25 Reasons why Pickleball is so Popular and the Fastest Growing Sport in America

picklebalpickleball paddle and pickleball balls

You know that pickleball is growing in popularity, but do you know why? 

Pickleball is growing in popularity because it’s a fun and social sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

It’s easy to learn, but there’s plenty of room for advanced players to compete.

Learn more about how to play pickleball.

Pickleball Popularity Statistics

pickleball popularity trends

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America today!

It’s like ping pong, tennis and badminton all rolled into one. What could be better? 

The number of pickleball players is steadily increasing all over the country. The United States Pickleball Association (USA Pickleball Association) has more than 124,000 members, but many more people play pickleball without joining USAPA because they are involved in informal games.

The sport has become so popular that there are approximately 6 million pickleball players playing 20 million games a year. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s report, pickleball is the fastest growing team sport in America with a 21.3% increase in pickleball participants from 2019 to 2020.

1. It’s a great workout – Pickleball is a great way to get some exercise without feeling like you’re working out. You can burn up to 350 calories per hour playing this game!

2. It’s social – Pickleball is a very social game that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and of all skill levels. It’s the perfect way to meet new friends and have some fun.

3. It’s easy to learn – If you can play tennis or ping pong, you can play pickleball. The rules are simple and it only takes a few minutes to learn how to play properly.

4. You don’t need much equipment – All you really need to play pickleball is a pickleball paddle and a pickleball ball (sometimes referred to as a wiffle ball). You can find everything you need at your local sporting goods store or online.

5. Easier on the body than tennis – Pickleball is a much less demanding version of tennis. It’s easy to learn and the ball doesn’t bounce as high so you don’t have to be in such good shape to play.

6. It’s low-impact – If you have an injury or just don’t want to play a high-impact sport, pickleball is definitely the game for you because it has a very low impact on the knees.

7. The equipment is affordable – If you don’t have all the pickleball equipment yet, don’t worry. You can buy everything you need at very reasonable prices.

8. Pickleball has grown exponentially in recent years – According to the USAPA, there are approximately 6 million people playing pickleball every year. With the growth of this sport, it’s easy to see that it will become an Olympic game one day.

9. Pickleball games are fast-paced – You don’t have to wait around long to play one point in pickleball because each game consists of only 21 points. This means that the games move along quickly, so you won’t get bored.

10. It can be played indoors or outdoorsPickleball can be played indoors or outdoors, on dedicated pickleball courts or re-purpose badminton, tennis or basketball courts.

11. A pickleball game doesn’t require a large space – If you have a badminton or tennis court, you can play pickleball on it with very little modification. The game is played using only half the court.

12. You can play doubles – This makes pickleball great for all ages and abilities.

13. It’s fun to play – Whether you like to play slow or fast games, pickleball will deliver the action that you want!

14. You can play singles – If you don’t have a partner to play with, pickleball can be played solo too.

15. It appeals to all kinds of players – Even professional tennis players enjoy playing pickleball because it’s a fun way to unwind when they are not competing in tournaments.

16. It’s an ideal game for people who enjoy playing games like tennis or ping pong – If you like the sound of pickleball but you don’t think it would be your thing, try playing ping pong first. Most people find that they quickly develop good skills at pickleball by playing ping pong.

17. It’s easy to learn the rules – If you’re new to pickleball, don’t worry; it won’t take long to understand the basic rules of this game. The whole process takes just a few minutes and can be done in your local sporting goods store or online.

18. There are lots of places to play pickleball – Pickleball can be played just about anywhere, including in your own backyard or driveway. Most parks and recreation centers have at least one court designated for this game so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to play.

19. You can join a pickleball club – If you’re new to the game and you don’t know anyone who plays, most cities have local pickleball clubs where players of all levels can come together to hone their skills. Here are some ideas on how to find pickleball courts near you.

20. There are lots of opportunities for promotion – The American Pickleball Association offers various online courses and certification tests that allow you to become a certified pickleball referee.

21. Easy for tennis, squash or racquetball players to learn – If you’re a racquetball or tennis player, pickleball will be easy to master. All it takes is a little bit of practice and you’ll quickly develop the necessary skills for this sport.

22. You can play in tournaments – Pickleball has become so popular that there are now even tournaments that feature

23. You can even set up makeshift courts almost anywhere!

24….and most resorts have pickleball courts – If there’s not a pickleball tournament near you, many resorts offer special weekend tournaments for their guests.

25. Portable pickleball nets that make it easy to set up a game pretty much anywhere!

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is a paddle sport that is played on a badminton-sized court with a wooden or graphite paddle and a plastic ball. The aim of the game is to hit the ball over the net on your opponent’s side of the court, without letting the ball bounce twice on your own side. The first player to make 11 points (or, in some cases, 15) wins the game.

Why is pickleball so much fun?

Pickleball is one of the most addictive sports around because it’s fast-paced, easy to learn, and can be played virtually anywhere.

Is pickleball easier than tennis?

Pickleball is easier than tennis because the court is smaller. If you’re looking for a high-intensity level of play, pickleball will give you that as well.

How much does it cost to play pickleball?

Pickleball is relatively inexpensive. You can usually borrow or rent a pickleball paddle and ball for little to no cost. Or if you want, you can buy an introductory level paddle for around $40.00. Many communities offer free drop-in time or drop-in time for a nominal cost.

Is pickleball like ping-pong?

Yes, it is similar to ping-pong. In fact, many people find that they develop good skills at pickleball by playing a lot of table tennis first. A pickleball paddle is somewhat similar to a table tennis paddle (ping-pong paddle) but much smaller. The modern day pickleball paddle was originally designed after a ping-pong paddle because that’s what the original inventors had on-hand for the initial game of pickleball.

Why is pickleball so addictive?

Pickleball is addictive because it’s easy to learn and play, it appeals to all ages and skill levels. And because it’s affordable, it’s a sport that is easily accessible to many people.

Will I like pickleball?

If you like racket sports such as tennis or ping-pong, then yes – pickleball will deliver the action that you want.

Why is pickleball gaining popularity?

Pickleball is gaining popularity because it’s easy to play, low impact and appeals to a wide range of people, from kids to senior citizens. Most people who have played raquet sports, learn pickleball easily. Many people who have played tennis, racquetball, squash, badminton etc… it’s easy to see how they gravitate to pickleball.

What Is Pickleball?

Although often thought of as a game for senior citizens and retired people, it’s actually a game that was originally invented by three men in 1965 to keep their kids busy during the summer.

While on vacation on Bainbridge Island, not far from Seattle, Washington, Congressman Joel Pritchard, William Bell and Barney McCallum were looking for a fun family activity that everyone could play together.

When Joel, William and Barney came home one day to find their kids bored and restless, they set out to create a game that would be challenging but suitable for everyone to play.

They started playing with table tennis paddles and a wiffle ball, and a lowered badminton net, on the badminton court.

The kids and parents all enjoyed the game and had fun playing throughout the summer.

This video interview with Barney and his son, does a fantastic job at explaining the history and evolution of the pickleball game.