Pickleball is a game that many have grown to love and even become obsessed with. That’s why it’s so exciting that our favorite game has a fun new twist that is catching on across the country. Glow in the dark pickleball means the fun on the court doesn’t stop at dusk.
Glow pickleball has gained popularity recently, and while it’s still mostly used in casual play, a few glow-in-the-dark tournaments are popping up. Whether you’re looking for some serious competition or just want to get your friends excited about some pickleball night play at your next summer pickleball party, this way of playing is so much fun, and we think you’re going to agree.
Playing Glow In the Dark Pickleball
Glow-in-the-dark pickleball, or simply “glow pickleball,” is a different, more upbeat spin on a traditional pickleball match. It involves playing in an unlit environment that’s brought to life with a glow-in-the-dark court, equipment, and accessories. If it’s dark enough, then you can play at night, but some games are also played indoors, where there’s more control over the lighting.
While the courts are the same and feel familiar, glow pickleball plays with your vision which adds some unique challenges and fun to the game. Plus, there’s usually some great high-energy music in the background, which is definitely a deviation from what we see on typical pickleball courts.
There are glow pickleball tournaments, but adding the glow element is something that’s easy to do on your own pickleball court or community courts without doing any permanent damage to the surfaces.
The rules aren’t different, so if you can play pickleball during the day, you can do it in the dark too! If you’re interested in trying this fun, new pickleball trend, here’s a rundown of the special equipment you’ll need.
Glow In The Dark Pickleball Balls
Once the sun starts to set, it becomes really easy to miss the ball on the pickleball court. Even though pickleball balls are usually a solid bright, or fluorescent color, they still can’t be seen very well once the sun goes down. The solution is a glow-in-the-dark pickleball ball.
Most of the balls used on courts are made of glow-in-the-dark material. In order to use these, they will need to be exposed to a source of light, often for several hours, to make sure the brightness last throughout the game.
Another solution came when a man named Corky Newcomb entered the market. As the maker of glow-in-the-dark golf balls, he applied the technology to pickleball (although he gives significant credit to his friend, NHL executive, arena football league manager, and pickleball enthusiast Billy McGehee for giving him the idea).
His Lite4Nite pickleball balls use a mini glow stick that’s inserted into the ball, offering balls that don’t need any light or sun to show up on the court. Additional glowing sticks are sold separately, but you do get some included in the price when you purchase the set of balls.
However, the downside to this ball is that even though the glowing stick is small, it does seem to cause a bit of uneven weight distribution, which can affect the bounce of the ball. Some users have left a review that also says these balls don’t give off a strong light, which can make them easy to miss on the pickleball court.
Because of this, most tournaments and casual players use regular glow-in-the-dark pickleball balls.
How They Work
With your standard glow-in-the-dark pickleballs, you need to place the balls under a light source for several hours for them to “charge.” Many manufacturers suggest at least four to six hours in direct sun or a little longer if they’re outside in an area without direct sunlight. Some sets also include a flashlight that can be used to activate the glowing properties.
Most glow-in-the-dark pickleballs are green, without a ton of color variation to choose from.
Best Glow In the Dark Pickleball Balls
Black lights are essential for this type of pickleball. The blacklight is what activates the glowing properties of the balls and the lines, creating a fun visual effect. As far as price goes, blacklights are probably the most expensive component in building a glow-in-the-dark court.
Long-throw blacklights are best for use on the court. You can mount each blacklight on a pole at the corner of the court. For a single court, two poles that are diagonal from each other should be sufficient. For multiple courts, using four lights (one at each corner of the entire court surface) should be sufficient.
Do You Need a Special Paddle
You do not need a special paddle to play, especially if you’re in a tournament with paddle regulations. You’re not going to be able to modify your paddle too much, but if you want a little glowing action, you can always add a little green, pink, or yellow glow tape to the handle.
Glow In The Dark Pickleball Courts
Finally, it all comes down to the courts you’re on. The only real modification needed to a regular pickleball court is the addition of glow tape to the court lines. It’s fun to use different colors, like green, pink, yellow, blue, or whatever available color brings you the most joy! The tape doesn’t cost much money, so this is a pretty easy modification.
For the lines and to outline the nets, you want to use tape with a wider width. Tape that measures 3/4 -inch to 1-inch is ideal.
If you’re holding an event at a public property, make sure you check with the city or department in charge of parks before you make any modifications, even if they’re temporary. Trust us. You’ll be glad that you did, and you’ll avoid any potential headaches – which is a good thing!
What You Need
So you have your glow-in-the-dark pickleballs, you made sure to stock up on tape, and you have your lights and a place to play. These are the basics, and at this point, you could just head out with your friends and play.
However, it’s also fun to add a little flair to your attire and accessories. You can add tape to your paddle, shoes, or hat if you’re wearing one. It’s also fun to add other accessories, like necklaces or bracelets, or shoelaces. Have fun with it, no matter what your age!
Glow In The Dark Pickleball Videos
Grab your glowing pickleball balls, and have some fun on the courts. Whether it’s a tournament or you just want to try out the new glow sport that’s dominating the news, we hope you have a great time! Check back often for more pickleball news, tips, and up-to-date advice on the newest pickleball gear.