How Many Professional Pickleball Players Are There in the US?
Pickleball has rapidly gained popularity in recent years, becoming one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States. This fast-paced and exciting game has attracted players of all ages and skill levels. With its rise in popularity, the question of how many professional pickleball players there are in the US arises. In this article, we will explore the world of professional pickleball, its growth, and attempt to answer this burning question.
The Growth of Pickleball
Pickleball, a unique combination of tennis, badminton, and ping pong, was invented in the mid-1960s by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. Since then, it has evolved into a widely recognized sport, attracting millions of players across the globe. The game’s simplicity, accessibility, and social nature have contributed to its rapid growth.
Over the last decade, pickleball has experienced an exponential rise in popularity across the US. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), pickleball participation grew by 21.3% in 2020 alone, making it one of the fastest-growing sports in America.
The Professional Pickleball Scene
As pickleball continues to grow, so does its professional scene. The Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) and the Association of Professional Pickleball Players (APPP) are the two major organizations responsible for organizing and promoting professional pickleball tournaments in the US.
The PPA was established in 2018, with a mission to elevate the sport of pickleball through professional competition and increase its visibility. The APPP, on the other hand, was formed in 2020 as a player-led initiative aiming to provide professional players with more control over the sport’s future.
Professional pickleball players compete in various tournaments throughout the year, including the US Open Pickleball Championships, the APPP Tour, and the PPA Tour. These tournaments attract top players from around the country, showcasing their skills and providing an avenue for recognition.
How Many Professional Pickleball Players Are There?
Determining the exact number of professional pickleball players in the US can be challenging due to the sport’s rapid growth and the absence of a centralized database. However, estimates suggest that there are currently around 150-200 professional players actively participating in tournaments and representing sponsors.
While this number may seem relatively small compared to other professional sports, it is important to note that pickleball is still in its early stages as a professional sport. With the sport’s continued growth and increasing recognition, it is expected that the number of professional players will rise in the coming years.
Q: How do professional pickleball players make a living?
A: Professional pickleball players primarily make a living through tournament winnings, sponsorships, coaching, and endorsement deals. The top players often secure lucrative sponsorships from pickleball equipment manufacturers, apparel brands, and other related companies.
Q: How much money do professional pickleball players make?
A: The earnings of professional pickleball players vary widely depending on their skill level, tournament performance, and endorsement deals. While the top players can earn significant amounts from prize money and sponsorships, the majority of professional players supplement their income through coaching and teaching clinics.
Q: Can anyone become a professional pickleball player?
A: Yes, anyone with sufficient skill, dedication, and passion for the sport can aspire to become a professional pickleball player. However, it requires years of practice, training, and participation in local and regional tournaments to reach a professional level.
Q: Are there age restrictions for professional pickleball players?
A: No, there are no age restrictions for professional pickleball players. The sport is unique in that it attracts players of all ages, from young children to seniors. In fact, pickleball is often referred to as the “sport for all generations” due to its inclusive nature.
In conclusion, professional pickleball has emerged as a growing and exciting sport in the United States. While the exact number of professional players is difficult to determine, it is estimated that there are currently around 150-200 individuals actively competing in professional tournaments. As the sport continues to gain recognition and popularity, we can expect to see an increase in the number of professional pickleball players in the coming years.