BERLIN, Md. – The sweet sound of pickleballs popping off paddles may soon be heard more frequently around Berlin. Town officials are looking to calm residents’ pickleball fever by bringing more dedicated courts to parks.
“So many people want to play,” said Town Councilman Jay Knerr. “They want to play at a court that’s close by.”
Pickleball’s popularity has exploded nationally in recent years. Berlin has not been immune to the craze, with 50% more local players taking up paddles over the past year. But Berlin’s few courts have left pickleball diehards in a pickle.
Knerr said the town aims to fill the community’s pickleball void. The plan calls for new pickleball lines to be painted on the four tennis courts at Stephen Decatur Park. Berlin also may convert some existing tennis courts fully over to pickleball.
The additions would let Berlin join the nationwide pickleball party. The new courts would provide more locals a chance to leap into the growing sport.
“I think it’s time for Berlin to jump on board as well,” Knerr said.
The Berlin Pickleball Collective club enthusiastically endorses more courts. The group holds tournaments and lessons to promote pickleball. More playing spaces could attract new members.
The town will survey residents’ interest before finalizing plans. But the Pickleball Collective and the Berlin Town Council already seem sold on the idea.
Knerr estimates new markings could run $1,000-$2,000. But taxpayers will be spared the brine thanks to a community fundraising drive. Berlin-based We Heart Berlin launched the pickleball court campaign.
With community support, new courts could be ready by spring 2024. That would allow Berlin to host full-fledged pickleball play.