Everything About Pickleball You Were Afraid to Ask, and Where to Play in Brooklyn

March 9, 2022

If you haven’t yet heard of pickleball, you have now—and chances are you would have soon anyway. It has quickly become one of the country’s fastest-growing sports.

Whether you’re among the 4.8 million people already playing pickleball or you’re simply looking for a new sport to play this spring, we’ve rounded up some info on what pickleball is, how and where to play pickleball in Brooklyn, and where to join a Brooklyn pickleball league.

If you’re a newbie, let’s start with everything you’ve always wanted to know about pickleball but were afraid to ask.

What is pickleball?

Think tennis meets ping-pong meets badminton. Play indoors or outdoors on a doubles badminton-sized court with a modified tennis net, using a paddle and soft plastic ball with holes.

When was pickleball invented?

It was invented in 1965 by three dads (Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum) on Bainbridge Island in Washington to give their kids something to do. It may be named after Pritchard’s family dog, Pickles, but there’s no definitive confirmation. Though pickleball’s core players have traditionally been over 65, lately the sport has become more and more popular with younger players. And you might even see pickleball in the 2028 Olympics!

What are the rules of pickleball?

We’ll refer you to the USA Pickleball website for the rules but suffice to say, they’re fairly simple and not overly complicated.

What kind of pickleball paddle and balls should I get?

All you really need is a paddle, a ball and some killer outfits (optional but highly recommended). Read up on pickleball equipment from The Strategist, and purchase from your local NYC sporting goods store such as Masons Tennis or Solow Sports.

Where can I play pickleball in Brooklyn?

Here are some places you can play pickleball throughout Brooklyn. Keep in mind that some require an hourly fee.

  • John J Carty Park — 4 courts, no permit required
    Fort Hamilton Pkwy, between 99th & 100th Sts
    Brooklyn, NY 11209
  • Leif Ericson Park — 13 courts, no permit required
    8th Ave, between 66th & 67th Sts
    Brooklyn, NY 11220
  • Winthrop Playground — 2 courts, permit is required
    Winthrop St & Rogers Ave
    Brooklyn, NY 11226
  • Court 16
    526 Baltic St
    Brooklyn, NY 11217
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park 3 courts will be coming to Pier 2 this spring
    334 Furman St
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Marine Park — 4 courts
    Flatbush, Gerritsen & Fillmore Aves
  • Dean St Playground — 1 court
    Dean St, between 6th & Carlton Aves
  • McCarren Play Center — Indoor court
    776 Lorimer St

Are there any Brooklyn pickleball groups?

This is Brooklyn, of course there are! Here are a few to consider:

  • Brooklyn Pickleball Instagram Group  — This group uses the TeamReach app to form groups in different neighborhoods.
  • Brooklyn Pickleball Facebook Group — This Facebook group is a great way to connect with fellow players and organize games.
  • ZogSports — We’ve seen Brooklyn pickleball on ZogSports so if you don’t currently see a sign-up option, keep checking back.
  • NYC Parks & Rec Centers — Join your local NYC Parks recreation center to learn how to play pickleball and play with other members.

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