Still the fastest growing organized sport in America and beyond, Pickleball certainly has a rising presence in Sussex County. Whether you are a novice, a social player or a competitive advanced player, there are several courts available for public and private use.
Some communities have their own pickleball courts, usually covered in the HOA dues each month. If you aren’t as fortunate to have one in your neighborhood, you’re still in luck as participation continues its rapid growth in our area.
Here are some tips for you to consider as you get to know the local pickler scene Rather than list every venue available here, we refer to other resources to help you get started.
· Consider joining First State Pickleball Club. First State Pickleball Club (FSPC). For an annual membership fee of $30, the club is an excellent source for lessons, social events, tournaments and even discounted pickleball gear and merchandise.
· Member or not, First State’s web site has a descriptive list of local courts and contact information for each one.
· Pickleball Coaching International is an organization dedicated to educating people about the sport. It also provides a list of local certified instructors. Currently there are three local certified instructors available.
· USA Pickleball is an excellent resource for everything from official rules to approved paddles and balls to learning how to determine your level.
· If you haven’t already done so, determine your skill level, and do so honestly so that you keep the game fun by playing with others who are about the same skill level. Not only is this etiquette, but it’s common sense so that you are not overwhelmed, especially at first.
· The Pickler is an excellent web site and blog to follow. It explains how to rate yourself, goes over the basics of play and the rules. It even has a podcast you can follow to keep up to date on tips and trends.
· The Professional Pickleball Registry (PPR) is a certifying organization of pros and instructors. First State Pickleball lists several local players who are certified and where they reside. Their contact information is not published, but with a little digging if you are looking for a local instructor, you may be able to find someone.
· Dave Marshall Tennis and Fitness Dave Marshall Tennis and Fitness in Lewes is also a good resource for instruction and indoor play on rainy days. Of course, there are fees, and reservations must be made, but it is a good option.
Finally, the best resource to find out on a daily basis where games are being played and whether they are open to the public is Playtime Scheduler. It’s a free app for computer or phone.
The majority of public and private courts are listed on Playtime under the “Delaware Beaches Region.” When you sign up, you will receive emails about games that are open to everyone (but make sure to look at the details on the app itself so you can see the skill level of play!). You will also see other private communities listed, but they’ll appear as “Invite” with names not listed for privacy reasons.
The best place to start to find venues is First State Pickleball Club, but the “authority” on actual local play time is Playtime Scheduler.
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