Explaining the Incredible Growth of Pickleball

What is pickleball? You may have heard about pickleball recently because of its massive spike in popularity and coverage in the news and on social media. Pickleball is a game that incorporates elements of ping pong, tennis and badminton to create an exciting yet accessible sport. The game is suited for indoor and outdoor settings and is played on a court the same size as a badminton court — 13.4 meters long and 6.1 meters wide. 

Let's explore the fascinating story of how pickleball became America's fastest-growing sport and what makes the game such a fun time.

Stats About Pickleball's Growth

Here are some pickleball growth statistics that speak to the sport's incredible surge in popularity:

  • Massive growth in player base: From March 2022 to March 2023, over 48 million Americans played pickleball at least once — that's almost 19% of the total adult population. This number is an increase of 35% since previous research from the Association of Pickleball Players (APP) concluded in August 2022, when the number reached over 36 million.
  • Tournament prizes: The top two pickleball pro tours — the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and the APP tournament — paid over 5 million dollars in prize money in 2022. Professional pickleball is paying out a record $100,000 to the first-place team in all three of their yearly team-style tournaments. That makes each team member's winnings $25,000 — the largest payout for one tournament in the sport's history. 
  • Broadcasting changes: As of 2022, pickleball is being broadcast on major TV networks such as FOX, CBS, ESPN and even Tennis Channel. The media attention on pickleball is at an all-time high.
  • Sports stars love it: Legends like LeBron James and Tom Brady have invested in the sport, bringing even more media attention to pickleball.
  • International interest: The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) has more than 70 members, most joining within the last four years.

Why Pickleball Has Grown So Quickly

Why Pickleball Has Grown So Quickly

When looking at everything pickleball has to offer, the only question is why it's massive growth didn't happen sooner! Let's take a look at the many reasons that make pickleball so popular today:

  • Great exercise: Pickleball is a fun, active sport that delivers a workout without being too strenuous. You can burn off close to 350 calories for every hour you play.
  • Easy and accessible rules: If you know how to play tennis, ping pong or badminton, you can pick up pickleball easily. The rules are easy to understand and the game can be enjoyed regardless of age or skill.
  • Social connection: As an accessible game for players of all ages and physical fitness levels, pickleball is a great social sport. It's the perfect way to meet new players and make friends as you team up together or play each other. 
  • Minimal equipment needed: You only need two things to play — a paddle and a pickleball. That being said, better pickleball equipment often helps your game improve more.
  • Less intense than tennis: Pickleball is a less strenuous version of tennis, which makes it more accessible for a wider demographic of players. Pickleball is also a low-impact sport, meaning it has a lower impact on your knees and reduces the risk of serious injuries occurring during the game.
  • Fast-paced: For those who want to play a fast-paced game that is short and sweet, pickleball is for you. Scoring a point is a relatively quick and easy thing to do. Most games are played to only 11 points — sometimes 15 points or 21 points in tournament settings — so games end quickly.
  • Can be played anywhere: While an official court is the same size as a badminton court, pickleball can be played casually almost anywhere. You can play at a park or on the beach, and even your driveway or backyard can be transformed into a court. It's easy to set up a makeshift pickleball court with a portable pickleball net and some friends. 
  • Play doubles or singles: You can play pickleball with two or four people in doubles matches or single matches. Include even more friends by rotating teams or having a mini-tournament.
  • Many clubs to join: Are you new to pickleball and need someone to play against? You likely have a local pickleball club in your area that you can join. Most cities have them, and more clubs are being formed all the time. Pickleball clubs make it easy to meet new people and enjoy a game together.

How to Get Involved With Local Clubs and Leagues

There are currently over 570 officially registered pickleball clubs across America. If you're looking for a way to exercise, meet people and get invested in a sport recreationally, consider joining your nearest local club. Getting involved in a club and becoming a regular player is easy — all you need to do is follow three simple steps:

  • Find a club near you: You can find a club to join by using the USA Pickleball club finder and seeing what might be near you.
  • Learn more about the game: Brush up on the rules by checking out online guides to pickleball. Watch people playing the game at a club or online. There are an infinite number of ways to learn about the game and grow your knowledge.
  • Buy your gear: Get reliable gear to properly invest yourself in the game right from the start. Rhino Pickleball has a range of products for everyone from beginners to professionals.

Get Into Pickleball With the Right Equipment

The right pickleball equipment can make the game much easier to pick up and get better at. Rhino Pickleball caters to every type of pickleball player out there, and we are passionate about helping you pick up this sport and improve your skills.

Browse our online store with a variety of pickleball paddles and the best pickleballs to play with to get started. You can also explore our library of resources to help you get into the game and learn some tips and tricks whether you're a beginner or more advanced player.

Get Into Pickleball With the Right Equipment