Pickleball popularity growing in Southwest Florida

Pickleball popularity growing locally, nationally

Pickleball popularity has skyrocketed since the sport debuted in the mid-1960s. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing sports in America.

It’s a crafty mix of ping pong, badminton, and tennis, and it can be played in singles or doubles. To play pickleball, you need a paddle made with wood or composite materials and a perforated plastic ball (whiffle).

How much has pickleball popularity grown?

According to the USA Pickleball Association, over the last six years, pickleball has seen a 650% increase. In a 2018 report, there were 3.1 million pickleball players in the United States. Currently, there are about 3.3 million pickleball players in the country and more than 20,000 pickleball courts throughout the 50 states.

Why is it growing?

Pickleball is not only a fun sport to play, but it also has a less physical impact on the body than many sports. This makes it popular among individuals who want to remain active while extending their lifetime of enjoyment on the court. Additionally, pickleball offers a shorter learning curve than other paddle/racquet sports such as tennis.

And, since individuals can play pickleball both recreationally and competitively, it makes for a great hobby for athletes to hone their footwork and shotmaking while having fun. In addition, pickleball is inexpensive and requires minimal gear, making it affordable and accessible to all.

Who plays pickleball?

Although pickleball has dedicated participants of all ages, the average pickleball player is 41 years old, and 64% of core players are 55 or older.

Seniors love playing pickleball because it’s a low impact sport that’s a lot easier on joints such as the knees and elbows. It also allows them to stay active and enjoy leisure time with friends and family.

There are many places to play pickleball in Southwest Florida, including five new courts at Bonita Bay Club featuring Laykold Master’s gel surface and LED lighting. The area is also home to local, regional and national tournaments.

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