How to Start a Pickleball Community

How to Start a Pickleball Community

With more than 36 million pickleball players, there’s a need for leaders to facilitate group play. 

It doesn’t take much to lead a pickleball community. If you’re passionate about the sport and building community, you have what it takes. But if you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place. 

Here’s an easy step-by-step process for building a pickleball community. 

Start with the end in mind

What do you want the group to look like one year from now? And what’s your exit strategy? If you don’t see yourself leading a community of pickleball players a year from now, then maybe you’re not the person who should create the group. Be sure you can commit to a community before you create it. 

Once you know you can commit to leading a pickleball community, start small. Tell a few friends about your vision and include them in the process of making it a reality. 

Create a virtual community 

Pick the digital platform you think would work best for your pickleball community. We recommend GroupMe since it’s easy to add new members, create events, and customize notifications. 

Set a location and a time

Now that you have a vision and a few friends who want to help you create a pickleball community, choose a time and place you want to play. It doesn’t have to be daily or weekly, but it should be consistent. Same time. Same place. 

Consistency creates clarity.

A consistent time and place help people know what they’re getting into when they join your community, and they can schedule their time around it. 

Set a format 

Every community has its own format rules — usually depending on players’ skill levels, the number of available courts, and the number of members. 

You could rotate in four new people after each game. Or the winners could stay on. Or winners could stay on the court but split up as team members. The losing team could transition to one court while the winning team moves to another. There’s no one-size-fits-all format for pickleball communities. Experiment and find what works best for your community. 

When people start showing up to play, they’ll naturally want to follow whatever rules the community has created. Providing this structure creates clarity for your community and allows everyone to get equal playing time. 

Be welcoming 

A successful pickleball community will grow. And when new people show up to play, they should feel comfortable enough to play without judgment. 

If people are new to pickleball, offer to pair them up with someone who is fun, patient, and a good teacher. You could even lead a beginner game with new people and give them tips throughout the game. 

Have extra equipment

You can invest in extra paddles and balls so people new to pickleball can test gear before committing to it. Also, accidents happen. People may forget their gear, lose it, or just spontaneously show up without it. Owning extra gear is an insurance policy for your community.  

Check out our bundles here

Provide value off the court

As a lover of pickleball, you’ll come across helpful, inspiring, or funny content. Share it with your community to help them grow their passion for the sport. It’ll also help people feel like they’re a part of the community even when they’re not playing. 

Surprise and delight 

Every now and then, go above and beyond to surprise your community. This could look like hosting a tournament, creating merchandise, or throwing a birthday party on the court. Get creative in creating unique moments for your group. 

If you’re ready to start a pickleball community group, we can help. 

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