Why Is Pickleball So Popular? Exploring the Rise of This Paddle Sport in 2024

why is pickleball so popular

Well it seems everywhere you look these days its pickleball.

It has TAKEN over! And the question on everyone’s mind is, “Why is pickleball so popular?

In this blog post, I am going to go in to the awesome world of pickleball, starting with what it is and how it differs from other paddle sports. I will also talk about what makes pickleball a favorite among players of all ages and abilities (not just old people like you might have heard)!

I’ll talk about the history of the game and how it has evolved from a make shift back yard game to a huge sport!

Plus, I’ll provide a few insights into the essential rules of the game to help you get started if you’re interested.

Finally, I’ll talk about the equipment needed to get going in this awesome game!

By exploring these aspects, we hope to be able to answer your question of “why is pickleball so popular” so you can see why pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America.

Let’s get started.

What Is Pickleball?

people playing pickleball

Pickleball is a super fun, fast-paced paddle sport. The game was created in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum in Washington.

Pickleball is played on pickleball courts which are smaller than tennis courts. The net is also slightly lower than a tennis net.

The game is played with lightweight paddles (often times weighing around 8oz) that are similar, but bigger, than table tennis paddles. The ball that is used is very similar to a whiffle ball with holes in it.

Learning to play pickleball is easy which is one of the reasons why it is gaining in popularity.

Because of its simple rules, it’s a great way to stay active and socialize with friends, family, and members of the community.

Variations of Pickleball

The game is played in a few different formats. Let’s take a look:

  • Doubles: Most commonly played format where two teams consisting of two pickleball players each compete against each other.
  • Singles: One-on-one competition between individual players.
  • Skinny Singles: One-on-one competition between individual players using only half of the court.
  • Mixed Doubles: Teams consist of one male and one female player competing against another mixed-gender team.

Benefits of Pickleball

Pickleball offers numerous physical and mental benefits.

Here are 10 benefits of why you should play pickleball:

  1. It’s a low-impact sport that is easy on your joints and muscles.
  2. It’s a great way to get exercise while having a ton of fun.
  3. It’s a social sport, so it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends.
  4. It can be played by people of all ages and skill levels.
  5. It can improve your hand-eye coordination, agility, and reaction time.
  6. It can be played indoors or outdoors.
  7. It’s a great way to improve your cardiovascular health.
  8. Pickleball can help you burn calories and lose weight.
  9. It’s a fast-paced game that keeps you engaged and focused.
  10. It’s an affordable sport that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

History of Pickleball

Pickleball was created back in 1965 when three friends (Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum) created a game on Bainbridge Island in Washington State as a fun way to entertain their families on summer vacation.

They used a badminton court, lowered the net, grabbed a whiffle ball and used old ping pong paddles from their shed. This is why you hear so often that the game combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong (or table tennis).

Pickleball quickly gained popularity and spread to other parts of the country. But they had no idea how big this game would grow to.

It is now played in all 50 US states and in countries all around the world. Many people that play tennis are making the transition to play pickleball!

From ping pong paddles and wiffle balls to over 100,000 indoor and outdoor pickleball courts across North America today, pickleball has come a long way.

With over 6 million participants in the United States alone (and growing!), pickleball is certainly one of America’s fastest-growing sports.

Are you curious about how pickleball got its name? Was it really their dogs name? Check out our post on how pickleball got its name.

Rules and Regulations

pickleball court dimensions

Pickleball is a fun and easy-to-learn. Here are some basic rules and regulations to follow while playing pickleball:

  1. Court dimensions: Pickleball courts are 20 feet by 44 feet. Smaller than a traditional tennis court.
  2. Serving: The serve must be made underhand and the paddle must contact the ball below your waist. The server must stand behind the baseline and serve diagonally to the opponent’s service court. It must go past the kitchen line. Each player on the doubles team gets to serve except for the beginning of the game.
  3. Scoring: Points are only awarded to the team that serves. If the returning team wins the point it is called a side out. The first team to reach 11 points wins the game. You must win by 2.
  4. Double bounce rule (or two bounce rule): The serve must bounce before the player returns it and the return of serve must also bounce before that ball is hit. After that, the ball can be volleyed in the air or bounce once before being returned.
  5. Non-volley zone (or kitchen): There is a 7 foot area on each side of the net that is called the non-volley zone. Players are not allowed to step into the kitchen to hit the ball unless it bounces.

