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A closer look at Clemson Pickleball

Kyle Compton // Courtesy
Clemson Pickelball had over 1,000 students sign up at Tiger Prowl.

Friendly competition, regional tournament wins, and a great social environment surround the reputation of the Clemson Pickleball team, driving the club to become an increasingly popular group on campus.

For the 2022-2023 school year, the Clemson Pickleball club had about 500 members. At the beginning of the 2023 fall semester, the club saw more than a double increase in sign-ups for the club, with about 1,000 Clemson students signing up at the University’s annual Tiger Prowl.

I interviewed the president of Clemson’s Pickleball club, Kyle Compton, to learn more about the extracurriculars growing more and more popular amongst Clemson students as they gear up for their nationals competition in November.

Compton, who was elected president of the pickleball club last May, has been dedicated to making pickleball a part of his Clemson experience. When asked to explain what specific aspects of the sport make the activity so fun, he answered it was “mainly because the skill level is so low and the learning curve is so small. If you and I were to go out right now and play, you would have fun.”

Compton also confirmed the stereotype that pickleball can be a sport for everyone, varying in age and athletic ability. When asked if he would agree with sport’s versatility, Compton told The Tiger: “I do. I definitely do. It’s definitely one of the easier sports, you don’t run as much, the skill gap is smaller, and it’s accessible. It’s not very taxing.”

According to Compton, pickleball has become popular amongst Clemson Students because the club is a “mix of being a social club on top of there being a friendly competitive environment. You can go out with your friends but also have a competitive game.” He emphasized the usefulness of the club if you want to meet new people; “my closest friends I met through Clemson pickleball”.

Compton would describe the overall environment of a Clemson Pickleball club meeting as “Pretty laid back, and social, but also competitive in a friendly way. If you want to go out there to make friends and talk you totally can, but if you want to play a competitive match you can.”

It’s fair to say that last year, Kyle Compton had a great first year as a member of the Clemson Pickleball club. He helped the team secure their regional collegiate tournament win in March and will be leading the team through their next challenge: the DUPR collegiate national championships being held in November.

Compton has many hopes for this year: “I hope we do well at nationals. I think we have a chance at winning, at least getting semis, hopefully. I would also like to do more tournaments against other schools. I also want us to reach out and get some brand deals for the club.” However, at the top of his list of wants for the club; getting courts on campus.

When asked why having access to on-campus pickleball courts was at the top of his agenda, Compton responded that for “every reason in the book” the pickleball club should have courts located on campus. The Clemson pickleball players have to drive twenty-five minutes away from campus to get to practices. “A lot of people want to play pickleball, but they can’t because they don’t have a car to drive over to the practice courts, and it gets expensive to rent out the courts” Compton explains.

If you want to support the Clemson Pickleball team, you can stream the DUPR collegiate national championships on November 17 through 18 on YouTube.

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About the Contributor
Caroline James Warner
Caroline James Warner, Asst. TimeOut Editor
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  • M

    MikeOct 5, 2023 at 8:29 am

    The fastest growing sport, especially at the college level, Clemson needs on-campus courts to support and develop their largest club. Congrats to Clemson Pickleball for its early tournament success on its way to Nationals! GO TIGERS !

    • L

      LaurieOct 29, 2023 at 8:18 am

      Definitely! The city / university are collaborating on some at Nettles Park – but the wheels of progress run slowly. I hope the students will start a hard push for on campus courts soon.