The pickleball explosion

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Pickleball – a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong – has grown in popularity over the past two years. But the rapid rise of the sport is much more than a pandemic-filled fad.

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state of play: Pickleball Participation increased by 21.3% between 2019 and 2020, prompting economists to declare it “America’s fastest growing sport4.2 million Americans now play at least once a year.

  • The demand for courts is bursting, with cities building new facilities and private clubs tennis court site,
  • With the newly-launched, the commercialization has expanded Major League Pickleball to join What And PPA Tourist country clubs are also hiring their own professionals to teach the members.
  • Commercialization is growing rapidly, with appliance/apparel brands such as leisure and publications in pickleball Banking on the game’s continued growth.
  • A youth movement is underway, and more Add School Pickleballs For physical education classes. Most “core” players (playing 8+ times per year) are still 65+, but most “casual” players are now in the 8-34 age range.

What are they saying: “Pickleball is the only sport where my whole family — from my kids to my parents — can play together and have an absolute blast,” says Dave Fleming, 54, a senior pickleball supporter.

  • “At the same time, people are starting to recognize that it can be played at a crazy high level, in huge venues, in front of a lot of fans.”
  • “Celebrities are playing. Athletes from other sports are playing. That was right In the ‘Today’ show, It’s an incredibly exciting time.”
credit: USA Pickleball

how to play: had pickleball Invention In 1965 on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle) by three dads, including future representative Joel Pritchard.

  • Games are typically played with a ball and paddles on a surface approximately one-third the size of a tennis court (20 ft x 44 ft) by 11 (win by two). You can play doubles or singles.
  • Points are scored by the service team only. Volleying is permitted as long as it is not on the service return or the return of that return – and as long as it is not in the “kitchen”.
  • The “kitchen,” or non-volley area, is an area seven feet deep on each side of the trap. You can only step inside when the ball bounces there; Otherwise, not even your speed can take you in.
Pickles game on the street in Charlotte, NC, during the pandemic. Photo: Streeter Lecca / Getty Images

Between the lines: While tennis remains a country club tradition, pickleball’s low-profile and relative ease make it more accessible—a sport that almost anyone can pick up on quickly.

  • “If you’ve ever swung a racquet of any kind before, you might be able to in an hour,” Stu Upson, CEO of USA Pickleball, tells Nerdshala.
  • That’s why it gained traction during the lockdown, when families – desperate for outdoor activities – court their driveways and streets.
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of note: Pickleball has not completely shaken the elitist image often associated with the sport of racket. It has become popular in the Hamptons and, naturally, is all the rage in Hollywood.

“Leonardo DiCaprio plays every day… George Clooney says his wife burns him regularly on their home court in Amal, L.A. … ‘Survivor’ winner Tyson Apostol takes his reality-TV fame as a pickle … featured pickball at this year’s Sun Valley Conference, also known as the ‘summer camp for billionaires’.”

, Craig Coyne, Vanity Fair

A Major League Pickleball match this month in Austin, Texas. Photo: ryan davidjana

What will happen next: best pickleball player in the world, ben johnson, earns about $250,000 per year, but most professionals can’t make a living (next month USA National Championship Total purse is $90,000).

  • This could change if participation continues to grow. After all, more players means more fans means more media means more sponsors means more prize money.
  • Adventure Prediction: “In a few years, I think you will see tennis players at the pinnacle of the Pro Tour opt to pursue pickleball as a viable career,” Fleming says.

I Watch: how to play pickleball

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