Move over, tennis. Pickleball is all the rage when duking it out on the courts. Considered the fastest growing sport in the United States and Greater Fort Lauderdale is not immune to pickleball fever. It’s a leisurely yet fast-paced sport enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, and with several courts throughout the community, it’s easily accessible. 

Pickleball isn’t a passing fad for Greater Fort Lauderdale, either: the world’s first pickleball stadium, The Fort, is going to be built at Snyder Park.

Whether you’re a newbie or have a 5-point skill rating, there are courts for everyone to join in on the pickleball fun.


What is pickleball?

While pickleball has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, its origins date back to 1965 when two men found a creative way to entertain their families. Washington Congressman Joel Pritchard was at his home with businessman Bill Bell when they cobbled together a game using ping pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball to play on a badminton court. Over the following weekends, pickleball was born. The first permanent court was built in Pritchard’s backyard in 1967 and a corporation was formed in 1972.


How do you play pickleball?

When trying out pickleball, one will notice that it’s a combination of multiple sports. Singles or doubles play on opposite sides of a net with players serving diagonally with an underhand serve. Teams volley the ball back and forth with the goal of the opponent missing a volley, earning the serving team a point. 

Its origins are in badminton, using volleys or strikes, and a pickleball court is the same size — 20 by 44 feet. Singles or doubles play on either side of a 36-inch-tall net; the 7-foot zone on either side of the net is a non-volley zone, or “the kitchen.” Players can only go into the kitchen to receive a shot that lands in the zone.

When does a pickleball game end? When a team earns 11 points; however, a team must win by two points.

These are just the basics of pickleball. To get the hang of it and the more detailed nuances of the game, try it out at one of the many courts in Greater Fort Lauderdale.


Where to play pickleball in Greater Fort Lauderdale

Want to try your hand at pickleball, or find other fans to play with? Check out these courts around town.

Coconut Creek

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The Diadem Pickleball Complex is an indoor pickleball facility with nine courts. There’s always something going on, such as Mixed Doubles Pop Up and Play on Mondays, Saturday Night Social, Dink and Drink Happy Hour, open play in the mornings, intro clinics, and leagues. Need gear? Check out the clubhouse for pickleball equipment and merchandise. The courts are even live steamed! To get started, download the Play By Point app.

Fort Lauderdale

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The Federal

The expansive Holiday Park has six permanent pickleball courts that are free and open to the public. Overlooking the courts is The Federal, a new restaurant at the park that was introduced with the Florida Panthers' new Baptist Health IcePlex practice facility. Kick back with a drink and sports bar fare, and to watch other picklers duke it out on the courts, grab a table at The Terrace at the restaurant.

Fort Lauderdale will soon be home to the world’s first pickleball stadium. The Fort is expected to open in December 2024 with 45 professional courts (14 will be weatherproof), a 4,000-square-foot event space, live music, and food and drink options.

Other places in Fort Lauderdale to get your “dink” on are Benenson Park, George English Park, Osswald Park, and Sunrise Middle School (which also has eight temporary courts, but you must bring a portable net). Pickleball lines can also be found  on the tennis courts at Bass Park, Carter Park, Hardy Park, and Riverside Park.

Stan Goldman Park originally had five pickleball courts, but with such a demand, the city of Hollywood was recently able to add four more courts to accommodate players.


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The city has pickleball courts at Westwind Park, which also hosts Glow Pickleball events year-round. Think glow-in-the-dark paddles and balls as well as food trucks and music for a fun night on the courts.

There are six courts at Terramar Park and eight at Wedge Preserve Park. Fans of the game created the Parkland Pickleball League, with Dinkers Anonymous and hybrid teams for men and women of all ages.


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Plantation Central Park has 12 pickleball courts and Jacaranda Lakes has one court. They are open to all skill levels. Up the ante on your pickleball game and sign up for the Nike Adult Pickleball Camp at Plantation Central Park, a two-day camp for advanced beginner and intermediate players led by Andy Rubenstein, the director of pickleball for the state of Florida. The camp meets three times a year.

Pompano Beach

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There are 12 courts at Pompano Beach Community Park for the public to enjoy for free. Courts are first come, first served. At Pompano Beach Municipal Tennis Center, there is one court and lessons and programs are available for picklers of all ages and levels.