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For the Third Straight Year: Pickleball Named America's Fastest-Growing Sport

by The Dink Media Team on

Pickleball's trajectory continues up and to the right. For the third straight year, pickleball is named America's fastest-growing sport. The whiffle ball and paddle back to back to back champs, and honestly, pickleball is not giving up the belt anytime soon.

The 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report details the growth and decline of sports in the US. Since pickleball took off in 2020 it has dominated the conversation.

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"Pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7 percent year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6 percent over three years."

The total count according to the report is now up to 8.9 million players, up from 4.8 in the 2022 report. This looks a little different than the 36.5 million discussed in APP Tour report from earlier in the year.

The studies obviously had different thresholds for what they consider players. The APP study estimated the number of players who played more than eight times in the year to be closer to 8.5 million.

Either way, pickleball is doing numbers.

SFIA Topline Report Tabs Pickleball as America’s Fastest-Growing Sport for Third Consecutive Year

PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 22, 2023) — The 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report was released today, announcing that pickleball continued to be America’s fastest-growing sport for the third year in a row.

According to the report, pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7 percent year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6 percent over three years.

“After anticipating the 2023 SFIA report and its insightful findings, we were thrilled to see further evidence-based research that confirms pickleball’s momentum and exponential growth continued last year,” said Stu Upson, USA Pickleball Chief Executive Officer. “This data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association is valuable for our team’s efforts to build the pickleball community and reach new mainstream audiences, as the sport collectively reaches new heights.”

Pickleball is now up to a total of 8.9 million players in the United States over the age of six years old, an increase from 4.8 million in the 2022 SFIA Report. Tom Cove, SFIA President and Chief Executive Officer, stated in his Executive Summary that “you will find the pickleball craze is alive and well, still the fastest growing sport in the United States.”

The annual SFIA Topline Participation report provides a comprehensive snapshot of all sports, fitness, and recreation activities in the United States for the previous year. SFIA research is the leading supplier of sports and fitness research, publishing over 100 industry reports each year on industry and product categories. A detailed SFIA report on pickleball will be released shortly.


About USA Pickleball

USA Pickleball is the National Governing Body for the sport of pickleball in the U.S. and provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings and promotional materials. The mission of USA Pickleball is to promote the development and growth of pickleball in the United States and its territories. The association is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation and governed by a board of directors and professional staff who provide the guidance and infrastructure for the continued growth and development of the sport.

USA Pickleball Media Contact:

Melissa Zhang, Director of Communications & Content

Chuck Menke, Chief Marketing Officer

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The Dink Media Team

The Dink Media Team

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