The Pickleball combines concepts of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Driven by being the sport with the highest growth in the number of practitioners from all over the United States in the last five years. The Pickleball seeks to expand in Spain with the aim of becoming the new social phenomenon that happens to paddle tennis.
Repeat the interest aroused by the pickleball paddle in his hatching in Spain and turn it into the new social phenomenon in racket sports. This is the objective that Pickleball pursues, a sporting discipline that lives its particular boom in the United States and that expects it to drive it to grow in Europe, and specifically in Spain.
THE FASTEST GROWING SPORT IN USERS IN THE UNITED STATES
The data speak for themselves. According to the information provided to CMD sport by the Spanish Pickleball Association, in the last five years, the number of players of this sport in the United States has increased by 35%, having a total of 3.3 millions. With this evolution, it would have become the sport with the highest growth of users throughout the United States in recent years.
“In a country where paddle tennis, despite the efforts and investments made by different companies, has barely managed to attract 4,000 players, and where new racquet sports such as Pop Tennis, Platform Tennis or Touch do not stop appearing Tennis, the Pickleball has managed to gain a foothold among traditional sports, gradually scratching part of its market share. Specifically, it already has more than twice as many players as squash and has almost reached Raquetball, a sport similar to squash, which after experiencing its golden age has begun to lose popularity, ”says Ángel del Monte, spokesman for the Spanish Association Pickleball, based on data from the SFIA.
CONVERSION OF TENNIS COURTS AND SPORTS CENTERS
The boom of players also has its correspondence in the number of facilities where this sport is offered. Since 2014, it is estimated that in the United States there have been an average of 193 tracks and 67 facilities or clubs, which supposes a growth in the last four years of 139% in the number of clubs where to practice Pickleball and of 123% in the number of tracks.
In the opinion of Ángel del Monte, this phenomenon has been driven by “ The reasons behind its exponential growth of pickleball is the reduced costs and the ease of installing Pickleball tracks. Only a smooth and rigid surface is needed and portable equipments are often used”.
The installation of Pikleball tracks is simple and does not require a large investment, since only a smooth and rigid surface is needed, and portable networks.
“In the United States, there are numerous sports clubs and facilities that have been recycling their tennis courts into Pickleball courts, which has meant a significant gain in profitability, since four Pickleball courts can be introduced on a tennis court, with a minimal cost, ”he added.
Although the reuse of tennis courts and sports centers is one of the most used formulas. Currently there is an increase in investments in large clubs and facilities dedicated entirely to Pickleball in the North American market . The states of Florida, California or Texas host the main clubs, as for example East Naples Community Park in Florida have almost 50 tracks.
Some businessmen have even created a chain of restaurants dedicated to Pickleball (Chicken N Pickle), in which it is possible to play pickleball on the roofs of the establishments, outdoors, and then have dinner at the same facility. Magnificent idea indeed.
In the USA, the Pickleball is run by the USAPA, which has more than 30,000 members, having experienced a growth of 650% in last six years, and having built a professional circuit with tournaments throughout the country.
Seeing the exponential growth of this game, some giant sports brand who used to manufacture tennis equipment, have began to enter in pickleball industry. Brand like Gamma sports, Onix sports, Head sports are currently emphasis on manufacturing pickleball equipment. Moreover some sports company have also been built only focusing on manufacturing pickleball paddle such Engage pickleball, Paddletek and many more.
Pickleball defenders highlight its ease of play on any smooth track with portable equipment and the breadth of profiles of athletes and sedentary people that can attract their practice.
THE SPORT WITH A DOG'S NAME
Pickleball's origin dates back to Bainbridge Island (Washington) in the summer of 1965, when US Senator Joel Pritchard and businessman Bill Bell decided to fight summer boredom by playing badminton match on their old garden court from his house.
It is said that when they did not manage to find any rackets or the steering wheel, then they improvised and were encouraged to play with what they had at hand. They found some old ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball nereby.
Thus was born a sport whose name is supposedly inspired by Senator Pritchard's dog named pickle which was keen in searching lost balls in the garden.The Pickleball is configured as a mixture of elements of different racket sports such as tennis, badminton and table tennis
It is characterized by a dynamic game and a striking technique very similar to tennis. Although unlike tennis, it is played on a smaller court, with a very light paddle and a perforated plastic ball, and is served below the waist.
It can be played both in doubles, as in singles, and has some particular rules such as a non-volley zone 2 meters from the net and the inability to climb to volley when it is taken out.
These characteristics make Pickleball a simple sport to learn and with a lower technical and physical demand than other racket sports such as tennis. For all the above, the Pickleball has become a sport for all audiences, regardless of their age or physical condition.
Its audience covers a wide spectrum of players, ranging from tennis, paddle or other sports players who may find Pickleball a new sport in which to feel competitive quickly. People with little or no previous experience are looking for a sport in which they can enter and have fun quickly and without much risk of injury.