With a growing base of fans and players, pickleball is one of the country’s fastest growing sports. Recent years have seen an explosion in interest in pickleball. What began as a backyard hobbyist’s game has grown into a competitive sport with leagues, a national association and even a U.S. Open tournament. Given this rise in the number of games and players, many pickleball enthusiasts have organized into leagues and are in the hunt for reliable, regular play facilities to host lessons, matches and tournaments.
For groups without a permanent home, open pickleball courts are hard to find. Many associations have access to outdoor courts, but these are only usable in good weather, or for only part of the year. One popular solution among sports enthusiasts looking for indoor, year round facilities is an inexpensive, temporary fabric covered structure. One similar alternative to this solution is a high quality, clear span tension fabric building. These structures offer plenty of comfortable indoor space and amenities, and are a cost effective venue for play throughout the year.
Pickleball: One of the Fastest Growing Sports in the USA
Pickleball is attracting more players today than ever. The recent boom in popularity for pickleball is all the more stunning considering the sport’s humble beginnings. In 1965, three enterprising and frazzled fathers invented the game of pickleball in response to their children’s summertime boredom. Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum and Bill Bell had no idea what sort of phenomenon they were creating. From the original homemade equipment and simple rules suitable for school-aged children, the sport of pickleball has picked up enthusiasts across the country. Last year saw the inaugural U.S. Open in pickleball, with singles, doubles and mixed doubles games hosted at the first championships in Naples, Florida. An estimated 50 million people tuned in to watch the U.S. Open finals pickleball matches on CBS. This kind of exposure is projected to greatly spur interest in the sport, with active participants growing from 2 million just before the first U.S. Open games to 8 million players by 2018. Membership in the USA Pickleball Association, the sport’s official national organization, has grown rapidly as well; since 2010, the number of players registered with the association has risen by almost 65 percent. Indeed, pickleball has truly become a sport for all participants.
Easy to play, the sport is popular with all ages, but especially so with adults and retirees who seek a sport that’s easy to master and less strenuous than traditional sports like tennis. Today, over 60 percent of active pickleball players are over the age of 60, but now many elementary and middle schools across the country teach the sport as part of their physical education classes, promising even more growth for the sport in the future.
Open Span Fabric Structure Provides Ample Space for Pickleball Courts
The rise in popularity of pickleball has led to a shortage of places to play the game in many areas. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) offers guidelines on pickleball court dimensions and other characteristics and new courts are being added in many communities. Still, with rapid growth in the sport, both outdoor and indoor courts are in heavy demand and short supply. While the number of facilities that host pickleball games has almost quadrupled since 2010, the number of players of the game has grown even more rapidly over this time period. For this reason, many pickleball communities are actively looking for new game facilities. For great year-round reliability and comfortable play, fabric covered structures like Allsite’s high quality open span tension fabric structures, can provide a great alternative to many types of recreational and sports facilities–including scarce outdoor courts.
Allsite structures already serve as sports facilities across the spectrum, including hosting tennis courts, indoor basketball, soccer and football facilities. They even provide a home to year-round swimming and recreation centers, and serve as inviting public venues for one-time professional sporting events. These pleasant indoor venues are great for league tournaments, club events, practices and lessons. They provide a year round home for play that will give your teams an advantage for both practice and playing time.
Allsite tension fabric structures are sturdy, durable and highly-engineered, providing many of the benefits of a traditional building. But, unlike regular buildings, they can be installed quickly, on virtually any surface and without needing a foundation, making them versatile and cost-effective for use as a temporary or permanent sports venue.
Players in climates with hot summers or cold winters can also benefit from the weather resistance and climate controlled environment provided by a tensioned fabric structure. The tension fabric structure resists high winds, handles rain and ice storms, and sheds snow, so it’s ready and comfortable all year round. The open span structure, a result of the tension fabric design stretched over an extruded aluminum frame that also gives the building its stability and strength, means no interior poles or obstacles, providing an expansive and open area for multiple courts as well as ample room for viewer stands and spectator areas, lighting, scoreboards and other equipment, if needed.
Among the key advantages of the tension fabric building is its adaptability. If your pickleball league needs to expand its facility or relocate in the future, the tensioned fabric structure can be upgraded or relocated quickly and easily. These structures are highly durable, providing decades of service where and when they are needed. Available new or used, they can be purchased, rented or leased so they fit into the organization’s plans and budget.
Allsite Structure Rentals can help you find the right tension fabric structure to meet your pickleball court and venue specific needs. Our structure will allow your pickleball league to enjoy the sport day and night, all year long. For more information on our tensioned fabric structures and customization options, please contact us today.