Best Cities for Pickleball
For the past three years, pickleball has been dubbed the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., with a 158.6% growth rate.
Across the nation, more than 36.5 million people played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022, CNBC reported. There are more than 10,320 pickleball courts nationwide, with new courts constantly popping up.
Pickleball ranks only behind biking and running in participation rates. It ranks ahead of basketball, golf, tennis, baseball, soccer and football, according to the Pickleheads website.
Soon, pickleball could be available on online sports betting sites.
Growth Rate Explained
One reason for the growth rate is the simplicity and excitement of the game and the ease of learning how to play.
Several participation sports, including golf and tennis, can take months for a dedicated player to learn. Pickleball players can become proficient sometimes in minutes or days and don’t need to be highly skilled — though top players are.
The origin of the name pickleball underscores its appeal to all skill levels.
The game was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington, among friends. Its name was inspired by college crew sports, where the leftover nonstarters compete in pickle boats just for fun. (On its website, USA Pickleball disputes a theory that the term’s origin is based on a dog named Pickles.)
Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and Ping-Pong, played on a smaller court than tennis, with a lower net. It can be played on outdoor or indoor pickleball courts, though most courts are outdoors.
Unlike some sports (golf being one), pickleball equipment isn't difficult to control. Pickleball paddles are a little larger than those used for Ping-Pong and are easy to hold and manage. The ball is similar to a Whiffle ball in that it is plastic, hollow and has holes.
With pickleball’s explosive growth in the U.S., Gambling.com examined four factors to determine which cities are, right now, the best for pickleball.
- Average rainfall: Yearly annual rainfall from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Number of courts: information from city government parks and recreation websites and local newspaper stories to compute the number of courts.
- Participation base: The population of each city factors into how many participants Pickleball could have there. We used figures compiled using U.S. Census Bureau data.
- Sports Bars: Because pickleball appeals to casual players and sports enthusiasts who might like to hang out afterward, Gambling.com looked at the number of sports bars, using the popular sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings, in each metropolitan area.
- All four data points were measured out of 100 using the PERCENTRANK formula, and an average was found to create a ‘Final/ Best Cities for Pickleball Score.’ Cities were ranked from highest to lowest final score.
- All data was collected and corrected on May 10, 2023.
What state is most popular for pickleball?
California has the largest number of pickleball courts, with 794. But that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of other places to play. Other states with large numbers of pickleball courts include Florida (770), Texas (519), New York (400), Washington (348) and Ohio (337).
Where is pickleball most commonly played?
The game is commonly played on outdoor pickleball courts, indoor courts, public courts in public parks and at community centers. The sport is also popular among active players in pickleball clubs and leagues in every region of the country, from Virginia and other East Coast states to Arizona and states throughout the West.
Where is the pickleball capital of the world?
The U.S. is the pickleball capital of the world, with more than 10,320 pickleball courts already in use and many more under construction. East Naples Community Park in Naples, Florida, and The Villages, Florida, are considered fast-growing places to play pickleball, as are the Twin Cities in the Midwest and Western cities such as Salt Lake City and San Diego.
How do I find local pickleball games?
Pickleball enthusiasts can find courts by going to the city government website in their area or searching for courts at fitness clubs, recreation centers and vacation resorts. There are tons of leagues in most communities for beginners to experienced players.
Can pickleball be played on a tennis court?
No. Pickleball courts are smaller than tennis courts. Pickleball courts are 44 feet by 20 feet. Tennis courts are 78 feet by 27 feet. Pickleball nets are 36 inches high at the sidelines and 34 inches high in the middle. Tennis nets are 42 inches high at the sidelines and 36 inches in the middle.
Be first to get our exclusive sports offers!
Join today to stay up to date on your states gambling news and offers.