities by storm. Many developments are converting tennis courts to pickleball courts, which gives the advantage of getting more courts in the same space. The sport is a bit of a cross between platform tennis, tennis, and ping pong. Since the court is about a fourth the size of a tennis court, there is less ground to cover, which a lot of aging bodies appreciate. It is also easier to pick up than tennis, which requires practice and/or lessons for proficiency. The world championships of pickleball are held, where else, in The Villages.

Not everyone is as pleased about pickleball’s ascendance though, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “In Retirement Communities, A Red-Hot Sport Leaves Some with a Sour Taste“. Tennis players are concerned about the land grab going on, and are not pleased to see their courts being converted to pickleball use. Close neighbors of pickleball courts are very unhappy about the noise factor. The ball makes a loud popping sound when struck by the paddle. And, just as many owners of homes next to golf tees have discovered, loud trash-talking and bad-shot expletives can be annoying as a feature of everyday life. Many communities are having heated discussions about court location, hours, and noise. A few have even initiated rules for the minimum distances courts must be from neighboring homes.

Don’t Miss the Video – How It’s Played

Comments….Pickleball Anyone?

Posted by John Brady on October 26th, 2010


  1. Read the WSJ article: the interplay between/among H/COA’s, pickleballer’s, tennis players, and residents highlights the ever-evolving relationship between homeowners and their elected associations recently discussed in TR’s “Home Owners Associations” blog article. Those who do not participate in a participatory democracy see p’ball courts as “land grabs”; those who do, as an outcome of petitions, meetings, and votes.
    Eventually, my crystal ball says, after much screaming and yelling, compromises will be worked out about hours of play and distances from residences. Then, some new cause for outrage will arise……

    by old nassau — October 27, 2010

  2. Where can I find a place to play pickleball in Thailand?

    by gay — November 18, 2010

  3. Pickleball is a huge sport in The Villages! Each recreation center has pickleball courts and they are always jam packed! It’s a great little sport and it seems that The Villages is becoming the #1 location in the country for pickleballers!
    CBS also just did a segment on The Villages and the 90 miles of golf cart paths! Here is a link to the video if you are interested Bill Geist Villages Golf Cart Segment!

    by gary — June 16, 2011

  4. We recentley visited friends at the Mariner sands in Stuart FA. Our first activity was an introduction to Pickel Ball. We had a blast.Love the little courts and using a wiffle ball makes it quite challenging. Got a great work out. I love it!

    by joan — March 12, 2012

  5. We will be going to Amsterdam and cruising the Rhine river in April. Does anyone know where to play pickleball or any contact numbers?

    Thank you


    by ct craig — March 28, 2013

  6. Es gibt keine “pickelball” in Amsterdam oder Deutschland. Warum würden Sie wollen, um eine wunderbare Reise und Kreuzfahrt nehmen und spielen Essiggurkenballentwürfe (pickleball)???

    Was zu spielen Essiggurkenballentwürfe – zu Hause bleiben und zahlen meinen Weg auf der Kreuzfahrt.

    LOL = wanna play pickleball on such a beautifull trip – stay home and pay my way for the cruise. I will better use of it.

    by Robert — March 29, 2013

  7. Thank you for the information Robert. Unfortunately I cant read German. I do plan on enjoying the trip and would love to play while we are there also. Enyoy your day.

    by ct — March 29, 2013

  8. ct – don’t know about the ball but they have some GREAT PICKLES in Germany.

    try it – you will like it.

    Have a great trip.


    by Robert — March 30, 2013

  9. Who says we don’t play pickleball in Amsterdam. We do and we love it! We try to make it big in the Netherlands. First international tournament in May 2014. You can find our group on facebook ‘Amsterdam Pickleball Players’.

    by Bernadette — May 6, 2013

  10. Does anyone know how I can learn where they play pickleball in Puerto Rico?

    by Pamela — October 19, 2014

  11. […] Symptoms of the fallout occured in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat recently, which recounted issues concerning expansion of pickleball facilities at the large (3000 unit) Oakmont active adult community there. The article, “Oakmont in a Pickle over Pickleball“, chronicles the troubles that occurred as the community hoped to expand facilities for the fast growing sport. The problem is a combination of the usual NIMBY issues with one inherent aspect of pickleball – the noise (Thwack!) that happens when a paddle hits the whiffle-like ball used in the sport. Nobody wants to have new courts located near their home, or near common facilities like swimming pools where residents go to relax. The problem is mostly noise, combined with possible unsightliness of the facilities. Officials have suggested that unused tennis courts could be converted to pickle ball courts and solve the problem, but advocates are not satisfied. As of the middle of May, the issue was still undecided. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ||[]).push({}); More about pickleball Pickleball definitely seems here to stay. It has so many attributes attractive to baby boomers. Here is more about the sport: “And the Newest Craze Is…Pickleball” […]

    by » Communities in a Pickle – Over Pickleball! - Topretirements — June 2, 2015

  12. I will be in Germany in September 2015 for a month. (Stuttgart, Heidelberg,Heilbronn, Berlin, Wittenberg, Boeblingen and Sindelfingen) where can I play pickleball? ?? Please help.

    by Joanne — August 30, 2015

  13. I will definitely play this pickle ball soon. Can’t wait!

    by Anna Smith — August 23, 2019

  14. Sorry but pickle ball has been around for many many years!

    by Ron — August 24, 2019

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