Pickleball was founded in 1965 by three friends on Bainbridge Island, Washington, who sent a group of bored children to an abandoned badminton court in the middle of the city.
Seeing how much fun the children had, the adults improvised rules and developed rules that made the game a game for children ages 6 and up, recalls one surviving member, John D. Hickey.
Pickleball player Bob Dunn has been playing tennis and rackets for over 30 years, and the first time he saw a pickleball tournament was four years ago.
He predicts that local enthusiasts will soon see pickleball as a popular sport in their local community and that passion for the game will quickly flare up again. Take the best pickleball paddle and you’ll quickly grasp the passion of this game.
It may be called the fastest growing game in America, according to the USAPA, the number of pickleballers in the United States has increased by 650 percent in the last five years alone.
According to USAPA, they estimate that 3.2 million people in the United States play pickleball, up from 2.5 million in 2010, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA).
Local, regional and national competitions are held throughout the year and sport has attracted interest from television channels and sponsors in recent years. The 2018 event was the largest pickleball tournament in the United States, with more than 2,200 players competing for $75,000 in prize money.
The most recent national event was held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the second largest tennis stadium. In total, 2,300 participants faced off for $75,000 in prize money and $1,500 in cash prizes.
As the pickleball attracts more and more players, it also attracts professional players from other games and sports such as badminton, tennis and table tennis.
What is the average age of pickleball players?
During the 2018 survey, USAPA discovered that the age range of pickle ballers ages ranges from 16 – 65+ but 75% of Core participants are age 55 and older.
Pickleball growth statistics
There are over 2.815 million players in the US. The sport of pickleball has experienced serious growth in recent years, with an increase in participation from 1.5 million in 2010 to 2.7 million last year. This sport is gaining popularity in the USA and especially among active adults.
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