I have been strictly forbidden to write about the pickleball courts on the Wichita State University campus because people were afraid that the courts would get too busy much like how Seneca Park and Edgemoor Park are now constantly busy with players during the prime playing hours. However, I’m a firm believer that information should be freely shared with everyone so that everyone may benefit. We cannot grow the sport by keeping secrets from one another. The way to grow pickleball is by sharing all of our knowledge and resources and by working together to engage the players in our community through programs that introduce new players to the sport but also help existing players who wish to get better advance their skill.
We need to make sure that players continue to play and the courts stay busy in order to encourage our community to continue investing in pickleball. Having more places to play is crucial to the growth of the sport. And, as more courts are added, we need to use them to fuel further investment.
The pickleball courts were unveiled last fall and have been available for public use since November 2021. However, I didn’t get to experience playing on the courts myself until March of this year. It was love at first sight!
To be fair, I haven’t visited every single pickleball court in our city but these are the most beautiful courts I have ever seen. The space was very well thought out. There are four pickleball courts that are individually fenced so you rarely get stray balls wandering onto your court during play. There’s plenty of room around each court for advanced pickleball shots like Ernes and ATPs. There’s a large area in the middle that runs North-South for those who aren’t playing to hang out and socialize. But the pickleball courts’ best feature of all is the lights, which means you can play in the evenings when temperatures are much cooler. These courts are currently the only lighted pickleball courts that are free for public use. (There are still — to this day — no lights at Seneca or Edgemoor.)
You have to check out the pickleball courts at WSU because, until you do, you won’t understand why I am so enamored with them. I know the WSU campus can be quite overwhelming with all the new buildings (it looks way different than it did when I went to college there nearly 20 years ago) but the pickleball courts are actually relatively easy to find. If you enter from Yale Avenue or Mike Oatman Drive off 21st Street and drive along Perimeter Road, you can miss them. If you’re on Perimeter, they’re located on the South side of the street, nestled between the Hestkett Center and Wilkins Stadium (the softball field). Incidentally, these two structures provide the perfect amount of shade throughout the day and the only time the courts aren’t shaded is when the sun is directly above. At 6 PM, the two courts on the West side (closest to the Heskett Center) are shaded and by the 7 PM the building’s shadow has shaded all of the courts. This is true at least during this time of the year.
Above is a map that shows exactly where the courts are located on the WSU campus and the best places to park. As you can see, there’s plenty of parking available. Restrooms, however, are a more scarce. With the exception of a couple of places, I think you run into lack of restrooms no matter where you go.
Here’s a map that depicts the closest restrooms to my knowledge. The WSU Heskett Center‘s hours are limited when classes are not in session but the Steve Clark YMCA and Ablah Library are good options. This Google satellite view is a bit dated (it doesn’t show the Steve Clark YMCA) but it’s great for those who are YMCA members. I also heard from a reliable source that the library is open until midnight when classes are in session.
This is highlight video I made from the DUPR Match Sessions that were held at WSU over the weekend. It will give you a sense for what the courts are like. I highly recommend checking them out for yourself, though. And if you have played on the WSU courts, let us know your thoughts in the comments.