Kentucky’s Pickleball Problem: Ranked Among Worst States to Play

Worst Pickleball State

Despite the rapid rise in popularity of pickleball across the nation, Kentucky finds itself at a disadvantage for pickleball enthusiasts. A recent ranking by Pickleball Union, a leading website covering the sport, placed Kentucky as the third-worst state for pickleball in the entire US. This ranking raises concerns about the accessibility and future of pickleball in the Bluegrass State.

Factors Contributing to the Low Ranking:

Several factors contributed to Kentucky’s low ranking:

  • Limited Court Availability: The state only boasts a meager 104 pickleball courts, significantly lower than the national average. This lack of available courts creates competition and frustration for players, especially when demand is high.
  • Limited Participation: While pickleball interest in Kentucky is increasing, it still lags behind other states. The Pickleball Union found that Kentucky ranks 48th in the country based on participation rates.
  • Temperature Concerns: Kentucky’s climate can be challenging for outdoor pickleball enthusiasts. The state experiences hot and humid summers, making it uncomfortable to play during certain times of the day. Additionally, icy winters further restrict opportunities for outdoor play.

Despite the Challenges, a Bright Future?

While Kentucky’s current pickleball landscape may seem bleak, there are promising signs for the future. Several new pickleball venues are under development across the state, particularly in Louisville. These new facilities offer much-needed court space and amenities to accommodate players. Additionally, local pickleball organizations are actively promoting the sport and organizing tournaments, attracting new players and fostering a sense of community.

One such example is Goodbounce, Louisville’s new 45,000-square-foot pickleball yard on the Ohio River. This impressive facility boasts six pickleball courts, alongside other outdoor activities, creating a vibrant hub for pickleball enthusiasts.

However, overcoming Kentucky’s pickleball obstacles requires a collaborative effort. The state government, local communities, and pickleball organizations must work together to increase court availability, promote participation, and address weather-related concerns. By taking these steps, Kentucky can transform from a pickleball backwater into a thriving pickleball destination.

Also Read: Tips and Tricks to Play Pickleball.

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