Why Massachusetts Pickleball is Different from the Rest

Is it a “good” different?

The pickleball rules are the same in every state. Make sure you are aware of the most forgotten pickleball rules.

And we all use the same type of paddles and balls and the courts are the same size.

But there are certain factors and unique characteristics that make playing pickleball in Massachusetts different that the rest of the country.

Pickleball is gaining in popularity in Massachusetts

pickleball popularity

While Massachusetts is not the most popular state for the sport, there are over 900 pickleball courts scattered across the state; and each one is packed with players every day of the week. There are more than 50 court locations in the Boston area alone.

But the state of Washington has more than 20,000 pickleball courts!

And there’s a good reason for that:

Pickleball started in Washington in 1965. They even held a pickleball tournament in 1976. Among the participants was a former collegiate tennis player who had little to no knowledge about pickleball. They used large wooden paddles and a plastic ball that measured roughly the size of a softball.

Since then, it has gone from West to East and landed in our backyard. By 1990 pickleball was being played in all states.

Pickleball in the Bay State has seen a big spike in popularity due to an increasing focus on outdoor exercise owing to the pandemic. Most of our growth has been since 2020 and all of the more developed pickleball courts and facilities have been built during that time.

google search for pickleball
google pickleball search


High concentrated people and courts

pickleball densely populated

Naturally, with Massachusetts being heavily populated and one of the smallest states, we have a great concentration of pickleball courts. We have about 10,000 square miles and mover than 7 million people.

Picklers in Massachusetts have been converting unused and under-utilized tennis courts around the state into pickleball courts. Even unused properties in South Boston have been used as courts. We are squeezing in courts wherever we can find the room.

Use our [FREE] simple and intuitive Pickleball Court Estimator with exclusive features and options to create a professional cost estimate for converting a tennis court to pickleball. Get an accurate estimate on the cost – all free. And the best part is you’ll get a PDF to use now or later.

Pickleball Court Estimator

In our blood

pickleball in our blood

The four major team sports in North America—baseball, football, hockey, and basketball—originated in the Northeast.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, was where the first reference to baseball was made, and so too was Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the first mention of the rugby-style football game was made.

Sports are in our blood.

While pickleball was not invented in Massachusetts, we are still going to treat like ours and grab it by the horns. We’re not going to ignore pickleball because it did not start here… not sure anyone on a court on the Cape thinks about who created it. The focus is on embracing this relatively new sport having tons of fun along the way.

We like to socialize

pickleball socialize

We love to socialize and have a beer or glass of wine whenever we get the chance. That doesn’t mean that other states don’t but given higher concentration of Irish and Italian immigrants.

Ask around where you play pickleball and many folks come just for the social aspect of the game. The score and who won? Doesn’t matter – then enjoyed the hour talking and getting acquainted with others.

In addition, more and more pickleball facilities in Massachusetts have added food and drinks – they encourage people to hang around and have a god time.

Health conscious

pickleball healthy

Let’s not get carried away, but for the most part folks in the Bay State take care of themselves.

And even health services employ more than any other industry in the state. Even though we have bitter cold winters and steamy summers people are waling, skiing, surfing, running, climbing, etc. You get the point.

Please see: Outdoor pickleball in the freezing cold? YES!

Throw in a “new” sport like pickleball and we have gone over the top. We have immersed ourselves wholeheartedly. Subconsciously or not we’re probably aiming to have the most and bet picklers in the country!

We know it’s healthy for us so we’re going for it.

Used to winning and have proved it

pickleball used to winning

The state has a long history of sports at both the amateur and professional level. Many major professional teams have dominated the sports leagues they’ve played in over the years.

Many universities in Massachusetts take part in collegiate athletics. There are a number of NCAA Division I members in the state for different kinds of sports.
We’re not afraid of a little competition and always have something to prove even though we’ve proved it many times.

Players of pickleball in Massachusetts have something to prove… we’re going to be the best at what we do and will not apologize to anyone for taking first place.

Besides, somewhere down the line there’s sure to be a “picklegate” scandal that originates in the Commonwealth.

We’re rather liberal

pickleball liberal

Also, Massachusetts was the very first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and the second to pass anti-discrimination legislation for those identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Compared to most of the country, we embrace new ways of life and are mostly accepting of change. Well, it took us 200 years to abandon the Blue Laws, but we have become progressively more open minded.

Pickleball in Massachusetts is not new and only recently super-hot and in demand. It may take us a while to start something but when we do it’s with all guns blazing!

Very creative and smart

pickleball creative and smart

Massachusetts has the nation’s highest percentage of college graduates.

Massachusetts has been a leader in promoting democratic ideals. It has also acted as one of the national economic leaders, advancing cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions.

Massachusetts pickleball players have been very creative from solar powered lighted courts, converting vacant warehouses, downtown roof top courts, dating nights, food trucks along with partnering with microbreweries, etc. We tend to look at things differently and methodically because we want to get it right from the get-go.

Playing pickleball in Massachusetts is different than the rest of the country and mostly hidden under the surface and in our minds, attitudes and personalities. Despite these differences (or as a result of them), pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Pickleball Differences – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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