The Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) recently reported pickleball surged by nearly 40% between 2019 and 2021 to 4.8 million players, becoming the country’s fastest growing sport.
At a time when playing many sports can be expensive, technically demanding and competitive, there is a reason pickleball participation has surged. The culture of this paddle sport is cheap, easy and welcoming to a diversity of ages, races and genders.
“Anyone can pick up a paddle,” says Hope Tolley of the USA Pickleball Association, the sport’s governing body. She adds, “it’s a welcoming culture that sets itself apart from other sports.”