CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports across the nation – including Coral Springs.
Close to three million Americans play the sport at more than 4,000 pickleball courts, according to the USA Pickleball Association.
Soon, Coral Springs is expected to add to the nationwide pickleball court count, as it hires a contractor to build four new courts at the city’s Sportsplex center on Royal Palm Boulevard to keep up with demand to play pickleball in the city.
“It’s really hot right now,” City Commissioner Shawn Cerra said.
The sport, a hybrid of ping pong, badminton and tennis, is particularly popular among senior citizens. Great for exercising and socializing, the game is fairly simple. Players use oversized paddles and a plastic ball similar to a wiffleball and hit it over a three-foot net on a court about the size of a badminton court.
Pickleball was created in the summer of 1965 by three Washington state fathers whose children were bored. As the story goes, they used ping pong paddles, a wiffleball, and an old badminton net to come up with a fun activity to keep them busy.
City Commissioners are expected to vote Wednesday on approving $99,345 to Boromei Construction, Inc., of Okeechobee, FL, for the construction of the new courts.
Coral Springs already has pickleball courts and officials would consider adding even more, beyond the four new ones at the Sportsplex center, if demand continues, Cerra said. The courts, though, should be prioritized for city residents, he said.
“I don’t want people driving five to 15 minutes to our courts from somewhere else unless they are playing with Coral Springs residents,” Cerra said.
In addition to adding the new courts, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department is expected to offer pickleball lessons and tournaments, according to the city budget.