Racquetball Equipment

Pickleball proves popular; city ​​to add courts

The sport of pickleball is growing faster than the Lake Mead Drylands, with over 5 million players nationwide. Boulder City took notice, and at a recent city council meeting approved $160,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act’s COVID-19 relief fund for additional courthouses in the city.

“Pickleball is a growing sport in the country, and it was definitely a top priority to have courts based on all of the public feedback we received,” City Manager Taylor Tedder said.

Currently, Boulder City has space for 13 pickleball courts, including four indoor courts at Parks and Recreation Center, one at ABC Park, and eight outdoor courts at Broadbent Park. Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Hall said he expects the money donated by the city to fund four new courthouses.

“I would be happy with two. It would be fantastic (to have more pickleball courts),” said Jackie Mole, a member of the town’s pickleball club.

Pickleball is a racquet and paddle sport similar to tennis or racquetball, where two to four players hit a ball back and forth to score points. The sport has grown significantly in popularity since the pandemic.

“It’s so addicting. There are times when I’m like, ‘ooh, I’m in so much pain,’ but you just can’t stop playing,” Mole said.

It’s certainly an odd name for a sport, but the story gets even better when you realize the activity was named after the sport’s dog founder, Pickles.

Pickleball is gentle on the body compared to other sports while providing a challenge.

“It’s much easier on your body and you can play indoors a lot without being exposed to the elements. But it’s still really good exercise. I used to walk every morning; now I don’t. need more,” said Louis Lesh, who has been playing the sport for five months now.

Pickleball is offered to Boulder City residents and their guests in the recreation center gymnasium from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, except for special events. Players must bring their own equipment.

The Boulder City Pickleball Club is sponsored by the Boulder Dam Credit Union, which pays for the gymnasium’s air conditioning and lighting.

Those wishing to play on the outdoor grounds of Broadbent Park should call the recreation department for a code to unlock the net, which is attached to the fence.

“It’s social, addictive and fun,” Lesh said.

The additional courts provided by the city will likely help to further increase the popularity of pickleball in Boulder City and southern Nevada.

Contact reporter Owen Krepps at [email protected] or 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @OKrepps85.