It might not come as a big surprise to you, but Florida is tops for pickleball. Google searches for ‘pickleball’ have risen 219% in the United States over the past five years, according to analysis by pickleball paddle providers Selkirk. The sport has taken off in the Sunshine State at a rapid pace. I love how pickleball has been described by Bill Gates as a “mashup of tennis, badminton and ping pong”.
How Pickleball started
The origins of this sport date back to the 1960’s in Washington state by congressman Joel Pritchard and a businessman Bill Bell. Bored and on a summer trip with family they found an old badminton court but no equipment. They improvised with ping-pong paddles and a perforated plastic ball.
They came up with rules and seven years later formed a corporation to protect their new sport. The rest, as they say, is history.
Florida tops in Pickleball research
This new report looked at Google searches related to pickleball in all fifty states. Everything from what is pickleball, to rules and gear. Next, the team of experts gave each state a ranking out of 400 possible points. Floridians googled “pickleball lessons” at the second highest rate of any state.
A spokesperson for Selkirk says this about the findings: “Interest in pickleball can largely be attributed to its numerous benefits, such as having an easier learning curve and being a more social sport. And it’s just fun! It is encouraging to see so many Americans searching for more information about the sport. We expect to see these searches translate into uptake in participation as pickleball continues to be America’s fastest growing sport.”
Florida is tops for pickleball, however, two other states have a slight edge according to Selkirk.