Pickleball Courts Ready for Play in Riverside Lions Park


Riverside Lions Park is the site of the City Parks Department’s newest recreation facility – a Pickleball Park. After seeing the popularity of indoor play, the decision was made to create the courts on a trial basis to determine the popularity of the sport that is growing nationally. Located on the asphalt pad formerly the home of the temporary skate park, the new amenity has four courts, ready for pickleball players, old and new to enjoy.

A racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis, pickleball originated in the 1960’s when a family and friends improvised a game using available equipment from the three sports. Today, the game is played using solid paddles, made of wood or composite materials, to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages, due to the size of the court and the kind of equipment.

The Parks Department and the Northfield Public Schools Community Services has teamed up this summer to encourage and support use of the park. Recreation Coordinator Melissa Bernhard says,

“We are still looking for players to join the Wednesday night league, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. You don't have to have a partner to play, as team groupings are determined by the previous week's scores. Paddles and balls will be available, but we encourage folks to bring their own.”

The designated time of plan for no fee is 9-11, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday until September first. Bernhard notes, “Come at the designated time of play and you’ll surely find others wanting to hit back and forth or start up a match.” In addition, the park is open daily for all until the city’s park closing hour, 10:00 p.m. Bernhard adds that paddles and balls can be borrowed from Community Services, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, 507/664-3502.