The new sport sweeping the nation isn’t a new phenomenon. Pickleball began in 1965 and currently has 3 million active players in the United States alone. From recreational intramurals to the courts at college campuses, pickleball is once again piquing interest across the world. 

Consisting of two or four players, participants aim to hit a hollow, perforated plastic ball back and forth over a 34-inch-high net until one team or player cannot return the ball—much like tennis. Points are only given to the serving team, stopping only when they’ve committed a fault or violated the rules.

If you’re already familiar with pickleball, you may not be familiar with where to play around the BYU-I campus nor its many benefits as an activity or exercise. Below are some of the top locations to play with your friends and the body-positive effects it can have on your physical and mental health.

What Are the Benefits of Playing Pickleball?

Everyone can benefit from a game of good fun. Getting out on the court to play a competitive game with friends is mentally and physically stimulating and a healthy motivator for active college students. Its simplistic setup and minimal gear requirement make it the ideal getaway for an enjoyable pickup sport. Consider some of these benefits if you’ve ever considered picking up a paddle:

  • Physical Health: Pickleball’s low-impact cardiovascular moves are easy on your muscles and joints while elevating your heart rate. Pickleball can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of heart disease. The repetitive hitting and receiving motions may aid in improving balance and hand-eye coordination. Pickleball also helps with mental acuity as you focus on the gameplay while still using your body.
  • Mental and Emotional Health: Playing pickleball with other people can help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety while allowing your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
  • Social Well-Being: Engaging in pickleball is an excellent way to meet new people. Laughing at missteps or cheering on perfect serves will further social bonds, helping you feel more connected to those around you. 
  • Broad Accessibility: Pickleball is easy and accessible for all ages and skill levels. Many players have participated in tennis and crossed over to this new sport, while others have never even played.

What Are Some Insider Tips for Playing Pickleball?

Communication majors aren’t the only ones who suggest talking proactively on the court. One of the best tips regarding pickleball strategy is communicating regularly and positively, whether that is with the player across the net or with your partner. When considering playing pickleball in Idaho, consider some of these general tips:

  • The peak pickleball playing times in Idaho can vary considerably based on the local demographics and weather conditions. As pickleball is a popular pastime amongst the retired set, the courts may become busier during the peak hours from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., while other times are often less busy.
  • Weather conditions can be a factor in court access. There will be a greater demand for indoor courts in poor weather conditions. This includes the snowy and icy winter months and the high heat of summer.
  • Equipment purchase options are available at local sporting goods stores. Rental options can be found at the BYU-I Outdoor Resource Center and Rexburg Outdoor Rentals, among other locations.

What Are the Top Pickleball Locations Near BYU-Idaho?

Having pickleball courts near the university makes it easier to stay in the game. Luckily, there are some easily accessible locations near BYU-Idaho. Here are a few of the best places to play:

  • Pickleball Courts at Rexburg Nature Park, W 5th S, Rexburg, ID, 83440, USA
  1. The Rexburg Nature Park pickleball courts at this large park offer more than just pickleball. There are bathrooms and water fountains available.
  2. The four dedicated outdoor asphalt pickleball courts in the park are free to use on a first-come, first-serve basis. They have permanent lines and nets and are well-maintained, making it one of the most popular pickleball destinations.
  3. These courts are beginner-friendly and available for anyone to access. The Rexburg Summer Pickleball Tournament and the Labor Day Pickleball Tournament are held at this location. Registration is required.
  • Rigby Tennis and Pickleball, 356 N 3700 E, Rigby, ID, 83442, USA
  1. The Rigby Tennis and Pickleball courts are located approximately 18 minutes from BYU-I in Rigby. There are four lighted indoor wood and concrete courts with bathrooms available.
  2. Playing times are available through advance registration, and a one-time fee is required to play. The lines are permanent, and portable nets are available on-site. As these courts are indoor, they are sought after during colder temperatures or inclement weather.
  3. These courts are accessible for all ages and ability levels. Because they are zoned for both pickleball and tennis, there may be more demand for use at this location.
  • Rexburg District Office Gym, 60 W Main St, Rexburg, ID, 83440, USA
  1. The Rexburg District Office Gym pickleball courts are conveniently located in the heart of the city of Rexburg, making them a prime location. This venue hosts other sporting activities and can become busy at times. Indoor bathrooms and water are available on-site.
  2. Eight indoor pickleball courts are free to use at this location. The lines are permanent, but you need to bring your own net.
  3. These courts are located in a popular athletic destination, so they stay busy, but they are still a good option due to their location and indoors.

Conclusion

If you’re like the millions interested in pickleball worldwide, you’re likely finding out why. Its social, healthy, and easy-to-play benefits combine to create a newfound hobby for any interested player. With convenient access to local courts and an increasing player base, you’ll find it easier than ever to have some fun with friends.

Bring your friends or make new ones. With great pickleball courts near BYU-I, you will find yourself surrounded by encouraging and engaging students just like yourself, where you can enjoy the pickleball community at American Avenue.