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.https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pickleball-injuries-will-cost-americans-up-to-500-million-this-year/
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?