Yes we played Pickleball at our local Club on October 10th, designated as "World Pickleball Day"! But following the below blog post, I have been asked how many people are playing and where are they playing?
Well there are now 26 countries who have joined the 2 year old World Pickleball Federation. The North American Federation joined the WPF recently with Matthew Kawamoto as the Canadian representative. But the game has been introduced in 55 countries with something close to an estimated 5.5M players worldwide last year. Given the outdoor nature of the sport and a some relaxation of our Covid concerns given vaccinations and mask wearing, 2021 has so far been a major growth year for Pickleball.
Naples is said to be the Pickleball Capital of the world but estimates are that North America alone now has up to 4-5M players experiencing 20%+ year over year growth rates. The first World Pickleball Games will take place at the Austin Pickleball Ranch, Austin, Texas in May 2022, followed by Senior in 2023 and Junior World Games in 2024 - Olympics in 6-8 years?
Apparently in 2021 the average age of a "core" Pickleball player (30% of the players) is 47.5 years old, but we recently played in a tournament against a team who were 9 and 13 years old, so watch out for that younger generation!! Average age for all players is 38.1 years old, but 33.7% of the 75+ age group who make up 18.4% of the total number of players are defined as "core" - highest percentage of all age groups. This I believe, highlights Pickleball's popularity with the older generation who probably have more leisure time to invest in this wonderful game and want to stay fit.
So keep an eye out for updates on my blog, because these numbers and Pickleball's popularity are growing exponentially!