Butler is adding four new pickleball courts to the north side of the Sellick Bowl, between the Tennis Bubble and Apartment Village. Construction will begin in May following Commencement and will be completed in July. The cost of the new pickleball courts is being covered by a gift from an anonymous donor.

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the nation and combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Like tennis, pickleball can be played by singles or doubles. While pickleball’s popularity was already growing prior to 2020, it exploded during the pandemic as people sought outdoor and socially distanced activities.

“These pickleball courts will be a great addition to Butler’s already robust physical well-being offerings,” Dr. Frank E. Ross, III, Vice President for Student Affairs, said. “Pickleball is a great social game; it’s fun and easy to learn. It’s also good for your health. It’s low impact, improves cardiovascular fitness, and studies show its positive impact on mental health. I think our students are going to love having the opportunity for more pickleball on campus.”

Liam Donahue, a junior majoring in biology and health sciences, is an avid pickleball player who helped start an official Pickleball Club for Butler students. “I’m thrilled at the opportunity these courts would provide for the club,” Donahue said. “They’ll give us the chance to expand the club and will improve the mental and physical well-being of the students on campus.”

Faculty and staff have been playing pickleball this semester with matches held in the Health and Recreation Complex, and 16 student teams participated in the recent HRC pickleball tournament. Additionally, students enrolled in PWB 131: Pickleball have been developing skills and learning to play by rules governed by USA Pickleball and the International Federation of Pickleball.

Butler’s new pickleball courts will be gated and available for students, faculty, and staff. Though operating hours have not been set, the courts will have LED lighting for those who want to play after dark. Student Affairs will communicate updates about our pickleball offerings with the campus community as the fall semester begins.

To learn more about this growing sport, visit USA Pickleball.