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A dilly of a trend: Why everyone’s talking about pickleball

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A dilly of a trend: Why everyone’s talking about pickleball

 

No matter how you slice it, pickleball is a big dill.

 

A dilly of a trend: Why everyone’s talking about pickleball

The craze that’s currently sweeping the nation, pickleball is played on a court between two or four people hitting a ball back and forth over a net with paddles — think tennis meets ping pong with a little bit of badminton thrown in for good measure, and you’ve got the right idea. The first team to earn 11 points wins. A recent Sports & Fitness Industry Association report estimated that the United States was home to more than 4.8 million “picklers” (a.k.a. pickleball players) in 2022, making it the fastest growing sport in the country for several years running.

The widespread appeal of pickleball
Although it’s been around for decades, the pickleball trend gained lots of momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic as people sought out safely distanced options for friendly outdoor recreation. Simple rules and a low-cost entry threshold make the sport with the funny name easy for beginners to pick up, and appropriate for all ages. All you need to get started is a signature oblong racquet, the lightweight pickleball itself, a court and one to three other players.

The biggest reason people tend to love pickleball, though, is that it’s just plain fun to play! The wholesome vibe and culture of the pickleball community are extremely welcoming, and most players enjoy the highly social aspects of interacting with fellow enthusiasts. Most participants opt for doubles play over singles play for this very reason. The more the merrier!

Whatever your ability, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding well-matched pickleball players to compete with across a wide range of skill levels. And as with any sport, the more you play, the better you’ll get.

Because pickleball isn’t as strenuous as other sports, like tennis, and doesn’t require as much movement due to the smaller court size, you don’t have to be a trained athlete — or even in great physical shape — to enjoy playing it. However, it will get you moving enough to reap the rewards of low-impact cardiovascular exercise and carries a low risk of injury, making it an appealing activity for older players age 60 and up.

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