Pickleball: The Fastest Growing Sport in the US
Pickleball is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and is being enjoyed by people of all ages. The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) recently released their 2023 APP Pickleball Participation Report, which stated that 14% of adult Americans (36.5 million people) played pickleball at least once in the 12-month period from August 2021 to August 2022. This marked an increase of 12.8% from 2020 to 2021, following a 21.3% jump the year before.
The game is a hybrid of tennis, badminton and ping-pong that is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a plastic ball with holes in it and solid paddle or composite paddle. It is an accessible game to learn and fast-paced, making it an ideal form of physical activity for all age groups. In addition, it’s also been found to improve both fitness levels and mental health. A recent study published in the International Journal of Research in Exercise Physiology demonstrated that regular pickleball playing resulted in improved blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness.
The sport is so popular that Major League Pickleball is set to be established in St. Louis, a city known for its passion for sports teams. The league is expected to contribute to the growth of pickleball and the development of the sport for years to come.
Pickleball courts are popping up across the country at community centers, churches, municipal tennis courts, and places like the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore and the Mack Gaston Community Center in Mountain City, TN. The game is easy to play and all you need is some paddles, a wiffle ball and a court. Instructional videos and information can be found online at playpickleball.com.
So if you’re looking for a fun and social activity that has health benefits and is easy to learn, pickleball may be the perfect game for you.
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