Pickleball, once the bailiwick of retirement communities and high school gym classes, is now the fastest growing sport in America. Since 2020, pickleball’s player base has increased by nearly 40%, with the lionshare of that growth coming amongst younger players. While the game started as a humble lawn game and is named after some guy’s dog, it has recently become a relatively big business with a robust professional tour. Last month, Tom Dundon (the owner of the Carolina Hurricanes and the front-man for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football) purchased the Professional Pickleball Association. Similarly, another upstart promotion, Major League Pickleball, has a coterie of big-deal investors that’s headlined by tennis legend James Blake and Marc Lasry, the co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
In other words, pickleball will soon be a big deal, if it isn’t one already. Here’s everything you need to know about the sport of the future.