Pick up the Pickleball Passion Invading DE

It’s not just the chorus of birds welcoming spring to the First State! Neighborhoods will soon be alive with the distinctive sound of pickleballs bouncing. And that’s music to the ears of the sport fanatics, just itching to return to the courts!

Pickleball, a mix between tennis, badminton and ping pong has experienced an explosion of growth with players of all ages and abilities. Check out any busy court around here – it’s quite an eclectic mix!

Never tried it? No problem: there are numerous clinics for all levels of play.

Pickleball’s popularity is as much a social activity as it is exercise, according to Kathy Casey, president of First State Pickleball Club. In an interview with the Cape Gazette, she explained, “We see the value of pickleball play as an opportunity to get people more active, less lonely and more engaged at all ages.”

It’s no wonder that as baby boomers retire, pickleball is the fastest growing sport nationwide and in Sussex County. Couples, neighbors and newbies alike are joining the movement.

Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts (another appealing factor), and the demand is very high right now as retirees flock to the area. Several area HOAs now provide pickleball courts in development plans, while a few parks are renovating existing or unused outdoor tennis courts. Indoor courts are cropping up as well so that devotees can play year-round.

“Social Play” is exactly what the name implies: no pressure, casual activity. There are also organized leagues for the immediate and advanced level pickleballers, if competition is what you crave. A list of local venues and their web sites is provided below.

So find out what the frenzy is all about, put on those tennis shoes, and make a “racquet!”


  • Lewes Canalfront Park and Marina – Public pickleball and tennis courts with outdoor lighting, , open 7 days/week, scheduled by First Come First
  • Factory Sports Complex, Lewes, features indoor courts, beginner and intermediate classes, Social Play at both levels
  • Dave Marshall Tennis and Fitness, Lewes – large fitness center with indoor/outdoor courts, reserved play, outdoor pool, fitness center and classes
  • City of Rehoboth Tennis/Pickleball Courts, located at Deauville Beach; tennis courts with painted pickleball margins; reservations made up to one week in advance through MindBodyOnline.com
  • Sports at the Beach, Georgetown – indoor courts, open year-round, lessons, skills clinics, Social Play and competitive leagues available
  • First State Pickleball Club – statewide membership organization; provide links and information on the sport, where to play, etc.

You can also learn more at PickleBallChannel.com – resource for national tournaments, pickleball tips and videos and more.

By our founder, Len Hayduchok, the Delaware Retiree Advisor

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