A local pickleball pro gives 4 reasons why pickleball is exploding in KC

Photo provided by Chicken N Pickle

Last year, pickleball was said to be the fastest-growing sport in America. In KC, it’s seemingly everywhere now—and over in St. Louis, they’re at least as riled as we are. Local pickleball pro Katherine Tomlin, a certified pickleball coach and co-host of the pickleball-focused podcast In a Pickle with Kat and Jamie, explains why this miniaturized version of tennis exploded.

Courts Are Everywhere

A regulated pickleball court is a third of the size of a tennis court. Their small size makes them easy to fit into apartment complexes—like downtown’s Flashcube Apartments—and at parks and rec centers across the city. Tennis centers have taken note. (For a list of Kansas City pickleball courts, click here.)

“A lot of tennis places are switching over,” Tomlin says. “They’re starting to realize that they can draw in a lot of pickle dollars.”

Games Are Quick

“Games only take about fifteen to twenty minutes,” Tomlin says. “You can go out with one friend and drill or play singles. You can get three or four and drill.”

It’s Accessible

Many retirement hotspots, like Naples, have a pickleball court on every corner. Because courts are small, it’s less cardio-intensive than tennis and easier on the joints for older folks. And yes, because there is not too much running involved, playing with a belly full of beer is completely doable.

It’s Chatty

Because courts are smaller, players can more easily carry on a conversation—or playfully taunt.

“There’s a lot of ribbing that goes on,” Tomlin says. “You know, if someone is teasing me, I’m throwing it back at them, rattle them a little. It’s all in good fun, but we leave it on the court. You always tap paddles at the end of the game, no matter what happens.”

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