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Pickleball: The Surprising Sensation Sweeping the Sports World


By Stephen Bass

on Apr 13, 2023

Although the sport was invented in the 1960's, pickleball has seen a meteoric rise in the last 2 year. The hybrid of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, pickleball has captured the hear of millions, and it's growth shows no signs of slowing down. In this article we will take a look at the basics of the game, the growth statistics behind its increasing popularity, and WHY it is growing at such a rapid rate!

Pickleball: An Overview

Pickleball is a racket sport played on a court the size of a badminton court with modified tennis net. It is commonly referred to as a combination between tennis and table tennis with strong similarities to both sports. Check out this highlight and we think you will see what we are talking about….

What separates pickleball from its not so distant cousins though, is how easy it is for beginners to learn and enjoy! Although playing at the pro level in pickleball is no easy task, newcomers to the sport are always pleasantly surprised at how quickly they pick up the game! 

If you want to learn more on the pickleball rules check out this article: Master The Basic Rules Of Pickleball: A Beginner's Guide

Growth Statistics

In the last year alone, the growth of pickleball has been staggering. According to USA Pickleball, there has been a 38% increase in the number of registered players from 2022 to 2023. Additionally, the number of pickleball courts has seen a 45% increase in the United States, with more than 10,000 dedicated courts now available for play!

Reasons for Rapid Growth

There are several factors contributing to the rapid growth of pickleball:

1. Accessibility: One of the primary reasons for the popularity of pickleball is its accessibility. The sport is easy to learn and can be played by individuals of all ages and skill levels. This makes it an attractive option for families, schools, and community centers looking for a fun, inclusive activity.

2. Low Cost: The equipment required to play pickleball is relatively inexpensive compared to other racquet sports. Beginner Pickleball paddles and ball set can be purchased for as little as $50-$100, making it an affordable option for those looking to try a new sport. And with many cities embracing the sport (the city of Opelika for example), there are several free courts being built around the country!

3. Health Benefits: Playing pickleball offers numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased strength and flexibility, and enhanced balance and coordination. The low-impact nature of the sport also makes it suitable for older adults or those recovering from injuries.

4. Social Aspect: The social nature of pickleball has contributed to its rapid growth. As a doubles-based game, it encourages interaction and camaraderie among players, fostering a strong sense of community. Pickleball clubs and leagues have sprung up around the world, providing opportunities for players to connect and compete.

5. Growing Media Coverage: The increase in media coverage surrounding pickleball has also contributed to its growth. National and local news outlets, as well as social media influencers, have helped to spread awareness of the sport and its benefits, encouraging more people to give it a try. Pickleball has been streamed live on ESPN, CBS, and the Tennis Channel in the past year!

The rapid growth of pickleball can be attributed to its accessibility, affordability, health benefits, social nature, and increasing media coverage. As more people become aware of this unique sport, its popularity is expected to continue to soar. If you haven't yet tried pickleball, now is the perfect time to grab a paddle and join the fun!

To learn more about pickleball and HOW you can get involved, check out these resources:

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