Pickleball originated in Washington, United States. It was first played in 1969 and since then has been gaining steady reputation. A sport that combines the aspects of lawn tennis, badminton and table tennis, pickleball has several advantages from being a sport that is easy to learn, to being a sport with multiple health benefits.
Following its inception in Washington, Pickleball spread across North America pretty quickly. It took time for the sport to go outside the borders of the continent. But when it did, it was widely accepted by the masses. A primary advantage of Pickleball is its shorter court dimension (44 x 20 feet). This made it possible for locals to set up boundaries on streets and backyards. It was also economically beneficial to sporting clubs, since a sport that could easily be learned could have four of its courts made in the same area as that of one tennis court. This fetched more players.
The popularity of pickleball outside North America is yet to reach its peak. This is because of the popularity of Pickleball’s peers like Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton that have global recognition already. Yet, when presented with the idea of Pickleball, anyone from around the world finds it intriguing and easy to learn. It is a sport that is recommended for players of all age groups and seniors (especially women) who need to keep their bones and muscles in shape and well oiled due to increasing age.
Pickleball has its International Associations that govern the sport in each continent. It is yet to blossom in Africa, as Kenya was introduced to the sport only in 2018. Asia has been creating significant strides and is a close second with Europe when it comes to Pickleball popularity outside North America.
Pickleball is still the most popular sport in North America with over 3 million players involved in the sport. It is one of the world’s fastest growing sports that is very near to see a burst of popularity outside North America.