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The Advantages and Considerations of Playing Pickleball Indoors

Strategy & Technique Greg Hansen 03-13-2024

Playing pickleball indoors offers numerous benefits as well as a set of unique challenges that players need to consider. Here is my take on some factors to keep in mind.

Benefits of Indoor Pickleball:

  1. Weather Independence: Playing indoors provides a solution to weather constraints. Regardless of the external temperature, players can enjoy the game without worrying about extreme weather conditions affecting their play. When the temperature is ten degrees, like it was yesterday, indoor pickleball is quite appealing.
  2. Sun Glare and Wind Control: Indoor courts eliminate the interference of sunlight and wind, offering a consistent environment for players. With no sun in your eyes and no wind affecting the ball’s trajectory, you can focus entirely on their game. No lobs into the sun that blind you!
  3. Consistency in Surface: Unlike outdoor surfaces that may vary, indoor pickleball courts typically have a uniform and predictable playing surface, ensuring a more reliable and controlled game. However, that is, unfortunately, not always the case.

Considerations for Indoor Pickleball:

  1. Floor Markings: Some indoor facilities, especially multi-use gymnasiums, may have multiple lines on the floor. This can be confusing, particularly if the court markings overlap with those intended for other sports like basketball.
  2. Glare and Wall Color: Glare off walls and ceilings can be an issue, especially if the walls are painted in a distracting color. The ball may get lost in the surroundings, affecting visibility and game-play.
  3. Floor Material Impact: Non-wooden floors can lead to unpredictable bounces or, in some cases, no bounces at all. Choosing a facility with a wooden floor ensures a more consistent and reliable playing experience.
  4. The Nets: Many (most) indoor courts have temporary nets. If you are accustomed to your ball flicking off the top of the net and going into play, think again. My experience is that either the ball hits near the top of the net and drops down on your side, or it hits the top of the net and drops down on the other side. Rarely have I seen a hard drive clip the top of the net and continue into play.

Adapting Your Game to Indoor Play:

  1. Ball Characteristics: Indoor pickleballs are generally lighter and may react differently when hit. Adjusting to the weight difference is crucial for maintaining control and precision in your shots.
  2. Aerodynamics of Indoor Balls: Indoor pickleballs often have fewer holes, altering their aerodynamics compared to outdoor balls. Players should be mindful of these differences and adapt their game-play accordingly.
  3. Skidding: Maybe it’s my imagination, or maybe it’s because I have a slightly harder time seeing indoors than when playing outdoors, the indoor ball seemed to skid on the floor.
  4. The Nets (Again): Make sure you have adequate clearance on your shots, particularly dinks and third shot drops.

Personal Experience at Fannin County Recreation Center:

The article shares a personal experience at the Fannin County Recreation Center in Blue Ridge, Georgia, highlighting that not all indoor facilities face the same challenges. In this case, the wooden floor, proper court markings, and optimal wall distance contributed to an excellent playing environment. It is a great facility for indoor pickleball.

Below is a photo of the courts, taken from www.pickleheads.com.

Equipment Adjustment:

I discovered the importance of using the right paddle for indoor play. Transitioning from a paddle with a high swing weight to one with a lower swing weight significantly improved my topspin serve, which I had been sending just a little too deep, demonstrating the impact of equipment choices on game-play.

In conclusion, playing pickleball indoors offers a controlled and weather-independent environment, but you should be aware of potential challenges and adapt your game accordingly, including choosing the right equipment for optimal performance.

Your experience may differ. Feel free to tell me that I am wrong.

Access the original article.

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