Forget Soccer, America Has a New Sporting Obsession: Pickleball - WordlyReview Forget Soccer, America Has a New Sporting Obsession: Pickleball - WordlyReview

Forget Soccer, America Has a New Sporting Obsession: Pickleball

In the ever-changing landscape of American sports, new passions continually compete for public attention. While the influx of international soccer stars like Lionel Messi into Major League Soccer has captivated fans, another less-expected sport is quietly stealing the limelight: Pickleball. With its skyrocketing popularity and rapidly growing participant numbers, pickleball is swiftly becoming a mainstream sensation, outpacing even soccer in terms of new adopters.

The Ascent of a New Game

Born in Washington State in 1965, pickleball initially enjoyed a niche status, mostly confined to retirement communities and elite country clubs. The sport uniquely combines elements of tennis, badminton, and Ping-Pong, offering an accessible yet engaging experience for players. However, its popularity has exploded in recent years. According to the latest data, between 2019 and 2021, the number of pickleball players soared by an impressive 40%. As of 2022, the U.S. boasts a thriving community of roughly 4.8 million pickleball enthusiasts, signaling the sport’s transition from a leisure activity for the elderly to a mainstream athletic pursuit.


Affordability and Accessibility: The Keys to Success

What sets pickleball apart and fuels its rapid rise is its universal appeal across different age groups and economic backgrounds. Particularly noteworthy is the sport’s appeal among young athletes, categorized as “ultras,” who are seriously investing their time and energy into the game. The cost of entry is another significant factor contributing to its appeal. Discount-heavy e-commerce platforms like Temu offer pickleball equipment sets, including paddles, balls, and a carry bag, for as low as $16.91. This affordability makes it easier for people from all walks of life to participate, thus democratizing access to the sport. The feedback from newcomers has been overwhelmingly positive, further driving its popularity. With its low financial and physical barriers to entry, pickleball has all the right ingredients to become America’s next big sporting obsession.