Why Pickleball is Chicago’s Hottest Indoor Sport

Anyone who’s passed one of the city’s parks recently knows that Chicago is embracing a new athletic craze: pickleball. In recent years, pickleball in Chicago has skyrocketed in popularity, with Pickle Haüs joining in to offer state-of-the-art courts, professional coaching, pickleball leagues, and more for beginners and seasoned players alike.

But why is pickleball Chicago’s hottest indoor sport? Let’s dive in.

The Rise of Pickleball in Chicago

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong, made its way to Chicago decades ago after the sport was founded in 1965. Creators Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum dreamed up the sport off the coast of Seattle when they were trying to create a fun summer activity for their children.

The game’s unique name is believed to have been derived from the term “pickle boat,” used in rowing, where the boat is manned by the leftover oarsmen from other boats. Since its founding, the sport has emerged as a “fast-paced, low-impact sport that’s taking the world by storm,” according to NBC Chicago, with the number of players growing exponentially. In 2022, pickleball was even voted the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row, with 48.3 million adults having played the sport at least once in the last year, according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals.

As a result, Chicago’s local community centers and parks have seen a surge in pickleball court bookings, and tournaments are drawing larger crowds each year. To meet the needs of what the city is referring to as “Pickle Mania,” the Park District of Chicago “has set an ambitious target of establishing 200 pickleball courts in parks across the city by the end of 2025.”

However, these courts will all be outdoors, presenting challenges during the city’s cold winters, on rainy days, or for those who prefer to play indoors. That’s where Pickle Haüs comes in: stepping up to serve Chicagoans with top-notch indoor courts that allow for play no matter the weather outside.

Why Pickleball?

So, what’s behind the rise in popularity of the sport?

For starters, pickleball is a game that’s relatively easy to pick up, but that also offers depth and strategy for those who wish to play competitively. Because of its small court size, pickleball requires less running to cover ground and is therefore appealing to players of all ages and skill levels. Many say that they enjoy pickleball for this reason, as it’s a sport where grandparents can compete with their grandchildren, seasoned players can mentor rookies, and families can come together to play the game.

Additionally, with the ability to play both indoors and out, it’s a sport that’s accessible no matter the weather– a factor that’s especially important in a city with long, harsh winters and unpredictable weather. Chicagoans — always looking for ways to stay active despite the chill — have found their answer in pickleball. The sport’s versatility ensures that you can join a league, sharpen your skills, or get in some friendly competition on the courts all year round.

Why Pickle Haüs is the Premier Destination for Pickleball in Chicago

Pickle Haüs boasts state-of-the-art indoor courts designed specifically for pickleball.

But it’s not just the high-quality flooring, lighting and nets that set Pickle Haüs apart: it’s the convenience, the support and the atmosphere.

Players can easily book courts in advance, ensuring they always have a place to play. Dedicated players can even schedule permanent court time for the season so they can plan to compete regularly with friends

For those looking to improve their game, Pickle Haüs offers training sessions with pros and hosts pickleball classes and pickleball leagues to get you playing the game on a regular basis and improving.

Once the game is over, complete your outing by taking advantage of Pickle Haüs’ food and drink options. Whether you’re an early bird catching a morning match or a night owl who prefers evening games, Pickle Haüs has you covered with a menu that ranges from breakfast, lunch and dinner to drinks, coffee and weekend brunch.

There’s even the opportunity to book your next event at Pickle Haüs, whether you’re looking to plan a private event for your corporate team, or one for your friends and family. Our event package includes pickleball, delicious chef-inspired food, tasty beverages and more for an experience all will remember.

The Future of Pickleball in Chicago

With its growing popularity, it’s clear that pickleball is here to stay in Chicago.

The pickleball courts at local parks are consistently booked, tournaments are drawing in larger crowds, and local sports shops are stocking up on pickleball gear to meet an increasing demand.

For those who haven’t yet experienced the excitement, camaraderie, and strategy that comes with playing the game, now is the perfect time to join in. Whether you’re looking for a way to stay active, a social activity to meet new friends, or a competitive sport to challenge yourself, pickleball offers it all.

Ready to give pickleball a try? You can book a court now, or can connect with our Pickle Haüs team for information on scheduling private events, or participating in a league or class.