For those who’ve never played pickleball, it can be helpful to know it’s one of the most popular sports out there. According to a Sports & Fitness Industry Association report , the U.S. is filled with over 4.8 million people who play this energetic game and it’s the fastest growing sport in America. So, where are the best places to play pickleball Boston? In short, I can tell you they’re all over the place in this populous city. In fact, here are a handful of great places to practice or participate in a tournament.
Firstly, pickleball Boston may not be the most serious sport
I think most people agree that one of the biggest draws of pickleball is that it’s not intimidating. After all, it’s a combination of ping pong, badminton, and tennis. What I mean is that if I were to compare pickleball to tennis, I could see how much less serious pickleball is. The rules aren’t as strict, the net is lower to the ground, and the gameplay has a more laidback, even friendly quality to it. Further, funny pickleball terms include falafel, dink shot, dillball, flabjack, and volley llama, among others. But the ball is only called a ball and that’s it.
Let’s take a look at some of the best places to play pickleball in Boston:
Somerville YMCA could be the perfect place for beginners
When the sun comes out in summer, pickleball players flock to places such as Somerville YMCA. For one, buying pickleball equipment isn’t necessary, since the YMCA supplies everyone with the right equipment. This can be a nice option for anyone who just wants to try the game out to see if it’s worth playing and isn’t ready to buy equipment yet. Indeed, summer is the peak time for seasoned professionals and newbies to have plenty of fun playing this well-favored sport.
Or invite a few friends to compete at PKL Boston
Although beginners can head to PKL Boston, this can be the place to participate in tournaments, join a league, or take lessons. When I think of my ideal pickleball venue, I imagine a large space like this full of enthusiastic people. Of course, in my imagination, the venue is located in the clouds, similar to what heaven might be like. But PKL Boston could be a dream come true for players since it spans 22,000 square feet of space, has five courts, and has personal cabanas for relaxing.
Go for a swim after a match at Evans Field
Playing pickleball can cause anyone to start sweating and longing for a dip in the water. Evans Field is a park in South Boston that boasts pickleball courts, a hockey rink, and a softball field. Whether by bus or car, reaching Evans Field is easy. Additionally, it’s near M Street Beach and Pleasure Bay, so going for a swim after a game is possible.
People and pets can have fun at Jean B. Waldstein Playground
Since I’m an animal lover, Jean B. Waldstein Playground could be my ideal pickleball Boston spot. It’s dog-friendly, so consider bringing a furry friend to watch the pickleball tournaments. This six-acre park has eight pickleball courts, a basketball court, a playground, and a baseball diamond. When it’s break time, grab a snack and sit at a picnic table, talk with friends or family about the game, or head to a public bathroom.
Meet new friends or play with old ones at Warren Field
Spanning 11 acres in Fisher Hill, Warren Field offers drinking fountains, picnic tables, six pickleball courts, a splash pad, batting cages, and walking paths. With so many courts, there are numerous opportunities to make new friends. So it’s possible to play pickleball Boston all day or split the day up to fit in a variety of fun activities. On top of that, pickleball is a social sport and people often enjoy playing it more than doing less healthy activities.
Visit the zoo or nature center while you wait to play at Fallon Field
Despite the fact that there’s only one pickleball Boston court at Fallon Field, there are other ways to spend time while waiting for the court to be free. For instance, try playing street hockey or travel eight minutes to visit Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary. After a game of pickleball, I’d love to go to the Franklin Park Zoo and see the animals there. Seeing lions, tigers, and bears can be a bit scarier than facing my pickleball opponents though. To be sure, pickleball and animals are two of my favorite things!
Try a fun game at South Street Courts
For all that South Street Courts may not seem large enough, I assure you there’s enough room to practice serving and try out a game. During the pandemic, six pickleball courts were added and there were already basketball and tennis courts. I love to take a break and sit on a bench to eat a snack while watching others play different sports outside where I live.
Almost anyone can play and enjoy pickleball
Basically, many of us would rather laugh than not and I don’t think tennis is that funny of a sport. This detail can make it fun for people of nearly any age to get involved in pickleball. Namely, those 19 years old and younger can join Junior Pickleball clubs, while elderly retirees often can’t seem to get enough of this fabulous game. Moreover, being an athlete isn’t required to play pickleball. But being competitive and having an appreciation for staying active can inspire someone to want to participate. This inspiring quote motivates me to keep going:
¨Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.¨ – Michael Jordan
Pickleball is easy to learn, but it can become very competitive
I think tennis is a bit intimidating. First and foremost, I’m not Serena Williams or Steffi Graf, so when I see a tennis court I make a little shiver. This is because I know deep down I’m no Olympic athlete. For those of us who don’t want to go for an Olympic gold medal any time soon, there’s pickleball. Beginners can find pickleball quite easy to learn. On the other hand, it can be competitive because of the fast-paced, challenging elements. For one thing, one must move quickly to hit the ball and keep up enough energy to endure an entire game. Not to mention the fact that the other team may be just as competitive if not more so. Furthermore, it can be highly useful to think strategically and this requires a lot of brainpower and quick thinking skills. When I lose any game, I turn to this quote for hope:
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pickleball can be a smart way to get a good workout
One reason why it can be smart to work out by playing pickleball Boston can be because it gives a person a way to have fun while exercising. To my way of thinking, working out should be enjoyable in some way or else I won’t want to finish or even start for that matter. Probably the only way I can keep myself motivated to work out is to make it fun. This means I often have to ignore pushups in favor of doing an activity I genuinely enjoy. So I play games such as pickleball. In particular, pickleball can work core muscles and burn hundreds of calories per hour. This inspiring game can even improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
I think pickleball offers a better playing experience than tennis
Pickleball gives players a chance to get creative with angles and shots. Plus, volleying and dinking can be worlds more interesting than tennis because of variations in speed. Besides this, I believe playing a game shouldn’t be so serious. Sure, games can be competitive, but the most important thing is usually having fun with friends or family. This means laughter will likely have to be involved. And I could never forget those hilariously sidesplitting terms that only make pickleball more fun than ever. Does tennis make anyone laugh? I doubt it!
Q & A for anyone who’s curious about pickleball:
Which is easier, pickleball or tennis?
What’s easier depends on what you feel is easier. For one, pickleball is less involved with athletics than tennis.
What’s so addictive about pickleball?
Pickleball is addictive because it’s fun.
Can any age enjoy pickleball?
All ages, including seniors and young children, can and do enjoy pickleball.
All things considered, there are plenty of courts to play pickleball Boston. But since the game is gaining in popularity, Bay Staters may feel as though the courts are overflowing with an excessive number of players. If this is true, then Boston needs to keep adding courts to satisfy the masses of pickleball fans. In my opinion, the more pickleball players, aka “picklers”, there are amongst us, the better.