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Home / Montgomery County’s first outdoor public beach tennis court at Nike Missile Local Park

Montgomery County’s first outdoor public beach tennis court at Nike Missile Local Park

Home / Montgomery County’s first outdoor public beach tennis court at Nike Missile Local Park

WHEATON, Md. – Montgomery Parks announces the first public, outdoor beach tennis court in Montgomery County located at Nike Missile Local Park in Gaithersburg. A new adjustable net system allows the sand court to accommodate both beach tennis and volleyball. Beach tennis combines elements of traditional tennis, badminton, and beach volleyball.

“This adjustable net system is going to be a unique amenity that allows the sand court at Nike Missile to be shared by different sports groups. Most sand courts in the county park system only accommodate volleyball. The net at Nike Missile can be lowered for beach tennis and then raised for volleyball,” said Chuck Kines, park planner. 

Nike Missile Local Park was selected as the first beach tennis court in the park system due to the availability of the volleyball court and ample parking. The sand court at Nike Missile Local Park is first-come first-served. Players will not be able to reserve or permit the court.

A brief history of beach tennis

Beach tennis originated in Italy in the 1970s and has gradually gained popularity in North and South America. The game uses balls like tennis balls but are softer with lower compression, and solid paddles that are larger than pickleball but smaller than tennis racquets. The sport is usually played as doubles and is easy to learn. Courts are usually sand, but the sport can be played on any surface. The ball is volleyed in the air and cannot bounce on the sand or ground.  Score keeping is identical to traditional tennis. Beach tennis is a social game, like pickleball, and is accessible to players of all ages, skill levels, and abilities.

The sport is most popular in Italy, Spain and Brazil and has an estimated 1 million players globally. According to the International Tennis Association, 35 nations hosted beach tennis tournaments in 2023 with players from more than 75 nations competing in the world tour. There are only a few public outdoor beach tennis courts in Maryland, mostly on the Eastern Shore.

About Nike Missile Local Park

This 18.3-acre park sits on the site of a former Nike Missile site transferred from the National Park Service to M-NCPPC in 1997. In addition to the beach tennis/volleyball court, the park has basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer and softball fields and a playground.

About Montgomery Parks 

Montgomery Parks manages more than 37,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 419 parks.  Montgomery Parks is focused on promoting physical activity, social connectivity, and environmental stewardship, especially in diverse and urbanizing areas, with an emphasis on teens, working-age adults, and seniors. Montgomery Parks is a department of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other parks systems. MontgomeryParks.org


Montgomery Parks, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, encourages and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities. Please contact the Program Access Office at 301-495-2581 (Voice/TTY), MD Relay 7-1-1 or 800-552-7724 or ProgramAccess@MontgomeryParks.org to request a disability modification. Visit Montgomery Parks Program Access for more information.