Pickleball growth, what’s up with that crazy, fun, slightly quirky sport increasingly played by people of all ages. It was the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year in a row. According to a report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
- Participation increased 158.6% over three years.
- Pickleball growth resulted in 8.9 million Pickleball players in the United States over the age of six, up from 4.8 million in 2022.
What explains this growth? (which is not surprising when I look at my own experience in one small town. ) There’s quibbling over growth rates, but most agree the growth is immense. WHY?
“…Pickleball growth? DARNIT Pickleball is just plain fun…and addictive….in a good way. I just can’t get enough and now all my friends play…”
- Accessibility. Old, young or middle-aged, anyone with even modest athletic ability can get up to speed within days or weeks and play at a reasonable level (NOT true with tennis or golf).
- Laughter. It’s just plain fun. Surprising shots and rallies are common at every level and stuff happens that just makes you laugh. This is not common in most competitive sports. The fun factor is huge.
- Simplicity. Small court, minimal gear, short games. Games go quickly and there is very little time between points.
- Community. Most groups welcome new players, foster an inclusive vibe, and rotate play through multiple partners and teams. This and the sideline court waiting time make it a social activity as well as exercise.
- Strategy. Once you know the basics, there are nuances and thinking that come into play. Strategic (cagey) players can often beat more athletic opponents.
- Exercise. But it’s low impact. Most people play doubles, and with a small court, movements are short and rapid favoring quickness and reflexes but not requiring super strength or endurance. All that said, an hour of Pickleball will burn roughly 400 calories about the same as a jog and much more fun.
- Economy. Little gear to spend money on, balls last for months! There’s lots of public courts, and court time at facilities is relatively inexpensive when you play with a group.
- Year-round. Can be played indoors or outdoors, there are pluses and minuses to each, but you can always get a game!
Pickleball Business Advisors is brothers Bill and John Pryor. We provide a variety of consulting services based on extensive experience in fitness business development, and research into the fast growing pickleball marketplace. To initiate a feasibility assessment for your pickleball club, or for other consulting, contact us so we can learn about your project.