That Game With A Strange Name, Pickleball, Is Growing—And Fast!
Posted on May 25 2018
It may have originated about half a century ago because someone was just trying to find something for his family to do outdoors, but it developed a following as time passed. Enough of one so that in recent years it was relevant enough and vibrant enough to light the competitive fires of people around the nation (and world).
Oh—and it is growing fast.
What is ‘it?’ It’s a cross between tennis, badminton, and ping pong known as Pickleball.
Before you ask-- no, pickles are not involved in any way, shape, or form.
It’s really taken hold in and around retirement communities, but it is not specific to just the retired population. At the recent U.S. Open Pickleball Championships (which had over 1300 participants from 14 countries) in Naples, Florida, contestants as young as ten and as old as 91 competed.
So, no, it is not just a game that grandma and grandpa play. It’s a game for everyone—which helps explain why it is growing as much as it is.
"We have got over 150 people here playing this weekend, so in terms of economic growth for Terre Haute, I think that is a great benefit," Lori Vancza, President of the Greater Terre Haute Pickle Ball Association in Indiana told the local media.
The game has grown popular enough in Baltimore County (Maryland) that officials have decided to spend about $32,000 restriping seldom used courts to accommodate pickleball. According to a statement, it has even become part of the curriculum in Baltimore county elementary school gym classes.
Ed Beyster, of Windcrest Tennis and Pickleball in San Antonio, has seen some tremendous growth in the popularity of the game since it was first introduced to the area (KSAT):
“We had four people show up the first day within three months. We had 60 to 90 people come, so we put two more courts in.”
Within the last five years, four additional courts have been added to meet the demand—which includes tournaments and league play.
According to the USA Pickleball Association in 2015, there were over 2.5 million people playing pickleball around the country. Estimates have that number over 3 million now and at a growth rate of 385 percent since 2010.
At the Provo Parks and Recreation Department, there are times where more people are looking to reserve pickleball courts than tennis courts.
But why? What’s the appeal? According to one player, the appeal is quite simple.
“It’s fun because you feel like more of an all-star than when you are playing tennis because it’s easier,” said avid pickleball player Michael Hayes (via the Daily Universe).
The game has even headed to the high seas. Holland America has announced that it will be including courts on all 14 of its cruise ships. Princess and Regent Seven Seas have also added pickleball courts. Why?
According to Erik Elvejord, Holland America’s director of public relations, “Because of many requests, we were getting from guests.”
So—have you played yet? If not, what are you waiting on?
One of the most frustrating things about practicing Pickleball is picking up the balls!
It’s time-consuming, hurts your back, hurts your knees and is generally a pretty crummy thing to have to do!
The good news is, Kollectaball has a range of pickleball collectors that make the job a lot more fun and put no stress on your body.
We have two Pickleball collectors, the K-MAX and the Kollectaball Mini. The K-MAX picks up around 50 pickleball and the Mini will pick up around 30 pickleball.
Both units work excellently with Pickleballs if only half the wires are used. When putting your pickleball collector together, you simply need to use 30 wires and place one wire into every other available space on the mounting disk.
This will allow your finished cage the flexibility to pick up Pickleballs without pushing it away.
Just like hoovering the floor, you can roll up your pickleball in a couple of seconds.