City of Plano Parks & Recreation Blog

Posted on: March 9, 2017

Paddle up: Liberty Recreation Center now offers Pickleball open play

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Now, thanks to the staff at Liberty Recreation Center, Plano will have one more place to paddle up with friends. Located at 2601 Glencliff Drive, the center will begin offering new open play hours for this fun and fast-paced sport on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-3:30 p.m. starting on March 14. Plano Parks and Recreation introduced pickleball at Oak Point Recreation Center; however, the popular sport has been offered solely at Carpenter Park Recreation Center since Oak Point closed in February for remodeling.


So what IS pickleball, anyway? We’re told the sport dates back to the mid-1960s and started as a backyard family pastime. The game, which uses solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball similar to wiffle balls, combines the elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis that can be played as a singles or doubles match.


Although pickleball has been popular predominately among the senior population nationwide for quite some time, this racquet sport is attracting people of all ages in Plano for its social aspects and its ability to get the heart pumping. Best of all, you don’t have to be a great athlete to play—the game is challenging but easy to pick up.


The USA Pickleball Association estimates there are 100,000 active players in the United States. There is also a move to introduce the sport in schools so younger generations can catch on. The Plano Star-Courier recently wrote an informative piece about how and why the pickleball craze took off here in Plano and how Carpenter Rec Center has played an integral part by accommodating the sport. Click here to read the full story.


Our Adult Sports Division also strives to meet the needs of Plano residents and the rapid growth in popularity of pickleball could not go unnoticed, said Natalie Nimmo, Adult Sports Supervisor for Plano Parks and Recreation. Nimmo offered the department’s first pickleball league this spring for players looking for more challenge and structure.


“Open play is great, but with the growing number of participants and the lack of structure in open play, players sometimes get mixed in with people who may not be as experienced or vice versa,” she said. “With a structured league, players are guaranteed to play with people of a similar skill set. In addition, a league promotes more competitive competition.”


Want to try it for yourself? Stop by Liberty Recreation Center or Carpenter Recreation Center, the latter of which offers open play for all experience levels from 9:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; and from 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. on Wednesdays. Players must be a recreation center member or be visiting on a guest pass. Paddles are provided. See you there!


IMG_7632Players enjoy the social environment pickleball creates during open play hours.


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