Pickleball: The New Tennis?

You may have seen the story that ran on NBC Nightly News last week on the growing popularity of the sport called pickleball. Never heard of it? Chances are you will, and soon.

Pickleball, as its national association tells us, is the fastest growing sport in America. Now a lot of sports claim that distinction, but pickleball may, indeed, hold that title.

It’s a cross of tennis, ping pong and badminton, played with wiffle-like balls. It can be played inside or outside, and organizations are located in all 50 states.

It doesn’t cost a lot to play, the equipment isn’t outrageously expensive and you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to be good at it. Perfect to families, seniors, just about anybody who wants to stay active at any age.

So what’s the moral of the story? First, you never know what will be the next sport to bring fans and players to your area. When you’re looking for a sporting event to bid on, don’t be so focused on the big soccer, baseball or basketball organizations that you overlook associations like pickleball that have their own passionate group of fans.

Second, you’ll often find that these smaller associations are more than willing to work with you, and your facilities, to make sure their events will be first class. When you have a growing sport, it’s an exciting time, and a great opportunity to bring in new fans and these organizations want to put on the best show possible.

Here’s a link to the national story on pickleball: http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/pickleball-the-fastest-growing-sport-in-america-199360067605 and see what could be the future for your sports commission.


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