Pickleball has proven to be the next sports sensation taking over the country and has overtaken Lake Norman. With an increase in the number of people playing the sport, there has been an increase in pickleball courts, tournaments, and leagues. On top of that, we have even seen the implementation of the Lake Norman Pickleball Association. If you're wondering what pickleball is or where you can play in the area, here's your go-to guide!
What is Pickleball?
There is a big chance that you have at least heard of the sport, pickleball, whether that’s from your friends, family, the news, or somewhere on social media. It may look similar to tennis, but the sports have big differences. Instead of the normal tennis racket, you will see a smaller wooden paddle. And instead of your normal tennis balls, you will see balls that look more like wiffle balls. While pickleball is still played on several tennis courts, an actual pickleball court is smaller and has different regulation lines.
A key difference when it comes to the rules of tennis and pickleball is that serves must be underhanded. When serving, it must be into the box diagonal from where you are serving. You can also only win points when it is your serve. The way to win is first to 11 but the caveat to that is you must win by 2!
Since the game is growing so rapidly, parks and destinations have been struggling to keep up with the growth and designing dedicated courts for pickleball. In Lake Norman, we only have two public parks with a court dedicated to pickleball: Holbrook Park in Huntersville and Plum Creek Park in Davidson. But luckily that is not the only place where you can play. At Robbins Park in Cornelius, you will find portable pickleball nets with red lines on the courts to signify the proper lines for a pickleball court. With that being said, there are several parks like Jetton Park, Torrence Chapel Park, and Bailey Road Park where you can also play.
When it comes to private facilities to play pickleball, Baileys Glen retirement facility is one of the first facilities in the area to open a designated court for pickleball. As the sport continues to grow, we will see more and more businesses and parks invest in courts designated for pickleball. In the meantime, local tennis courts are still being used for both tennis and pickleball for all to enjoy.
Tournaments & Leagues
A sport growing as fast as pickleball has across the United States, there is no doubt that different groups and leagues have started in the process and Lake Norman is no different. Like the sport, the Lake Norman Pickleball Association continues to grow with tournaments across Lake Norman to give people both new to the sport and veterans of the sport a chance to compete against one another.
The LKNPA helps create community among those who love pickleball in Lake Norman through the leagues that they put together. They also divide the leagues up by skill level so that way, it's always a competitive match and everyone is able to have fun! On top of their leagues, the LKNPA holds beginner clinics to help grow the game and help grow people's skills and knowledge of the game in Lake Norman. Along with the LKNPA, the Northern Regional Rec Center in Cornelius also offers indoor leagues and sessions for beginners.
As Lake Norman tries to keep up with the surging demand, Bailey Road Park in Cornelius has plans to add a new tennis/pickleball court facility. The new facility will be home to 10-12 lighted courts and will be located behind the basketball courts alongside more parking at the park! The addition of this new facility is a big-time win for the pickleball community in Lake Norman and opens up more options in the area for anyone wanting to get into the sport!
There has been an amazing amount of growth in the love for the sport over the last year and there are now several opportunities for you to become a part of the pickleball community here in Lake Norman. Get active and join the craze with your family and friends and enjoy the new sport that is taking over the world!