At MECO-Heneghan Engineers, LLC (MHE), we love pickleball almost as much as we love civil engineering and land surveying. That’s why this sport is perfect for us: It lets us do it all!

Last year, we worked with the Village of Godfrey to design pickleball courts at the Robert E. Glazebrook Community Park in Godfrey, Illinois. Godfrey’s courts are usually filled with players, and more cities are planning to build pickleball courts as the sport grows.

When we aren’t building courts, we’re playing on them. Chris Hargan, a project engineer at MHE, is an avid pickleball player. As our co-manager Ronnie Paul says, “Chris will undoubtedly be on the podium once pickleball becomes an Olympic sport.” We believe in Chris…even though he confides that he recently lost a game to a 75-year-old. But that’s the fun of the sport! People of all ages enjoy pickleball, and Chris loves to play with anyone who’s up to the challenge. He also appreciates that people are often happy to chitchat and get to know each other while playing this fun, inclusive game.

Chris tried pickleball after he started work on the Glazebrook Park project. “I designed the courts, I might as well try to play the sport,” he says. Now more passionate than ever, Chris is excited to talk about his experience as a pickleball athlete — and how MHE can help you bring pickleball to your community, too.

Top 10 Things to Know About Pickleball

  • Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country!
  • The game was created in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, Washington, by three dads who were trying to entertain their bored children.
  • The game’s namesake, Pickles the dog, loved to run across the court and chase after the ball.
  • Pickleball is a court game that combines elements of several different sports (namely, tennis, ping-pong and badminton). It’s played with a paddle designed for pickleball and a ball that looks like a wiffle ball. A pickleball court resembles a tennis court but has the dimensions of a badminton court.
  • Since the court isn’t huge like a tennis court, the amount of running back and forth and up and down a court is very minimal. That’s why it’s easy for young kids to get the hang of, as well as people in their 50s, 60s and 70s. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout. The game is played very quickly, so your reflexes are working overtime. You’ll get a good sweat in and have fun at the same time.
  • The hardest part about playing pickleball is finding a court to play on.
  • MHE believes that more communities will adopt pickleball as the sport becomes more popular. There are a few pickleball courts in the region, but players like Chris hope to see additional courts built in the coming years. Until then, Chris recently set up a game in the MHE parking lot and taught us how to play. We can attest to his skills — he won!
  • The Village of Godfrey only intended to build four courts with a plan to eventually expand to eight. But they got such positive feedback from the community (and a great price!) that they decided to build all eight pickleball courts at once.
  • The pickleball courts were only a part of the Glazebrook Park project. Now when you go to the park, you can play pickleball, lounge under new pavilions or take a dip in the Godfrey Splash Pad, all of which were designed by MHE.
  • MHE can help you learn this new sport because we have employees who play! We can also help you with planning and design to bring one of the fastest growing and inclusive sports to your community. If you have any questions or just want to play a game, give us a call at 636-395-7055 or check out our website here.