Howard to Expand Pickleball Courts as Demand Skyrockets

One of the fastest-growing sports in the country requires a court and a net. And, no, it’s not tennis or badminton, it’s pickleball. In order to meet the growing demand, Howard County’s Department of Recreation & Parks (HCRP) will add six pickleball courts to Alpha Ridge Park.

A paddle sport played on a badminton-sized court with a slightly modified tennis net, the County began offering pickleball programs in the summer of 2014. “I want to ensure that Howard County parks are the best possible for all ages and abilities, while meeting the needs of our residents and visitors,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

According to a press release:

“To stay on the cutting edge of healthy recreation, we have already created Howard County’s first cricket-pitch, the area’s first skills park for mountain bikes, quick-start tennis courts and bocce ball courts,” County Executive Ball said. “Coming soon, we are constructing competition croquet courts and at least six more pickleball courts. With more options than ever to have fun, Howard County continues to be the best place to play.”

The new pickleball courts will share space with the park’s target archery range. This area will become a multi-use facility and the pickleball courts will be available when the range is not in use.

“In Howard County, many active, older adults are choosing to stay in the County; and they are asking for more pickleball courts and activities, trips and programs that my department is striving to meet through our new Encore programs,” said Department of Recreation & Parks Director Raul Delerme. “Weather permitting, we hope to break ground on the new courts at Alpha Ridge Park in late spring.”

In addition to the new courts at Alpha Ridge Park, HCRP is also looking at constructing pickleball courts at underutilized space at Atholton, Centennial and Rockburn Branch parks. HCRP is considering creating pickleball courts in the place of the current handball court at Atholton Park, the current skate spot at Centennial Park and adding blended lines to the east basketball court at Rockburn Branch Park.

For more information on the County’s Pickleball programs, please visit www.howardcountymd.gov/pickleball.

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