It can be hard to get into a new physical hobby when you don’t know anyone else who plays it. When it’s a sport that is only just recently on the rise, it can be a challenge to even accidentally run into someone who would be willing to play with you. Then, add to the fact that this sport is an activity requiring multiple people and you might find yourself in a pickle.
Or, rather, pickleball. Yes, finding players for a four or even two-player match can be a situation that requires a lot of effort. Pickleball Magazine knows all about the struggle, “In a Pickleball Marriage, you don’t have to worry about finding a partner for each tournament.
For many players, signing up for a tournament without a partner is something they try to avoid at all costs.” If this sounds like you; fear not! I’ve put together a list of the best ways to find other pickleball players near you.
Don’t worry about starting from scratch with a stranger, either. Use the methods below to find someone you can click with and build a friendship with for long-term play. “If you really know your partner, you can create synergy between you two,” explains the Pickler.
Alright, let’s find some fellow pickleball fans!
Smartphone Pickleball Apps
The most accessible way to find literally anything these days is right in the palm of your hand, pocket, or handbag. Cell phones rule our communication but are also handy, dandy research tools. Thanks to app stores, we have access to thousands of topic-specific, downloadable content that can change the way we play the game.
This is sort of an all-in-one pickleball app. It has all the nearby available courts to play on, any upcoming tournaments, a list of coaches, places to buy pickleball gear, and more. The best part might be the ability to find someone to play with.
From the profile section of the app, you can view all of the saved items you find important, including friends. To locate new players, use the search function at the bottom. There, you can input the necessary parameters to find the closest players.
Feel free to send them a request!
When you want to give pickleball the prominence in your life that it deserves, this is the app. Not only does it give you a glimpse of what’s going on around you, but also on a global scale in terms of pickleball news. Never again will you miss out on anything game related.
You can create your own events, too. Other players in your area can check them, and you, out. Not only can you connect, but this app is also like a messenger dedicated to pickleball players.
There is a text, video, and call function all in the same place.
This app is almost like a social network. When you open it, there’s a feed that includes your info, friends, local clubs, and tournaments going on. From there, you can search for new pickleball clubs, members, and even create your own club.
Not to mention, you can see the stats of everyone signed onto a club as well as their profile. Find someone you want to hang out with while playing pickleball? You can add each other right there, in person.
There’s more than one online network, so be sure to do some research to find what works best for your needs. My favorite is the Global Pickleball Network, which has 42,000 players around the world. That means no matter where you go, even if you’re on vacation, you could connect with someone playing pickleball.
Of course, to help fill that void, there’s also a place to search for leagues, tournaments, events, individual courts, and private lessons. Also, what better way is there to connect to everything from paddle preference to the best pickleball weather than using forums? They have those, too.
Online Pickleball Groups
There is no end to the number of pickleball groups you can find on platforms like Facebook. You can look specifically for all kinds of pickleball niches. Examples of pickleball topics include female players, in your state, in your city, for beginners, and enthusiasts.
The list could go on and on. Being part of a localized group means connecting with players who are ready to get out on the court and happenings within the sport close to you. This also means access to tournaments, leagues, and events are more readily accessible.
Event coordinators know what kind of sports landscape they are working with more and can schedule more things to do with pickleball. Finding a new play buddy should be no issue whatsoever.
One quick way of finding a pickleball partner is to utilize social media. It may not be the most effective, but it is highly likely to get some results. The best way to try it out is by getting comfortable with the use of hashtags, both using them for searching and in your posts.
I would start out with Twitter, which has the best network use of hashtags. Don’t just stick to #pickleball either. There are a few popular options that can broaden your results.
The more you tweet about wanting to find local players, the more traction you’ll get within the pickleball community on the platform. This goes for any interest, but especially something niche like pickleball. Once you tweet with #pickleball or #pickleballislife, click the link that the hashtag becomes and scroll down to see what’s going on.
Add your location for added specifics. You can do the same thing on Instagram. Posting isn’t vital here, you can use the hashtags like a search query or just type pickleball in the search bar.
Look out for location-specific posts. This could work just as well on TikTok if you go about making your own content. You can look up people using topics here, but it will get you more traction and info by dedicating an account to pickleball.
That is the recommendation even if you’re brand new to the sport and are curious about it. People love a journey and the algorithm will show up in local feeds.