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Pandemic spurs interest in backyard sports courts in Las Vegas

Racquet sports like tennis and badminton have been around forever. But pickleball?

Don’t kid yourself. The number of Americans playing pickleball increased by 22 percent in 2020, and there are 45 international pickleball associations in 37 countries overseen by the International Federation of Pickleball.

Miles Reynolds has been busy building pickleball courts throughout Southern Nevada. He is the owner of Sport Court Las Vegas that designs and builds indoor and outdoor courts.

“It’s the fastest-growing sport in the nation,” he said, “and is requested more frequently than tennis. The game is very social and only uses about 25 percent of the space of a full tennis court. And the best part is that all age groups can play the game.”

Reynolds believes backyard courts have become popular because of COVID-19.

“It slowed everyone down and made us realize what matters most,” he said. “There is nothing better than spending time with family and friends in the safety and comfort of your own backyard.”

Reynolds said most people who call him don’t believe they have enough space for a court. He tells them they don’t need a large space.

“I ask what kind of games he or she is interested in playing and this gets us into a conversation about overall space and options such as surface, night lights, fencing and colors,” he said. “No matter how specific someone wants their courts, we can do it because we’re experts in sports construction. We understand slopes and how to fit concrete to surface and where anchors go. Our courts have traction and true ball bounce.”

Reynolds said the majority of the courts he builds are the basic size for basketball, pickleball, volleyball and other variations of games including hockey and soccer. The next most popular multipurpose court is 25 feet by 25 feet. Depending on the size, as many as 10 games can be formatted to the court.

One of the more extreme projects he completed was in Henderson where a regulation tennis court was built outside for a custom home and then a few steps away a regulation basketball court was built inside the home.

Reynolds explained that the versatile Sport Court surface is safe and not abrasive, can take the summer heat, is easy on knees and ankles, and is easy to maintain.

“We do it all from start to finish and can even put a logo on the court,” he said. “We have done quite a few with the Vegas Golden Knights and UNLV logos. I’m proud to say that the courts we built in the ’80s are still fully functional with the original surface and components. We have children playing on the same courts their parents grew up on.”

A backyard court can also make a house a popular center of attention as it becomes a place where neighborhood children gather for fun and exercise.

“My own personal court is the most popular place in the neighborhood,” Reynolds said. “Whenever we do a get-together with friends, they always want to do it at our house. That way, we always know where our kids and their friends are, and they’re getting out of their bedrooms for exercise and away from all the technology that keeps them indoors.

“Childhood obesity is a problem in this country and a backyard court encourages exercise, especially when it’s right out your backdoor. It’s a magnet for everyone.”

A number of Las Vegas homes have bocce courts. A regulation court is 91 feet by 13 feet but can be designed to fit whatever size fits in the backyard. There is no specific court surface as long as there are no permanent or temporary obstructions in the court that would interfere with the straight line delivery of a ball from any direction.

Cornhole is another fun summer game. Most people just take their cornhole game and put the boards a guesstimated distance apart and start playing. But having an actual court makes it more fun.

“We’re often called to convert a tennis court into a multicourt complex,” Reynolds said. “This can be done. For example, tennis courts can be easily divided into four pickleball courts so multiple games can occur simultaneously. Whatever the situation, adjustments can be made to specific needs.”

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