Montgomery Parks hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on, Monday, October 18, 2021, for the department’s first dedicated pickleball courts, located at Bauer Drive Local Park. The six new courts have lights for play until 11 p.m. and are located adjacent to the Bauer Drive Communnity Recreation Center.
Pickleball is a fast-paced, low-impact sport that combines several classic games including badminton, tennis, and table tennis. It is played with a tennis-like net and paddles slightly larger than ping pong, with a plastic whiffle ball.
“Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in Montgomery County and nationally,” said Mike Riley, Director of Montgomery Parks. “With these new courts, we now have 40 pickleball courts in our park system, with plans for adding more in the coming years.”
In 2019, Montgomery Parks concluded a pickleball study that investigated service needs, gaps, user preference for facility location and design, and service delivery strategies. The study was a multi-year collaborative process and gathered input from various sport court users to identify the best solutions for creating more opportunities for outdoor pickleball. As a result, 30 courts were completed in 2021 based on recommendations gathered by the study.
“Pickleball is a fantastic sport because almost anyone can play – you don’t have to be in top shape to pick it up,” said Casey Anderson, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board. “It’s also a great way to meet people and make friends, so it helps keep people engaged and connected.”
Local and state elected officials attended the event, including Montgomery County Councilmember and Parks Lead Andrew Friedson, Maryland State Senator for District 19 Benjamin Kramer, and Maryland State Delegates for District 19 Charlotte Crutchfield and Vaughn Stewart.
“Quality parks and recreational facilities have always been crucial to the health, well-being and quality of life of our residents, and this has been especially clear during the pandemic,” said Councilmember Friedson. “These wonderful pickleball courts are just the latest example of how we’re adapting our public amenities to meet the changing needs of our community to ensure our parks and open spaces are inclusive for all ages, abilities, and interests.”
“It is very exciting that Montgomery Parks has located its first dedicated pickleball courts at the Bauer Drive Local Park in Rockville,” said Senator Kramer. “Pickleball is an exciting sport that challenges a person’s reflexes and athletic skill with less stress on the joints than tennis. My thanks to M-NCPPC for prioritizing pickleball in Montgomery County.”
“I’m excited for Maryland Legislative District 19 to be the “epicenter” of pickleball in Montgomery County, it is a sport that will continue to promote the health and wellness of our neighbors,” said Delegate Crutchfield.
“Pickleball has become the fastest-growing sport in America, and as a regular player, I couldn’t be more excited about these dedicated courts,” said Delegate Vaughn Stewart. “Pickleball is great exercise and lots of fun, but more importantly, it’s a social game that builds community. I applaud everyone that made this amazing facility a reality.”
Elected officials and members of the community took advantage of the opportunity to participate in pickleball lessons and gain tips from Rob Campbell, USA Pickleball Association District Ambassador for Montgomery and Prince Georges counties.
“The addition of the courts is a positive step in the right direction for the growth of pickleball in Montgomery County,” said Rob Campbell.
Pickleball can be played across the county. Click here for more information on available courts.