Pickleball is now the fastest-growing sport in America for the third year running! The sport, a cross between ping pong, badminton, and tennis, was invented by 3 vacationers on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, in 1965.
Pickleball is easy to learn, fun to play, and can be enjoyed well into one’s later years, making it a popular sport among seniors.
Add to that its popular "open play format", allowing players to mix and match with dozens of others in a session, you've got a social and accessible sport that's absolutely booming in popularity.
To show you just how much the sport has taken off, we've compiled the top pickleball statistics, from player adoption to the growth rate in courts.
Key pickleball statistics
Let's take a look at the figures for 2023:
- There are an estimated 36.5 million pickleball players in the United States according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals in 2022.
- Pickleball participation has grown an average of 158.6% over the last 3 years according to the SFIA.
- Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America for the past three years.
- Players 18-34 make up the largest percentage of pickleball players at 28.8% nationwide.
- There are currently 10,320 pickleball courts in the United States.
- The pickleball paddle market size is estimated at $152.8 million in 2021 and is forecasted to grow at 7.7% CAGR through 2028.
"You will find the pickleball craze is alive and well, still the fastest-growing sport in the United States." - Tom Cove (President and CEO of the SFIA)
Total number of pickleball players
The study was conducted by YouGov and tracked participation rates in the 12-month period from August 2021 to August 2022.
Over that period:
- 14% of Americans played pickleball at least once
- 8.5 million people played eight times or more
- 45% say they plan to play more pickleball in the next 6 months than they did in the prior 6-month period
This release marks a large increase over earlier participation data reported by the SFIA for 2021. That report pinned the number at 4.8 million pickleball players in the United States, according to the 2022 Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) Single Sport Participation Report on Pickleball.
The report places pickleball as one of the largest sports in America, measured by participation, trailing only running & cycling:
The pickleball industry is eagerly awaiting the release of SFIA's 2023 report on pickleball, which will show comparable estimates for 2022 player counts.
Here's a summary of past data reported by the SFIA:
Source: SFIA Topline Report
|Year||Total Pickleball Players|
According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), more than 8.9 million people play pickleball across the US in 2022 (over the age of 6).
That's nearly double (85.7%) the 4.8 million players reported in the United States the previous year, and a whopping 158.6% increase over the past 3 years!
While we're still waiting on the SFIA's 2023 report about Pickleball specifically, we can still show you information about what's currently known:
And here’s that same growth data in a table:
|Year||Annual Pickleball Growth Rate %|
Pickleball players by region
The US region with the highest total number of participants was the South Atlantic Region (Deleware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia) with 1,087,000 or 22.6% of all players.
The West North Central Region (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) showed the fastest growth in pickleball players at 29.8% year-over-year in 2022.
Middle-America pickleball hot spots like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are among the biggest drivers of the sport's strong recent growth.
The Middle Atlantic Region (New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia) showed the slowest growth in pickleball players at 5.8% year-over-year in 2021.
Pickleball demographics: players by gender
Men made up 60.5% of pickleball players in 2021, while women made up 39.5% of total players.
Women grew slightly faster than men, at 17.6% year-over-year in 2021, compared to men who grew at 13.0% year-over-year.
Pickleball demographics: players by age
Players aged 55 and up were the largest age bracket of pickleball players in 2021, comprising 19.8% of total participants. Players aged 18 to 34 were the second largest age bracket, making up 18.5% of total participants.
The average age of pickleball players was 38.1 years in 2021. The average age of pickleball players is dropping and declined 2.9 years from an average of 41.0 years in 2020.
Pickleball player growth in 2021 was the fastest among players under 24 years of age (21%). Growth among players 55 and older was slower at 10% year-over-year.
Total number of US pickleball courts
There are currently 10,320 places to play pickleball in the US. This included dedicated courts and other places to play such as tennis courts with pickleball lines drawn.
Pickleball courts by state
There are more places to play pickleball in California than anywhere else in the country, with 794 known locations. Close behind, there are 770 locations where you can play pickleball in Florida , while the number of pickleball courts in Texas sees the state claim third place with 519 locations.
Here are the top 10 states with the most places to play pickleball:
|State||# of Pickleball Locations|
Unfortunately, pickleball courts in New Jersey aren't as common as you might expect. Despite having the 11th highest population in the US, ranks #22 on the list of pickleball states with 203 total locations.
If you want to find pickleball courts in North Carolina, on the other hand, you'll be pleased to know that the state is over-indexing with the 4th highest total of pickleball locations, despite ranking only #9 in states by population.
Pickleball courts by city
Pickleball courts in Seattle are more numerous than they are in any other city - there are 49 known locations, 32% higher than the next highest total. Denver's selection of pickleball courts makes it the sport's second city in this regard with 37 courts to choose from in total, while Portland's court locations ensure the city rounds off the top three, with 33 locations.
The table below shows the top 10 cities in the US ranked by the number of places to play pickleball:
|City||# of Pickleball Locations|
It’s no surprise to see Seattle #1 on the list of pickleball cities as pickleball was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle.
Recently Austin has emerged as a pickleball hot spot with the Austin Pickle Ranch, one of the largest pickleball facilities in the country set to open next year.
Pickleball market size
Pickleball is becoming a big business. The pickleball paddle market size is currently estimated at $152.8 million in 2022, with some of the best pickleball paddles retailing at over $200. The pickleball paddle market is forecasted to grow at a 7.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2028.
Source: Market Reports World
There will be 47 major pickleball tournaments held in the US across 2023 between the top three pro tours: Major League Pickleball (MLP), The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and the American Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP).
The total prize pool of pickleball tournaments to be held in 2023 will be between $9.0 and $11.0 million.
Pickleball pro players
Below are the current pickleball player rankings as reported by the PPA Tour.
The top 5 ranked men’s pickleball singles players as of January 2023 are:
The top 5 ranked players - men’s singles
The top 5 ranked women’s pickleball singles players as of January 2023 are:
The top 5 ranked players - women’s singles
|#1||Anna Leigh Waters||FL|
The top 5 ranked men’s pickleball doubles players as of January 2023 are:
The top 5 ranked players - men’s doubles
The top 5 ranked women’s pickleball doubles players as of January 2023 are:
The top 5 ranked players - women’s doubles
|#1||Anna Leigh Waters||FL|
The top 5 ranked pickleball mixed doubles players as of January 2023 are:
The top 5 ranked players - mixed doubles
|#1||Anna Leigh Waters||FL|
Interest in pickleball
Interest in pickleball has increased 467% over the past 5 years as measured by Google Trends:
Utah is the state showing the most interest in pickleball currently. Arizona has the second highest interest in pickleball, followed by Minnesota in third.
Pickleball court dimensions
Pickleball courts are 44′ x 20′ (including the lines), while a tennis court is 78′ x 27′.
A pickleball net is 36″ high at the sidelines and 34″ high in the middle, compared to 42″ high at the sidelines and 36″ in the middle for a tennis net.
That’s it for our list of pickleball statistics. Hopefully, the facts and figures we’ve shared have helped tell pickleball’s growth story. It will be fun to watch pickleball continue to grow in popularity.
Now we’d like to hear from you: Do you think pickleball can maintain its title as America’s fastest-growing sport for another year?
Will it spread worldwide as it has in the US? Will we see pickleball in the Olympics anytime soon?
Let us know your thoughts with #pickleball2023!
If you’re interested in getting more in-depth statistics on pickleball, including historical, age, gender, and demographic breakdowns, we highly encourage purchasing the latest reports from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). We do not receive any commission from purchases of SFIA reports.