FALCON RECREATION CENTER (INDOORS)
The Falcon Recreation Center is in the northeast corner of Palatine, located directly behind the Toyota dealership on the corner of Rand Road (Rt 12) and Hicks Road. It’s address is 2195 N Hicks Road. The phone number is 847-202-5111. There are six courts, and balls are provided.
Now, due to COVID, six courts became four. Reservations must be made a day in advance for
one of two, two-hour sessions. Masks must be worn, whenever in the building. Six players
will be assigned a specific court and must stay on/beside it for the entire two hours. Each
player must bring a ball and touch only that one throughout the session.
Sessions are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Noon to 2:00 and 2:30 to 4:30. The fee is
$5 for everyone. There’s also a $40 10-play pass that never expires.
Our indoor season runs from
early October. We have 8:00 to Noon sessions for Players 50+ on Monday and Friday. Players are assigned their games so everyone should have a good and competitive time. Newcomers will be asked to evaluate their experience or level, to help in their first court assignment. After that court managers will have an idea of how to pair each player who’s new to this gym.
On Wednesday, anyone at least 18 years of age can play. On these days a “next four paddles” approach is used, though players can create their own groups, by putting their paddles at the end of the line.
The fee for Monday and Friday is $6 for everyone, with $50/resident & $60/non-resident, 10-play passes that never expires is available. Your first visit will be free, if you identify yourself as a first-timer. Wednesdays at Falcon & all Birchwood sessions (see below) are $4 for everyone, with $30/resident & $40/non-resident, 10-play passes that never expires is available.
BIRCHWOOD PARK (INDOORS)
Birchwood Park has three courts, two of which are available during the pandemic. It’s a nicely lit
gym with no glare and few extra lines. Birchwood is in the southwest corner of Palatine, at 435 W
Illinois St . The phone number is 847-991-1960.
The sessions are Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 to 1:30 and from 1:45 to 3:45. The fee is
$5 for everyone. There’s also a $40 10-play pass that never expires.
HARPER COLLEGE (INDOORS)
Located in the far southwest corner of town, up to six courts may be found in Bldg M. Enter from
Algonquin Rd. It’s the first building on your left. You’ll enter through the same door as the health
facility uses, but turn right to get to the sports desk. It’s $5 per visit. As this is being written late
February, 2021, there was not yet any pickleball on the COVID schedule.
Having opened late June, 2019, Palatine now boasts what many believe to be the finest, flattest, and, certainly, best-looking courts in the Northwest suburbs. Located at 1037 N Smith Street in Palatine (across from Sundling Jr High), the six-courts are in two, adjacent cages. The three on the south are for recreational players, while the three on the north are for more competitive players. Anyone can go wherever he/she wishes to play, but if one wins or loses three, consecutive
games, it’s time to move to the other cage.
At each cage there are two PVC slotted tubes which hang near the doors of each cage. When
a game ends, winners put their paddles on the “In” side of the winners’ tube. Losers put
theirs on the “In” side of the lower rack designated for those who just lost. When a court
opens, someone calls out the next four names (those at the “out” end of the tube) in the tube
bearing a clothespin He/she then moves the clothespin to the other tube. Names should be
upside down on both sides of one’s paddle near the handle. Picklers then go one at a time to
get their paddles and proceed to the open court. In pre-COVID days the first to the tubes
would remove the appropriate four paddles near the “Out” end of the “next up” tube. (The
clothespin is then moved from that tube to the other one indicating from which tube the next
four paddles will be removed.) and hand them to their owners.
Also, when a court opens those still playing move their game to the east. This reduces the congestion around the entry door and paddle racks.
TIMES: The cages are never locked so play is possible from early morning until 10:00 p.m. when the lights shut off. Expect Picklers to be on the courts EVERY day of the week throughout summer and well into fall, from 8:30 to 11:30 or so. Also, every evening finds Picklers there from 7:00 to
Currently, the only “reserved” time for a specific group is Monday morning when the two
easternmost courts in the competitive cage are for 4.5+ level players who are scheduled to play on
specific days. If you’re of that level and would like to participate with this group, email us at
PalatinePicklers@gmail.com with your name, phone, and level. We’ll have that group’s Scheduler
get back to you.
Windscreens are installed on the West and North sides. Wind from the East is rare, and wind
from the south makes play morechallenging. There is a storage box outside the South door.
Balls used to be kept for Picklers to use as needed, but n these COVID times, each player
must have his/her own ball and touch only that ball. The bottoms of nets are raised, to make
it easy to “putt” balls back to their owners. Donations for club expenses can be anonymously put
in the purple Crown Royal bag which hangs on the “Bear Chair” outsisde the rec cage virtually
SYCAMORE PARK (OUTDOORS)
This two pickleball and one, multi-use tennis court facility is located at the corner of Carpenter and
Clark Streets. Now that Hamilton courts are open and popular, Sycamore gets any morning
overflow. Throughout the summer, Wednesday mornings see these courts reserved for our free
mentoring sessions from 8:30 to noon.
In past years we have scheduled open play here Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 2:00 to
4:00 or later and Sunday 4:00 to 6:00 or later. As popular as these sessions have been in prior
years, Hamilton is having an impact on these so consider them hit or miss, and we don’t know
what impact the pandemic will have on these sessions … just show up at the starting time, not
15 minutes later, or others may have already shown up, given up, and left.
A storage box just outside the fence historically contained balls, chair/s, a flag to mount for wind
direction, and, perhaps a paddle or two for loan while on the courts. Of course, during the
pandemic, you must bring your own balls and paddle.
LOCUST PARK (OUTDOORS)
This Morris Street facility is identical to Sycamore Park, except for not having a fountain or
temporary toilet. The club has provided balls that we keep in a small box hanging on the inside of
the entry gate. Again, these aren’t available during the pandemic. Donations for balls, etc. are
If Bear and his Bear Chair aren’t playing where you are, you can email us at
PalatinePicklers@gmail.com and we’ll send you instructions for mailing a check or accessing
our PayPal account.
There are no set times for our play at Locust.