Who knew about Pickleball?

Have you played pickleball? I know fellow blogger LA from Waking up on the Wrong Side of 50 loves to play.

I played for the first time a little over a year ago at the YMCA. I enjoyed it. It got me out playing with a new group of mostly nice people, moving, having fun. It was an easy sport to learn. I watched a few Youtubes to learn the rules.

Friends of mine from back home are really into it. When we visited my dad at his over-65 community, he showed us a bevy of pickleball courts. They were full the next morning when my husband and I wanted to practice. There was a chalkboard with a waiting list of people to be rotated into play.

At our YMCA, they have one day for beginners, and it’s a conflict with my weekly zoom call (where I participate with an amazing group of individuals with differing views on current events.)

I put pickleball on the back seat, thinking I eventually could go back and forth between the zoom call and the game.

The last time I played pickleball at the Y, I charged for a ball at the net, and stopped short before hitting the net with my body. My bad knee jammed and I was hurting for a few days. Then, playing with a couple on our neighborhood court, I picked up a ball from the ground and pulled a muscle in my butt.

Once, I took my husband to pickleball at the YMCA on Good Friday when the stock market was closed and I didn’t have a zoom call. He’s very competitive as a former football player who played both defense, offense, wrestled and was on the track team in high school. He charged the net and took it all down with him in a tangled mess.

Since then, I’ve stuck with current events on the zoom call.

I wasn’t surprised with the popularity of pickleball. It’s the fastest growing sport in the US because it’s fun, easy to learn and inexpensive. I’m also not surprised with the growing number of injuries due to the age of participants.


“Pickleball injuries could cost Americans up to $500 million this year, analysis finds” by Megan Cerullo.

Here’s an excerpt:

The growing popularity of pickleball in the U.S. is leading to a related surge, a new analysis has found: The number of Americans who are in pain.

The explosive growth of the racquet sport in recent years is contributing to higher injury rates and health care costs, particularly among seniors, according to analysts at UBS. They estimate in a report that injuries related to pickleball could cost Americans between $250 million and $500 million in medical costs this year, mostly related to wrist and leg sprains and fractures. 

The investment bank was prompted to examine the issue after UnitedHealth Group, whose stocks the Wall Street firm covers, said that health care utilization rates have jumped in recent months among Medicare users.

Pickleball, which has been around since the 1960s, has moved from a little-known pastime to a full-fledged cultural phenomenon in recent years, especially gaining traction during the pandemic when many people embraced outdoor activities. Over roughly the last three years the number of recreational players around the U.S. has soared 159%, from 3.5 million in 2019 to 8.9 million in 2022, according to data from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. 

And the sport is poised for even faster growth. UBS analysts forecast that more than 22 million “Picklers,” as players are known, will be thwacking balls back and forth this year. Seniors make up a third of the most avid players, according to the firm’s estimate, which defines that as people who whip out their paddles at least eight times per year.

Pickleball appeals to seniors in particular because it’s less strenuous, easier to access and learn how to play than other racquet sports like tennis and squash. 


Have you played pickleball? Did you love it or leave it? What are your thoughts about the injuries? Is it because the population playing is older — or is it something else?

40 thoughts on “Who knew about Pickleball?

  1. Love it. More injuries because older people play a lot and they erroneously think it’s easy because the court is smaller and they don’t think of it as a “real sport”.

  2. I stink at tennis, badminton, pickleball…all the sports except, oddly, volleyball. I tried pickleball once and nearly killed myself at the net. But I’ll cheer all of you on…I think it’s a great way to get moving. 🥰

  3. I was just hearing about this story on the local news! I have moments where I can’t walk without issues. I hate to think what I would do or jam or tear or fracture playing a net sport these days 😉

      • I think it’s often too easy to feel we have to live up to the expectations of others and what they do, or want, or feel is important in their lives. If someone likes the game but not the all out win or die attitude then then they have to be willing to seek out others who want to play for the same reasons. There are so many sports that trend for a time or for a specific reason and then fade away. I’ve never been one to follow trends in anything. It’s always great to try something new, but I think we all have our places and spaces and ideals that work for us. As long as you move, who really should care how you do it 🙂

      • I was excited to try it out. I had a college boyfriend from Gig Harbor whose family had a pickle ball court way back then! It was nostalgic and I was excited to give it a try. Plus I was trying out new things to meet people in my new community. I gave it a try and now I choose not too. My body is tired enough with my morning walks and swimming three days a week. Your comment reminded me a lot of my best friend growing up in Snohomish. She never cared what was trending or what other people thought — even in her teens.

      • See, I think that’s a perfect way to look at it- try something and if it doesn’t work for you then move on!

        The disinterest in trends has grown since adulthood. I can honestly say that as I teen I wanted all the latest whatever there was. I didn’t often get it, but I still wanted all the great stuff that everyone else had. I’m glad I finally put that behind me 😉

  4. E.A., sounds like you should stick to your love of swimming. Good exercise, easy on the knees. At our age, no need to injure ourselves, but we can still enjoy exercise. I think there are jerky movements in pickle ball, bad for the knees.

  5. Have you played pickleball? No
    Did you love it or leave it? I like the idea of it
    What are your thoughts about the injuries? I KNOW I’d injure myself somehow because once a klutz always a klutz
    Is it because the population playing is older — or is it something else? There are kid pickle ball leagues around here in addition to older people ones so I’m not sure injuries are age-related. Maybe it’s the overhead lighting on the courts that are in large old former retail stores, like Walmart?

  6. I have a friend who played a lot until she had her hip replaced (not from a pickleball injury though). They are having a pickelball event at Oracle Park where my Giants play so you know that it’s big.

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