Pickleball – America’s fastest-growing sport

    It is the fastest-growing sport in America, played by an estimated 36 million players in the USA. Pickleball has taken the nation by storm over the last decade with over 10,300 courts nationwide and a couple in Fremont County according to Pickleheads, a court data provider.

    Pickleball is a universal sport enjoyed by over 36 million Americans – h/t Pickleheads

    Described as a cross between ping pong, badminton, and tennis it has a relatively short history in comparison with other lifetime sports like handball, tennis, and gold dating back to 1965 when it was invented by three vacationers on Bainbridge Island in Washington State in 1965.

    The appeal has multiple facets with competition and camaraderie always listed near the top.

    Socializing is a key component of pickleball – h/t Pickleheads

    “The magic of pickleball is it’s easy to learn, but hard to master. Beginners can go out their first time, learn the game, have fun, and even win a few games. But advanced players stay challenged and keep coming back for more. This dynamic is a big reason why pickleball continues to grow like crazy,” Brandon Mackie, co-founder of Pickleheads said. “Pickleball is a social activity as much as it’s a sport. It’s commonly played in an open-play format where 50 or even more players show up and rotate games and partners. You also almost always play pickleball as doubles, which leaves many opportunities to socialize and meet players.”

    The smaller court and racket make pickleball a sport for anyone – h/t Pickleheads

    Lander players can take the court near Lander Valley High School for a one-time fee, and in Riverton, the courts in City Park are free.

    Quick feet and good hand-eye coordination are keys to pickleball – h/t Pickleheads

    If you’ve been to a track meet, soccer game, or Saturday morning non-varsity football game at Lander you’ve probably noticed people of all ages playing on the courts near the entrance with strange paddles and a different ball than you’ve seen in tennis or handball. Those are the pickleball players of Tigertown meeting for a friendly game.

    “Pickleball’s popularity exploded during the pandemic when many Americans were looking for responsible ways to socialize and stay active. But that was only the beginning – pickleball’s growth has continued even as lockdowns have ended, and normal life has resumed,” Mackie said. “Pickleball is a sport for all ages. Anyone from age 5 to 95 can play and have fun. This makes pickleball the perfect activity for families, especially around the Holidays.”


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