Which Ohio City Makes Our Pickleball-Loving Rankings?

Which Ohio City Makes Our Pickleball-Loving Rankings?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

Whatever PokĂ©mon was for little kids, Pickleball is becoming for their grandparents. The obsession – I mean, game – is taking over cities and suburbs, with courts sprouting up like weeds, much to the annoyance of nearby residents. Pickleball is noisy. If you live in an apartment, imagine your neighbor hammering nails into the wall all day.

For those unfamiliar with the game, Pickleball uses a paddle (not a racket) and a hard ball that has very little bounce. There appears to be no pickle. But CucumberBall was just a silly name. It’s played on a miniature tennis court and features much less running and much more banging. It resembles paddle tennis without the cage, squash without the wall. You can work up a sweat playing singles, as John McEnroe and Andy Roddick showed in a recently televised promotional match after which neither was prepared to give up tennis. Or four retirees can play doubles and not work up much of a sweat as they patty-cake the ball back and forth and hydrate with gin and tonics.

BetOhio.com – your source for Ohio sports betting apps – wanted to analyze where the Pickleball craze is craziest at in the United States.

Utilizing Trust For Public Land’s 2022 City Park Facts in the nation’s 100 largest cities, we crunched the data. By figuring out how many pickleball courts per 20,000 residents, we present our list of top Pickleball cities.

Did any Ohio towns make the cut?

Most Pickleball-Loving U.S. Cities

Rank City Courts Per 20,000 Residents
1Seattle, Wash.3.0
1Des Moines, Iowa2.9
3Columbus, Ohio2.7
4Saint Paul, Minn.2.6
5Honolulu, Hawaii2.5
T6Chesapeake, Va.2.2
T6Madison, Wisc.2.2
8Arlington, Va.2.1
9St. Petersburg, Fla.2.0
10Boise, Idaho1.7
11Cincinnati, Ohio1.6
T12Henderson, Nevada1.5
T12Scottsdale, Ariz.1.5
T12Tampa, Fla.1.5


Ohio Cities Rank 3rd and 11th

Taking a break from Ohio sports betting, the BetOhio.com rankings place two major Ohio cities among the top places for Pickleball lovers.

A recent study showed that the typical Pickleball player would get more exercise walking. But the games are social and require a lot of bending over to pick up the ball, so make sure to take your blood pressure meds.

With Pickleball becoming as ubiquitous as Ubrelvy commercials – in case you wonder why Serena Williams gets so many headaches - BetOhio.com looked at the cities where the number of Pickleball courts are the highest per capita. Columbus came in at No. 3, behind Seattle and Des Moines. Cincinnati came in at No. 11. Pickleballuniversity.com called Columbus a “hot spot” for the sport and Ohio one of the best places to play. At the rate the game is growing, it won’t be long before Pickleball University is in the Big Ten.

In 2022, Major League Pickleball Columbus offered a $100,000 prize to the winning professional Pickleball team. Yes, I said professional Pickleball team. Can’t wait until ESPN starts televising the Pickleball Draft.

Cincinnati has 27 public Pickleball courts, plus the country’s second largest indoor Pickleball facility with The Pickle Lodge in West Chester. (The biggest appears to be in New Rochelle, N.Y.). There’s also the Cincinnati Pickleball Club. 

As for “hot spot” Columbus, the city’s Recreation and Parks Department manages 60 indoor and 58 outdoor Pickleball courts at 35 locations throughout the city. Ah, if only Pickleball existed when “Parks and Recreation” was on the air. Comedy gold.
Most of the Columbus indoor courts are painted over basketball courts, one of the outdoor courts is over a roller hockey rink and the rest are over tennis courts. Tough luck, future Michael Jordan or Pete Sampras, stay inside and play video games. Three courts at Marion Franklin Park are dedicated for Pickleball. For courts that aren’t dedicated, players may bring their own nets. Outdoor courts can be reserved for $10 an hour. Indoor courts will run you $50 an hour. But seriously, if you’re going to play indoors, you might as well play ping pong. At least outdoors you get some Vitamin D.

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Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist who’s worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a founding editor of bettorsinsider.com.

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