Tennis In Danger? Pickleball Grows By 52% To Rank Fourth Of Most Played Sport In USA

Tennis In Danger? Pickleball Grows By 52% To Rank Fourth Of Most Played Sport In USA

by Nurein Ahmed

Pickleball's growth exploded in the past year, and numbers certainly back up the notion that it is indeed the fastest-growing sport in the United States.

Retired tennis players have found their footing playing the paddle sport, with the likes of Sam Querrey and Jack Sock taking up the sport in a professional capacity. And very recently WTA player Eugenie Bouchard (who is still active on the WTA tour) committed to play on the pickleball tour in 2024.

The Canadian even spoke about using her influence to help grow the sport by "bringing" tennis fans over to pickleball. In truth, pickleball's acceleration can majorly be supported by its ease of accessibility, and it is very much a budget sport as the cost of maintenance and purchase of equipment is very low.

Those who have a penchant for the sport have been actively promoting it through exhibition events and inviting recognized men and women from a diverse range of sports, including tennis.

For instance, in February, a second edition of the Pickleball Slam was held in Florida, where retired tennis legends like John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, and Steffi Graf played. This helps increase awareness of the sport and draws even larger numbers of people in.

According to the 2023 Topline Participation Report from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), 13.6 million Americans played pickleball last year, making it the fourth most played sport, behind basketball, tennis, and soccer.

In 2022, the same report mentioned that 8.9 million people in the US played pickleball. So this number has grown rapidly within a span of 12 months. It represents roughly a 52% increase year-on-year, making it the largest increase in participation in 2023.

This remarkable growth has already caused a predicament for public parks and recreation areas because there is a greater demand for space, with millions all over the country invested in playing the sport.


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