Pickleball is a fast-growing sport enjoyed by people of all ages. But it's still a fairly new sport that not everyone is familiar with yet. Even with over 4 million players participating nationwide, pickleball clubs and tournaments may take a bit of effort to find.
Even though you may not be able to join a pickup game on a random afternoon like you can with sports like basketball, it is possible to find other pickleball players in your area. Whether you recently moved to a new city, want to learn how to play the sport or just enjoy the social aspect, a pickleball club and tournaments let you get involved and stay active.
How to Find Local Pickleball Clubs
Whether you’re brand-new to pickleball or have been playing for years, there are a few different ways to approach finding clubs near you. Here are some recommendations for how you can get started:
1. Local gyms
Before you start aimlessly Googling pickleball clubs, a good first step would be to check out the local gyms in your area. Gyms often offer pickleball clubs or clinics based on age and ability. Looking into local places first is best to avoid any unnecessary travel. Search for gyms that have dedicated pickleball courts or tennis courts, which can be converted into pickleball courts.
2. Ask Other Players, Locals and Friends
Sometimes, the best way to find quality information is by asking others. This is especially true if you are new to the area and unfamiliar with the community. Similar to how you would ask someone’s recommendation for the best plumber to call or mechanic to go to, ask a friend, neighbor or colleague if there are any local clubs and the best way to get involved.
3. Search the USA Pickleball Association Website
The USA Pickleball website has a pickleball club search function, where you can enter your state, and it'll show a list of established pickleball clubs based on cities in your state. The populated list includes the name of the city, the club name and a link to the club’s website.
4. Visit the Online Pickleball Network
Whether you’ve found a pickleball club to join yet or not, a good idea would be to join an online pickleball community network. Connect with other active pickleball players to learn more about club opportunities, tips and tricks from experienced players and information about upcoming tournaments.
How to Find Local Pickleball Tournaments
Depending on the pickleball tournament, you can join either through your club affiliation, as an individual or with one other teammate. Tournaments are typically organized by age, ranking and the type of event — doubles, co-ed doubles and singles.
When searching for pickleball tournaments, consider the size and reach. Some of the largest pickleball tournaments include the USA Pickleball National Championships, the US Open Pickleball Championships and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) Bainbridge Cup.
If you're interested in participating in one of the larger pickleball tournaments, you can register through PickleballTournaments.com. Other resources for finding pickleball tournaments are PickleballBrackets.com and Pickleball.Global. USA Pickleball also has a tournament calendar on its website listing any upcoming events. These resources are a great way to find tournaments nationally and globally.
Pickleball tournaments often require much more commitment than playing recreationally. Officially hosted tournaments may not be held in your area, so participation may require travel. Be prepared for the added pressure, lots of stops and starts throughout the day and sometimes different rules to adhere to. Tournaments can be a fun way to test your skills and play against other competitive players, but remember what competing in a tournament requires.
You can also watch out for local tournaments occurring in your area. When you join a pickleball club, members get information about local tournaments and can sign up as a group. There might also be round robins, pickup games and other social events you can join.
Benefits of Joining a Pickleball Club
There are many benefits to becoming a pickleball club member, whether you're an experienced player or brand-new to the sport. These benefits include:
- Accountability: A big difference between playing pickleball independently versus joining a club is the additional commitment. When you play alone and whenever it's convenient for you, it's easy to avoid playing consistently. With a club, there are consistent and regular practices or meet-ups, and you're more inclined to play your very best when there are more people to hold you accountable.
- Community: Joining a pickleball club allows you to become a part of a like-minded community. You have the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life while enjoying a mutual activity. Gaining this sense of community is especially ideal if you just moved somewhere new or you're a pickleball beginner.
- Exercise: Playing pickleball consistently with a club will help improve your physical fitness. Your fellow club members can even become gym buddies.
- Skill boosts: Practice makes perfect. Playing pickleball with other skilled people will help improve your own ability. Learn tips, tricks and the proper form from your fellow club members.
- Discounts: Sometimes, joining a club can lead to discounts on pickleball merchandise and equipment. You might also get to avoid fees related to open play days at certain courts or tournament fees.
- Different ways to play: When you join a pickleball club, it can sometimes be associated with a gym. This allows you to play both indoors and outdoors year-round if they have indoor and outdoor courts.
- Endless fun: Pickleball is a great way to burn some energy and relieve stress. Joining a pickleball club can be a great outlet to enjoy all of the things that you love about the sport.
- Guaranteed play: Some clubs may book courts on a schedule, meaning you get guaranteed play days without the hassle of renting a court yourself.
While playing pickleball casually and on your own is still a good way to start, joining a pickleball club has many perks no matter your age, ability or experience.
Considering Joining a Pickleball Club?
Joining a pickleball club and participating in tournaments are great ways to stay active, have fun and improve your pickleball ability. When leveling up your skills, make sure to level up your equipment, too. Rhino Pickleball has the best selection of paddles, nets and balls for all players.
Rhino Pickleball can also answer other questions you have about how to find and join a pickleball club or participate in tournaments. Use the contact form or call Rhino Pickleball at 888-980-1200 today!