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Opinion

Does Someone Have a Hit Out on Pickleball?

by Jason Flamm on

Something odd happens when you get too big too fast; others try to bring you down.

This might be precisely what is happening this week, as numerous online publications decided to report that (wait for it) ... "Pickleball CAUSES INJURIES."

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The humanity!

Not this nonsense again. Can you imagine a sport where people running around, starting and stopping, and hitting a ball with a paddle can possibly cause injury?

Oh, you can? Because that's similar to what happens with every sport that has ever existed.

Yet, here we are with "the media" (no doubt spurred on by a recent report from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), isolating pickleball injuries and sending a message to the world that this sport that has seen exponential growth and sparked happiness and health in millions worldwide is not safe to play.

We must ask ...

Who is behind these attacks on pickleball?

Let's discuss.

Is it the Media?

Well, certainly, the media plays a role. You don't have multiple outlets reporting essentially the same story without someone pushing them to do so.

Just look at this: 

Maybe the real question is, who is funding the attack on pickleball?

Is it Big Ping Pong?

Wait. What's big ping pong? We're just going to say no on that one.

What About Big Badminton?

While it's not big in the States, according to some reports, badminton is the second most popular sport in the world (behind soccer) and is played by several hundred million people each year. But when was the last time you watched a badminton match? And why should they hate pickleball?

They don't. In fact, many of them are very good at pickleball. It's not badminton.

Is it Big Tennis?

It's no shocker to anyone who's been paying attention that tennis purists are not happy that they keep losing their courts to pickleball players. This alone is motive enough for Big Tennis to come after our sport. Even as some of the greatest to ever play their game make a switch, there is credence to this theory.

They certainly have the money and the longevity. And we know they fear us.

It may be that simple.

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Or is it nobody in particular?

Maybe there is an injury problem with pickleball. After all, this sport is unlike anything else ... oh wait, it's adapted from other sports.

OK, well, the equipment is monstrous and difficult to maneuver around with oh, ... you use an eight-ounce paddle to hit a ball under one ounce on a court half the size of tennis.

OK. OK. Maybe it's that you have to sprint full speed and run into other people ... no, you don't do that, actually.

Then why are players getting injured?

The blessing and the curse of pickleball is that "Anyone can play it." Because even though you can play, it doesn't mean that you can handle everything that comes with playing.

At least not right away.

Another Reason to Love (and Play More) Pickleball
As pickleballers, we know there are many benefits to playing pickleball, from improved cardiovascular health to increased social interactions. Sign up today for the most informative newsletter in pickleball from The Dink! Well, now there’s another added benefit to playing pickleball, and it’s huge. Pickleball is helping those with Parkinson’s

As with any other sport, you should start slow before increasing your activity level. You should always warm up properly and understand your limitations. And please be aware of the people around you.

Yes, injuries happen in pickleball – and they are sometimes unavoidable. But, contrary to what Big Tennis, Big Media, or even Big Bocce Ball might have you believe, it's no more dangerous than playing any other sport.

Just like treading water, crossing streets, or sipping hot coffee, it requires a measure of attention and respect. Let's dispel the exaggerated myths, embrace the craftsmanship, and keep the pickleball community thriving. Our paddles stand at the ready, not just to play but to serve as champions for truth and responsible reporting.

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