How to Start Playing Pickleball in Springfield MO (Top Free & Indoor Courts) 

 July 13, 2021

By  Carla Broderick

Have you heard of pickleball?

Yes, you read that right. Pickle. Ball.

It’s a super fun sport that is growing in popularity in 417 land.

In fact, pickleball is one of the top free outdoor activities in Springfield and a super affordable thing to do inside—any time of year!

But I’m jumping ahead of myself…

The game is simple to pick up, is easy for all ages and abilities, and requires very minimal equipment.

people playing pickleball at meador

So you have no excuses. Go check it out!


If you already have the scoop on pickleball, you can click here to jump to the parks and places to play pickleball in Springfield.

Let’s dive in.

What is Pickleball?

First of all, the game has nothing to do with pickles. The majority of the group that created the game back in 1965 claim that the ever-growing sport was named after one of the original creator’s dogs (named Pickle) who used to fetch the balls off court. Simple as that.

If you combine tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, you pretty much have pickleball.

You play the game on a badminton size court with a modified tennis net. The only equipment you’ll need is a paddle (which looks like a giant ping-pong paddle) and a Wiffle ball-type ball.

pickleballs and pickleball racket

Sounds easy enough, right?

The Rules of Pickleball

Once you have your basic equipment you’ll probably want to know the rules of the game.

Pickleball can be played either as singles or doubles. The rules are the same for both scenarios.

Although simple, there is a specific order and way of serving, basic scoring practice, and the two-bounce rule.

The USA Pickleball Association (yup, that’s a thing) has a perfect basic rule summary for you to get started. It’s a quick read that you can find here.

Ready to start?

While you can pick up a pickleball net kit and set up at almost any great park in Springfield MO, there’s an easier way to play pickleball right now!

Where to Play Pickleball in 417 Land

pickleball courts at meador park

The Springfield Parks Department has made sure you have plenty of local places to get your pickleball on.

If the weather is nice, you can head on over to Medor Park on the South side of Springfield or Nichols Park on the North for an outdoor game on their free pickleball courts.

If you want to play indoors then head over to Chesterfield Family Center, Dan Kinney Family Center, Doling Family Center, or O’Reilly-Tefft Gymnasium. Keep in mind that there is a small fee to use the indoor pickleball courts (unless you have a membership to that center).

Go Try It

There are so many benefits to trying your hand at pickleball!

It’s a fun and engaging form of exercise, it’s easy to jump right in, and almost anyone can do it!

The next time you have a little free time, go give pickleball a try.

You’ll thank me later.

Carla Broderick

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