Racquet Sports & Bocce Ball

Meridian Hills’ six clay courts, two hard courts, three paddle courts and 4 pickle ball courts and have the reputation as some of the best in Indianapolis. Ludo Aaron has been the Tennis Professional at Meridian Hills for over 15 years. He previously held national ranking in Great Britain, and was a top 10 junior play in Great Britain. He left England and came to Butler University on a full tennis scholarship in 1990. Ludo played number 1 for four years and received the MVP award three of his four years. After Butler, Ludo went on the tour and played the pro circuit in Portugal before returning to America to pursue a teaching career in tennis. Ludo has been the driving force for bringing Paddle Tennis and Pickleball to Meridian Hills Country Club, and under his reign we’ve seen tremendous growth in the racquet sport programs.
 
You can find all the right equipment at the Pro Shop located inside the Tennis House. Ludo and his professional staff are available for private lessons for all ages.

Tennis

Meridian Hills has six clay courts and two hard courts.  Clay courts are rare in this area and are preferable for the mature player in that the surface is more forgiving to the player’s bones and joints as well as style of play.   Four courts are lit with motion lights.  Throughout the tennis season, between May 1st and October 31st, courts are swept frequently, rolled, watered and lined before any activity.

Paddle Tennis

The Club features three lit Paddle Tennis courts. This is more than any other club in the State.  We currently have approximately 130 members who are active in the paddle program.
 
Paddle tennis is best described as a combination of racquetball, tennis and squash and is growing in popularity in the Midwest. The game is doubles play with a softball and heaters melt ice or snow from the court. The courts are open between early October and the end of March and evening play is available due to our lighted courts. The Tennis House acts as a paddle hut in the winter months and there is a firepit nearby. In 2018 we will have a dedicated paddle hut with excellent viewing of all three courts.
 
Meridian Hills Country Club hosts numerous local and nationally ranked tournaments. Tennis enthusiasts find paddle tennis to be a great alternative sport during the fall and winter months. A City league for ladies and men is also available to join. 

Pickleball

Meridian Hills now has 4 dedicated pickle ball courts.  It is a paddle sport created for all ages and skill levels.  Mixed doubles is becoming a popular event on Friday evenings.

The Basics:

  • A fun sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping pong.
  • Played both indoors or outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.
  • Played with a paddle and a plastic ball. 
  • A Game for Everyone:
    • The USAPA currently estimates there are now over 100,000 players actively playing pickleball.
    • Pickleball facilities are located in all 50 states.
    • Many kids and teenagers play it in physical education classes in middle and high school.
    • Seniors enjoy the social aspects and the ability to stay active in towns and retirement communities.
    • Tennis, racquetball and ping pong players love the competitive nature of the sport and regularly participate in competitive tournaments. 

Brief History:

Pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, WA.  Three dads, Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallun, whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities, are credited for creating the game.  Pickleball has evolved from original handmade equipment and simple rules into a popular sport throughout US and Canada.  The game is growing internationally as well as with many European and Asian countries adding courts. 
 
The pickleball court is the same size as a doubles badminton court, measures 20x44 feet.  In pickleball, the same court is used for both singles and doubles play.  The net height is 36 inches at the sidelines and 34 inches in the middle.  The court is striped similar to a tennis court with right and left service courts and a 7-foot non-volley zone in front of the net (referred to as the kitchen).  Courts can be constructed specifically for pickleball or they can be converted using existing tennis or badminton courts. 

Bocce Ball

Meridian Hills put in 2 Bocce courts in 2016.  The courts are located in one of the most desirable areas of the club with fantastic views of the golf course, a fire pit and an outdoor bar.  A tournament is held at the end of the summer season which more than 150 players participate.  Other mixed events and inter club competitions are frequent aspects of the Bocce program.

Rules:

  • The Bocce Ball Courts are for all members, ages 16 and older.  
  • The courts can be played on a first come, first serve basis.
  • If others are waiting to play, we ask that you limit your play time to 30 minutes.
  • Kids under the age of 16 may play but only with parental supervision on the court.
  • The Bocce balls are stored at behind the bar at the firepit, as well as court grooming brushes.


Rules of Bocce Ball

Coin Toss:

  • Begin the match with the flip of a coin between the captains of each team. The winner of the coin flip has the first toss of the pallino and chooses the color of the team’s balls.
  • If playing the same team in the next game, players must switch ends between games and the winning team throws the pallino to start next game.

 
Pallino Throw:

  • The pallino is the first ball put into play and is thrown underhand from behind the foul line.  The pallino may be bounced off the sideboards.
  • The pallino must end up across the center line and at least 12 inches away from the sideboards or backboard without hitting the backboard.  If a thrower fails to do this, the throw goes to other team.  If the second throw fails to place the pallino into play, the pallino is placed approximately in the center of the hitting foul line at the opposite end of the court in order to speed up play. 
  • Once pallino is in play, the pallino can be knocked anywhere on the court except back over the center line.

Bocce Ball Throws:

  • The initial pallino thrower always throws the first bocce ball.  All balls are thrown underhand.  If the first ball hits the backboard without hitting the pallino first, the ball is removed and the team throws again until they have a ball in play.
  • All bocce balls are thrown from behind the foul line. 
  • Each succeeding ball is thrown by the team that does NOT have the ball closest to the pallino.  A team whose ball ties the opponent’s closest ball must throw again.  The “IN” team only throws if opponents have thrown all 4 balls.
  • Balls may be bounced off or played against sideboards.
  • A ball hitting the backboard without first touching the pallino or another bocce ball is a dead ball and is removed from play. 
  • A bocce ball, for whatever reason, that goes out of the court is a dead ball and is removed from play for that frame.

Scoring:

  • The official score for frame is determined after all 8 balls have been played and measured to the captain’s satisfaction.  One point is awarded for each ball of a team that is closer to the pallino than the opponent’s closest ball (1 to 4 points).
  • The team that scores in the last frame throws the pallino in the next frame and play continues as above.
  • If each team’s closest balls are tied, no score is made and play continues at the opposite end with the team scoring the point(s) in the previous frame delivering the pallino. 
  • The team that first scores 12 points wins the game.