What is Pickleball and Why Has It Become so Popular? by Jon Benton (2024)

Image by GrumpyBeere from Pixabay

Pickleball is one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in America. Millions of people of all ages have been flocking to the local sports activities facilities looking for places with courts for Pickleball. Even though the game of Pickleball has been around for decades, for some reason its popularity has skyrocketed. So, what exactly is Pickleball and how did it get started? Let’s start at the beginning, where it all started. Then we can dive deeper into why it has become so popular for so many people.

What is Pickleball and where did it get started?

The game of Pickleball was first introduced to the world by three gentlemen as a family game. The three men who lived in Bainbridge, Washington Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum developed the game that has become a countrywide sport back in 1965.

The original game of Pickleball was derived from a combination of tennis, table tennis (Ping Ping), and Badminton. It can be played by two players (singles) or four players (doubles) on a court that resembles a Badminton court that has the net lowered to waist height.

The current game is played with uniquely shaped paddles and a plastic ball resembling a wiffle ball. The rules are equally unique as compared to the three sports it was derived from. The rules are seemingly designed to level the playing field for all participants regardless of their age and skill level.

This is highly likely one of the top reasons why so many people are flocking to their local Pickleball court to play. Another reason might be that Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, which means that it can be played year-round. It also can be played even in bad weather provided your area has indoor courts available.

Top 10 reasons why Pickleball has become so popular

 There are several reasons why people have been flocking to their local indoor or outdoor courts to play Pickleball. For this article, we came up with an extensive list of the reasons why people have a love for playing Pickleball.

Simple enough to learn – Since the rules are really easy to understand and the court is smaller in comparison to a tennis court it is much easier to play. Developing good skills comes with practice and since it is so enjoyable it will be easier to get better.

Only requires a small amount of equipment to play – Much like tennis and badminton, Pickleball is fairly inexpensive to participate, all that is needed is a Pickleball paddle and a Pickleball. All other equipment is provided by the facility that you are playing at.

There is an abundance of courts to play on – More and more communities and private racket clubs have established Pickleball courts at their facilities for public use or membership opportunities. Several commercial businesses designed around Pickleball are also popping up across the country.

Does not require a specific skill level to play – Pickleball does not require a specific amount of skill or athletic ability to be able to play. It also does not have any age restriction for people to be able to participate. People young and old have discovered the enjoyment of playing Pickleball.

Highly social environment – Pickleball is a way for large groups of people to come together and interact socially. This is especially true of businesses that combine Pickleball and a restaurant/bar environment. Organizations and groups can gather to play and spectate.

Family-friendly environment – Pickleball can also be a good way for families to get off the couch. Families can play singles or doubles against each other such as mom and dad against the kids or singles. It is a good way to bond as a family.

Provides health benefits – Pickleball is a great way to improve your overall physical fitness level. Both cardiovascular and fat-burning are the primary benefits to your health along with improvements to balance and eye-hand coordination.

Contact-free sport – Like tennis, Pickleball is a contact-free sport that limits serious injuries. This is also why Pickleball attracts people of all ages from young kids to seniors. Seniors can play without as much worry as with other sports.

Improves skills associated with other paddle or racket sports – If you regularly play other types of paddle or racket sports, playing Pickleball can help you improve your play. Even though the rules are different, there are enough similarities that you would likely benefit from playing Pickleball.

Enjoyment of the sport – Of all the reasons we have listed above, enjoyment of Pickleball is probably the most important reason why so many people have gravitated to it. While it may not be for everyone, the only way to find out is to try it and see for yourself.

Jon is a 58-year-old US Navy veteran living in Oklahoma, OK for the past 30 years. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have three adult children. He is heavily into politics, the Detroit Lions, and the Oklahoma Sooners (BOOMER SOONER BABY). Jon is an IT Support Specialist by day and a professional writer by night. He hs been writing online for the better part of 30 years and much of it for other people. He is now geting credit for his writing!