The Rise of Pickleball in Minnetonka

Kate Feist, Staff Writer

To most, the recent rapid growth of pickleball is quite apparent. Community pickle ball courts have been popping up in parks, new leagues and clubs have formed, reality TV shows have aired and the building formerly hosting the “Big Thrill Factory” will now become “Mega Pickle Minnetonka”, opening in the fall of 2023.

Pickleball is a game with simple rules that can be learned quickly. With pickleball’s new found fame, many Minnetonka students and staff have tried the newly rediscovered paddle sport. 

The sport has become so popular because of “the ease of access,” said Pickleball club member Henry Arndt, ‘25. With newly built courts both indoor and outdoors, it is not hard to find a time to play. Pickleball is a fun sport for all ages and skill levels and has developed into a popular sport for anyone who is interested. 

As far as sports go, pickleball is relatively. The sport was created in 1965 as a game that families could play together., and today, it’s simple, fast paced and has a short learning curve. The rules are based mostly on badminton. Games are typically played to eleven, win by two, and only the serving player/team can win points. When the servers lose a point though, the serving team switches.

The Minnetonka Pickleball Club formed at the start of the 2021-2022 school year just as pickleball was gaining wider popularity. This year, the small club has started to go on trips to play. They currently play every Tuesday after school at the “Mega Pickle and Pong” in Chanhassen, but will move to the “Mega Pickle” in Minnetonka right down the street once it opens. 

“Anyone can play,” said pickleball club member Byron Hustad ‘24. “And the people you play with make it fun,” added Zion Brolsma, ‘26.

The Minnetonka pickleball club plays fun, non-competitive matches. The community and social aspect built around pickleball makes it that much more fun to play. With the rise of pickleball showing little sign of slowing down, one can only imagine where the sport will go.