Tennis is losing ground to pickleball. How many of us pick up a paddle, never to touch a tennis racquet again? How many age out of the tennis hustle and bustle to settle into the world of dinks and underhand serves?
A captivating video from Tennis Cult summarizes the tennis vs pickleball struggle in a unique way. According to the video, which needs some updated statistics for 2023, tennis is not losing ground to pickleball in the way you might think.
The number of tennis players increased by a margin that actually exceeds the 2022 SFIA pickleball player count. Despite the increase in tennis participation, pickleball is capitalizing on some areas where tennis has failed.
Tennis has kept distribution rights under lock and key making viewership a chore for fans. It has failed to remain in the cultural mainstream and has been overshadowed by other sports.
Pickleball has popped in that same time, stealing headlines in prominent publications, garnering support from celebrity endorsers and going viral online.
Additionally, recent numbers from the SFIA chart the 2023 participation numbers at 8.9 million, nearly double the 2022 projection.
Pickleball has achieved massive growth despite a huge deficit of courts to the number of players. Recent data suggests that pickleballers outnumber pickleball courts by a margin of 110 to 1. Compare that to tennis players, who outnumber courts 84 to 1.
The recent BOOM from pickleball has resulted in more pickleball court creation and conversion. New facilities are popping up every day, with estimates on the total number of courts added in 2022 to be over 6,000.
If you have a homecourt of your own that you'd like to share with other players, try Swimply. It is like AirBnB for pickleball courts allowing owners to rent out their courts and providing people with another place to play.
Take 20% off your first order from American Giant Pickleball Club with code DINK. Each durable, cotton piece is designed to breathe, stretch, and hold up to your hardest hits.
Is pickleball overtaking tennis anytime soon? There is still a long way to go for 'the little game that could' but the exponential growth of recent years certainly makes it a possibility.
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