Need help understanding some of these terms? Check out our post on the pickleball terms to know!

For more detailed information on scoring, rotation order, timeouts, and other aspects of the game, check out the official USA Pickleball Association’s rulebook.

Equipment Needed for Pickleball

a picture with a bunch of pickleball gear

Ready to get your pickleball on? Here’s what you need:

  • Pickleball Paddle: A good paddle is key when you play pickleball, fortunately there are a ton these days – check out our guide for the best pickleball paddles.
  • Pickleballs: Lightweight plastic balls with holes in them. There are different balls for indoor or outdoor play. They are similar in size to a wiffle ball and come in bright colors like yellow, green, and orange. Check out our guide for the best pickleball balls.
  • Court Shoes or pickleball shoes: Non-marking soles for better traction and support. Lateral support is key! Check out our guide for the best pickleball shoes.
  • Safety Gear: Protective eyewear, gloves and socks.
  • Nets & Court Accessories: Regulation-size nets and boundary markers for setting up your own court.

And don’t forget comfortable athletic clothing for maximum mobility!

Why is Pickleball So Popular?

pickleball fans at a tournament

So why is this game so popular?

Firstly, and probably most important it’s fun.

Second, its VERY easy to learn.

Third, its a great workout!

Additionally, you can play indoors and outdoors. You can set up temporary courts just about anywhere there is space. So you can really play year-round.

Lastly, the social aspect of pickleball is a big draw for many. You see a lot of charity pickleball events now too.

More and more tournaments are being organized too so if you want to test your competitive edge, finding a tournament is easier than ever. You can also easily find a local pickleball club too that will host in house tournaments.

What is The Main Reason That Pickleball is the Fastest Growing Sport in the United States?

outdoor pickleball courts

I think the main reason this game is gaining so much popularity is that is can be played across generations. Grandparents can play with grandkids, old can play young. And the games can be competitive and fun too! Combine that with easy to learn and low barrier to entry and you have a real winner like we have seen.

Where is Pickleball Most Popular in the World?

As we stated, Pickleball originated in North America but has gained international growth as well in Europe, Asia, Australia, and many other countires. The sport is particularly popular in the United States, Canada, Spain, India, and Singapore with the United States leading the way.

The Social Aspect Of Pickleball

Pickleball’s social aspect is a major draw for many. Pickleball is not just fun while you play, but it is certainly a fun group to hang out with post game and have a drink.

The smaller court size helps with conversations during the game not only with your partner but with the other team. It is easier to build relationships.

How Has Pickleball Expanded in Recent Years

Pickleball has grown rapidly in recent years, with the number of players and facilities dedicated to the sport increasing rapidly each year.

The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), Major League Pickleball (MLP) and USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) organize tournaments and leagues for pickleball professionals and amatuers alike. Additionally, many recreational facilities have added pickleball courts or are repurposing tennis courts, recognizing the sport’s popularity and potential for attracting new members. One tennis court can be turned into four pickleball courts.

Where Can You Watch a Professional Pickleball Tournament?

minto us open pickleball championship

There is more competitive play now than ever before! The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and Major League Pickleball have tours that have tournaments all over the country. The MLP events are fun because they incorporate a team aspect to them and are a ton of fun to watch as a spectator!


In conclusion, the popularity of pickleball can be attributed to a variety of factors. Its accessibility to players of all ages and skill levels, the ease of learning the game, the social aspect, and the physical and mental health benefits.

Additionally, you can play it almost anywhere.

As pickleball continues to grow in popularity, it’s clear that this sport is here to stay. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner looking to try something new, pickleball is a fun and exciting way to stay active and build connections with others.

We hope this has helped answer the question of why is pickleball so popular! I guess all I have to say is try it and you will see for yourself!

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