Pickleball in Central Texas – Everything You Need to Know

Pickleball’s popularity has skyrocketed this year, making a remarkable leap from retirement communities to school curriculums. In the last two years, it’s emerged as the fastest-growing sport in the US, attracting players across all age groups and leading to a surge in new courts across Central Texas.

As the cooler holiday months approach, consider storing your pickleball equipment. Just like any sports gear, proper storage methods can preserve your gear for when it’s needed. In this article, we’ll explore the rising trend of pickleball, offer storage tips, and guide you to the best places for a match in Central Texas.


What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport played by two or four players over a 34-inch net, using a plastic ball similar to a wiffleball. Think of it like a hybrid of table tennis, tennis, and badminton, played on a compact tennis court using paddles larger than those in table tennis but smaller than tennis rackets. Unlike tennis, pickleball is incredibly beginner-friendly and can be picked up quickly, even with minimal athletic experience. It’s a highly social game all ages can enjoy, combining speed, competition, and a welcoming atmosphere.


How to Play

The rules of pickleball vary slightly between games with two players and games with four players. However, pickleball uses the same court and equipment; the distinctions lie in serving rules and scoring.

The game begins with an underhand serve from one player, directed over the net into the opponent’s service court. The ball is volleyed back and forth until a player faults. Players must let the ball bounce once before being allowed to volley it. Points are exclusively earned by the serving team, with no point gained by the opposing player if the server loses the round. The opponent then assumes the serving position to accumulate points. After scoring, the server changes sides and starts the next serve from the left/odd court. Each game concludes at 11 points, with a win by a two-point margin in case of a tie.

Pickleball stands out from other net sports due to a unique rule—the ‘kitchen.’ The ‘kitchen’ refers to a Non-Volley Zone line at the top of both courts that marks this no-volley zone. Players are restricted from entering this zone unless the ball has bounced within it first. While players can reach over the line to volley, stepping onto or over the line results in the ball being declared dead.

For more in-depth knowledge of official USA pickleball rules, learn more here.


Pickleball Terminology Explained

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  • Ace: When the ball is served over the net and not returned by the opponent.
  • Centerline: The line that runs down the middle of the court from the Non-Volley Zone to the baseline. This line indicates the two halves of the service court.
  • Dead Ball: When there is a fault in the play, the ball is declared “dead” and the point is over.
  • Dink Shot: A gentle shot that just arcs over the net and lands into the non-volley zone.
  • Doubles: A pickleball match played between four people, with two players on each team.
  • Foot Fault: On the serve, feet must remain behind the baseline until after the ball has struck the paddle. If a foot has touched or crossed the line during a serve, that is considered a serving foot fault. Additionally, if a foot steps into the non-volley zone to volley before the ball bounces, that is a non-volley zone foot fault.
  • Kitchen: The most commonly used slang term in pickleball, indicating the non-volley zone.
  • Lob: A high-return shot purposely pushed deep in the court to force the opposing team back.
  • Rally: Continuous back-and-forth play from when the ball gets served to the end of the play.
  • Serve: Unlike tennis, a pickleball serve must be underhand to start each play. The paddle must contact the ball beneath the waist of the server.
  • Volley: When a player hits the ball in the air before bouncing on the court.

If you want to learn more about how to play pickleball, then check out this short informational YouTube video explaining the basics of the sport.


How to Store Pickleball Equipment

While more indoor pickleball facilities are popping up nationwide, outdoor courts still outnumber them. Your pickleball gear might collect dust in the garage as the weather turns colder and windier. Consider storing them in a self-storage unit instead of leaving them unused and exposed.

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the longevity of your pickleball equipment, especially considering paddles can range from $20 to $200. The exterior rubber edge guard is delicate and should be cleaned before storage to prevent dirt, sweat, or dust buildup. Investing in a paddle cover adds an extra layer of protection against scrapes or damage during storage and transportation.

Here are additional tips to safeguard your pickleball paddles in storage:

  1. Opt for a climate-controlled storage unit to preserve the rubber’s original form.
  2. Keep paddles away from direct sunlight to prevent color fading and material deterioration.
  3. Rotate stored paddles periodically to prevent dents or soft spots in the rubber, especially if storing multiple paddles stacked together.


Where to Play Pickleball in Central Texas

Whether you’re in Waco, Temple, or Harker Heights, plenty of indoor and outdoor pickleball court options are available for your next match! Check each court’s hours and websites below to ensure you’re ready to play.

Waco Regional Tennis and Fitness Center
Address: 1000 W Lake Shore Dr, Waco, TX, 76708
Website: https://www.wacotennis.com/tennis/picleball-open-play/
Type: Outdoor

theCENTER at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church
Address: 1115 Columbus Ave, Waco, TX 76701
Website: https://cabcwaco.org/pickleball
Type: Indoor

Greater Waco YMCA
Address: 6800 Harvey Dr, Waco, TX 76710
Website: https://ymcactx.org/locations/waco/
Type: Indoor

Walker Park Pickleball Courts
Address: 2615 N 3rd St, Temple, TX, 76501
Website: https://www.pickleheads.com/courts/us/texas/temple/walker-park-pickleball-courts
Type: Outdoor

Summit Recreation Center
Address: 620 Fryers Creek Drive, Temple, TX 76504
Website: https://www.templeparks.com/facilities___rentals/summit_recreation_center/index.php
Type: Outdoor

Harker Heights Recreation Center
Address: 307 Millers Xing, Harker Heights, TX, 76548
Website: https://www.pickleheads.com/courts/us/texas/harker-heights/harker-heights-recreation-center
Type: Indoor

Central Texas Athletic Club
Address: 701 Sun Meadows Dr, Harker Heights, TX, 76548
Website: https://heightsathleticclub.com/pickleball/
Type: Outdoor


Store Pickleball Equipment in Amy’s Attic

For 17 years and counting, Amy’s Attic Self Storage has proudly served Central Texas through its comprehensive storage unit solutions. With six storage facility locations throughout Central Texas, Amy’s Attic leads the community in both residential and business storage solutions. Our State-of-the-Art facilities offer an accessible and clean storage environment for your pickleball gear and other storage needs. If you are interested in renting a climate-controlled storage unit in Central Texas or if you have any questions, then please visit our website at https://www.amysatticss.com or call us at 855-426-9728.

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