Pickleball as a sport, has gained traction as one of the fastest-growing activities in Florida and is played by both the young and old. It is also referred to as “tennis for seniors” due to its high social acceptance and low level of physical exertion. But what is causing this boom in popularity? Ashley Roberts of Tampa Bay discusses below why Pickleball is so popular in Florida.
Pickleball is growing in popularity because it is an easy sport to learn and play, even for people who have never played a game like tennis before. The rules are simple, the equipment is inexpensive, and it can be played on a smaller court than tennis at any age or skill level. Additionally, it’s a great way to socialize while staying active and having fun with others in the community.
The History of Pickleball
For many, the game of pickleball may be a foreign concept. It is a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The history of the sport dates back to 1965 when it was invented on Bainbridge Island, Washington by three dads looking for something to occupy their children during the summer months.
Today, it is still a popular game among kids and adults alike that can be played in both community-based and competitive leagues. It is typically played as doubles on a court with the same dimensions as a badminton court or 20 feet by 44 feet, using paddles similar to those used for ping pong, and a whiffle ball.
Surging in Popularity
Despite its relatively short history, pickleball has quickly gained momentum as one of the fastest-growing sports in Florida and across the nation. The popularity is attributed to a number of factors, including:
- Easy Logistics: Unlike many other competitive sports that require expensive equipment or a large space for play, all you need to play pickleball is a court, some paddles, and a ball! This makes it easy to find a court and organize pick-up games or leagues in your area. There are also portable nets that make playing simple in places like an empty parking lot.
- Social benefits: Like many sports, Pickleball is also a great way to socialize and meet new people, which can be especially important for older adults who are looking to stay active and connect with their communities. Many areas offer Pickleball clubs and teams!
- Affordability: The equipment needed costs a fraction of what you would pay for tennis or other competitive sports.
As Floridians continue to search for ways to get active and stay healthy, it is likely that pickleball will continue to grow in popularity. From professional athletes to weekend warriors, pickleball offers a fun and competitive way to get active and stay healthy and it’s easy to see why it has become one of the most popular sports in Florida.