What is Pickleball, and why is it becoming so popular?

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.



Pickleball is making a huge appearance in the United States

Katerina Quill, Staff Writer

Pickleball is an indoor/outdoor court sport played with a paddle and a hollow plastic ball. The sport is a mix of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton. You can play singles, which is against one opponent. You can also play doubles which is another teammate and yourself against two opponents. In Pickleball you have to hit the ball over the net and it is only allowed to bounce once. Pickleball was first played in 1965. Pickleball is a sport everyone should learn! 

Many kids even enjoy Pickleball as well. (Daniel Kim)

Pickleball has had a rapid increase in popularity. More than 36.5 million people played Pickleball from August 2021-2022. Participation grew by 159% in the last 3 years, making it the fastest sport in the U.S. Pickleball is most popular in California and in Florida. Studies show Pickleball is mostly common with people ages 18-34.

Why exactly is this sport so popular and why do so many people enjoy it? The increase in popularity is mostly due to the ease of play. Pickleball is easy to learn and the equipment is low cost. It’s a relaxing, low-pressure sport that doesn’t require as much movement as tennis simply because the court is smaller (less ground to cover). The paddles and Pickleballs are generally lighter as well, making the ball travel a lot slower. 

Pickleball took a positive turn during the Pandemic. More than a million Americans started playing Pickleball during the Pandemic. COVID 19 prevented people from playing traditional team sports, so many people decided to play Pickleball. This is mostly due to the fact that you can exercise and stay healthy while maintaining distance from other people.

Pickleball is a sport everyone should learn!

Pickleball is also played at the professional level! Pro-Pickleball players earn about $47,468 a year. Ben Johns is the highest paid Pickleball player with $146,325 earned. The average age for a pro player is 38 years old, which is very surprising.  Becoming a professional Pickleball player is not easy, but it is definitely achievable.

As you know now, Pickleball is very popular in the U.S. and many businesses are even starting to catch on. There is an outdoor restaurant called Chicken N Pickle located across the U.S. that serves food and even has Pickleball courts within the restaurant property. Guests can also play ping-pong, corn hole, and Battleship. 

Did you know Pickleball was named after a dog named Pickles? Pickles belonged to Joel Pritchard, who was one of the founders of Pickleball.

Every U.S. state has a Pickleball court(s). Pickleball can be adapted for wheelchair users, and is commonly known as WheelchairPickleball.  Pickleball has been around for 50 years, and research shows Pickleball can relieve stress.

Pickleball paddles have a solid face instead of strings. (LUXE.)

Last but not least,  you can actually fit almost four pickleball courts onto a single tennis court, which truly displays just how small each court is.

Overall, Pickleball is a fairly easy sport to try out, and I definitely recommend playing it. The sport is relaxing with a competitive aspect, which is why so many people, and myself enjoy playing it! Anyone can play too! You don’t have to be super athletic, which is a major factor as to why people are starting to pick up the sport!