Why is pickleball the fastest growing sport in America?

Why is pickleball the fastest growing sport in America?

April 18, 2018 0 Comments

Happy National Pickleball Month!  How are you going to celebrate? 

When I step out of the pickleball bubble and talk to people that don’t play, I’m surprised how many of them know about the sport.  pickleball is only about 50 years old, it’s not on TV very often and it’s played mainly in North America. 

The sport has grown via grassroots.  Friends telling friends, family telling family or just curiosity when driving past a court and seeing a group of people having fun.

There aren’t many sports that grandparents can beat their kids or grandkids.  Next time your offspring is showing off his or her soccer or basketball skills, ask them if they know how to drop a dink shot into their opponent’s kitchen.  “Do I know how to what?”

In the spirit of Tax Day on April 15th in the U.S., I’ll share some numbers:

  • There were 2.8 million pickleball players in 2017
  • 1,700 USAPA Ambassadors (volunteers who promote the sport in their local area)
  • 300 courts are created per month
  • 2018 US Open Pickleball Championships will have over $40,000 in prize money

The upcoming 3rd Annual US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida started out with a few hundred people and has grown to over 5,000.  Minto Communities has been the title sponsor for 3 years and has embraced the sport at their residential developments.  William Bullock, Senior VP, said, “It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s because of how accessible the sport is.  It’s intergenerational and crosses all boundaries.” 

Franklin Sports, who has been a mainstay in baseball has been all in with pickleball for a few years.  They started developing paddles and balls in 2015.  Today their ball, the X-40 and their new paddles will be sold at Wal-Mart, Academy Sports and will be the first pickleball equipment provider to Target.  By the end of 2018, they’ll be in more than 4,000 retail stores.

Interested in looking for more places to play pickleball?  Are you traveling and not sure where the courts are?  Check out USAPA’s Places 2 Play website to search by address or city and state.

Congratulations on being a part of the pickleball community.  Let’s continue to Spread the Love!

Follow us on Instagram for pickleball tips, info and funny quotes.

-Duke with Quick Pickle

© Quick Pickle 2018

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