Is It Safe To Play Pickleball Outside?

Is It Safe to Play Pickleball Outside?

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Pickleball is a fun and easy-to-play sport that has gained popularity, especially among older adults. It requires agility and quick thinking but can also pose some serious risks. One question that many people ask is whether it is safe to play pickleball outside. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of playing pickleball outside and how to stay safe while doing so.

The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Pickleball

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. It is played with a paddle and a plastic ball on a court that is about one-third the size of a tennis court. Pickleball is easy to learn and can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.

However, pickleball also comes with some serious risks. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Pickleball has a quick pace and a lot of stops and starts, so there is a risk of falls and overuse injuries”[]. Injuries can range from sprains and strains to fractures and concussions.

Playing Pickleball Indoors vs. Outdoors: Benefits and Drawbacks

Whether to play pickleball indoors or outdoors is a personal preference. The great thing about pickleball is that it can be played any time of year, regardless of outside temperature[]. However, each option has its benefits and drawbacks.

Benefits of Playing Pickleball Outside

Exposure to Sunlight and Fresh Air

Playing pickleball outside allows you to get some much-needed sunlight and fresh air. Sunlight is important because it provides vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones and overall health. Fresh air can also help improve your mood and reduce stress.

More Space and Better Scenery

Outdoor pickleball courts tend to be larger than indoor courts, providing more space for players to move around. Additionally, outdoor courts often have better scenery, such as trees and other natural elements, which can make the game more enjoyable.

Drawbacks of Playing Pickleball Outside

Weather Hazards

Weather hazards are a common risk when playing pickleball outside. Severe weather, such as lightning, thunderstorms, or extreme heat, can pose serious risks to players[]. It’s important to pay attention to weather forecasts and to avoid playing during extreme weather conditions.

Uneven Playing Surface

Outdoor pickleball courts may have uneven surfaces, such as cracks or bumps, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to wear proper footwear to avoid slips and falls.

How to Stay Safe While Playing Pickleball Outside

Here are some tips to stay safe while playing pickleball outside:

Wear Protective Gear

Wearing proper protective gear, such as athletic shoes, knee pads, and elbow pads, can help prevent injuries. Protective gear can cushion falls and reduce the risk of sprains, strains, or fractures. It’s also essential to wear clothing that is breathable and comfortable.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial when playing pickleball outside, especially in hot weather. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the game to prevent dehydration. Avoid sugary drinks or alcohol, which can dehydrate you faster.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

When playing pickleball outside, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to other players, obstacles on the court, and potential hazards, such as uneven surfaces or weather conditions. Stay focused on the game and avoid distractions that can lead to injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you play pickleball outside during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, but it’s important to follow the guidelines set by health authorities, such as wearing a mask and social distancing[].

Is it safe to play pickleball outside in extreme heat?

It’s best to avoid playing pickleball in extreme heat to prevent heatstroke and other heat-related illnesses[].

What type of shoes should I wear when playing pickleball outside?

It’s recommended to wear athletic shoes with good traction and support to prevent slips and falls[].

Can pickleball be played on any surface outside?

Pickleball can be played on a variety of outdoor surfaces, including concrete, asphalt, and even grass[].

How long can a game of pickleball last?

A game of pickleball typically lasts between 20-30 minutes, depending on the skill level of the players and the game format[].


Pickleball is a fun and easy-to-play sport that can be played indoors or outdoors. While playing pickleball outside has its benefits, it also comes with some serious risks. Weather hazards and uneven playing surfaces can increase the risk of injuries. To stay safe while playing pickleball outside, it’s essential to wear protective gear, stay hydrated, and be aware of your surroundings. By following these tips, you can enjoy the game while reducing the risk of injuries.

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