What Is The Average Age Of Pickleball Players – New Research 2023

Welcome to our insightful article where we delve into the exciting world of pickleball and uncover an intriguing aspect of this rapidly growing sport.

Prepare to be amazed as this fast-growing sport, blending table tennis, badminton, and tennis, has witnessed a remarkable 35% surge in participation among Americans aged 18 and above within the past year alone. 

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What Is The Average Age Of Pickleball Players

And here’s the twist – pickleball isn’t just for one age group! In fact, it attracts a diverse range of players, including a considerable number of younger enthusiasts. 

With its accessible and adaptable nature, coupled with the sheer joy of gameplay, it’s no wonder pickleball has become the hottest sport in the country for three consecutive years. 

So, join us on this thrilling journey as we dive into detailed demographics and popularity statistics, unraveling the rise of pickleball and its irresistible allure to individuals of all ages across the United States. Get ready to be hooked!

What Is The Average Age Of Pickleball Players

Pickleball, a rapidly growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has gained immense popularity in recent years. 

The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) has released updated research on pickleball participation, shedding light on various aspects of the sport, including the average age of its players. 

Let’s delve into the data and explore the demographics of pickleball players:

A Younger Player Demographic:

According to the research, the average age of pickleball players is 34.8 years, indicating a younger player demographic than previously assumed. This statistic challenges the perception that pickleball is limited to seniors and highlights its appeal to individuals of all ages.

Growth Among the Ages of 18-44:

Growth Among the Ages of 18-44

Pickleball has experienced significant growth among individuals between the ages of 18 and 44. More than 70% of avid pickleball players fall within this age range. The data reveals that pickleball is attracting a younger audience, contributing to its overall popularity.

Increase in Players Aged 35-44:

Since August 2022, there has been an impressive 86% increase in players aged 35-44. This surge in participation within this age group further emphasizes the sport’s expanding reach and appeal.

Average Age Comparison – Avid and Casual Players:

Avid pickleball players, who regularly engage in the sport, have an average age of 34.8 years, aligning with the overall average age of pickleball players. 

Average Age Comparison - Avid and Casual Players

On the other hand, casual players, who participate at least once a year, have an average age of 33.6 years, indicating a slightly younger age profile.

Male Dominance and Female Growth:

Pickleball attracts players from diverse demographics, but the highest concentration of avid players is male, accounting for 62% of this category. Among casual players, 57% are male, while 43% are female. 

However, it’s worth noting that women exhibited slightly faster growth compared to men in 2021, indicating a growing female interest in the sport.

Average Age Decline:

In 2021, the average age of pickleball players was recorded at 38.1 years, showing a decline from the previous year’s average of 41 years. This decline suggests that the sport is gaining popularity among the youth and attracting players from a broader age range.

Core and Casual Player Age Differences:

There is a notable age difference between core and casual players. Core players, who are more committed to the sport, have an average age of 47.5 years, reflecting a higher representation of older individuals. 

Conversely, casual players, who participate less frequently, have a lower average age of 33.6 years.

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Where is Pickleball Played the Most?

Pickleball, a rapidly growing sport, has varying levels of popularity across different regions of the United States. 

The South-Atlantic region stands out as the area with the highest concentration of pickleball players, indicating a strong presence and interest in the sport. 

However, the West North Central region experienced the highest growth rate in pickleball participation in 2022, signifying an increasing popularity in that particular area. 

Where is Pickleball Played the Most

When looking at specific hotspots, New York City and Los Angeles emerge as the frontrunners, collectively accounting for over 21% of all pickleball participation in the top 10 Designated Market Areas (DMAs). 

In New York, approximately 11.3% of the DMA population has played pickleball in the past year, while roughly 9.6% of the DMA population in Los Angeles has engaged in the sport. Other notable DMAs include Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, Washington DC, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle – Tacoma. 

According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, the Pacific, East North Central, and South Atlantic regions of the United States are particularly popular for pickleball. 

Notably, the West North Central region showcased the fastest growth in pickleball players in 2022, while the Middle Atlantic region had slower growth in 2021. 

These trends demonstrate the varying degrees of pickleball’s popularity across different regions, with some areas experiencing rapid growth while others maintain a strong and consistent presence of players.

Origins Of Pickleball And Popularity

Pickleball, a game invented in 1965 by Bill Bell, Joel Pritchard, and Barney McCallum, has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a family pastime. 

Combining elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, the game quickly gained traction and is now widely enjoyed across the United States. 

The name “pickleball” itself originated from Joel Pritchard’s dog, Pickles, who would eagerly chase after the ball during their early matches.

Court Size and Benefits

Pickleball courts, designed to accommodate the unique nature of the game, are one-third the size of tennis courts. This smaller scale allows players to engage in fast-paced rallies while requiring less physical exertion. 

Playing pickleball not only provides entertainment but also offers numerous benefits, including improved hand-eye coordination and an enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family.

Pickleball Locations in the United States

The popularity of pickleball is reflected in the number of places available to play the sport. As of early 2023, there are approximately 10,724 locations across the United States dedicated to pickleball. 

These locations include both dedicated courts and tennis courts with pickleball lines. California takes the lead with 794 pickleball locations, closely followed by Florida with 770 and Texas with 519. 

Among cities, Seattle stands out with the highest number of places to play pickleball, boasting an impressive 49 known locations.

Growth of Pickleball Courts

The growth of pickleball is evident in the increasing number of dedicated courts across the country. In 2022, the United States witnessed a remarkable growth rate of 15.6%, resulting in a total of 44,094 pickleball courts. 

Seattle leads the way in terms of courts per resident, boasting an impressive ratio of 3 courts for every 20,000 residents.

Economic Impact and Tournaments

Pickleball’s popularity extends beyond recreational play, as it has emerged as a significant market. In 2022, the pickleball market was estimated to be worth $152.8 million, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% through 2028. 

Additionally, the sport attracts numerous professional tournaments, with 47 major pickleball tournaments scheduled to be held in the United States in 2023. 

These tournaments are organized across the top three pro tours: MLP, PPA, and APP. The total prize pool for these tournaments is expected to range between $9.0 and $11.0 million.

Membership and Ambassador Programs

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) plays a crucial role in promoting and supporting pickleball. 

Membership and Ambassador Programs

As of 2023, the USAPA has approximately 68,697 members, marking a notable increase of 29.4% from 2021. The association’s network of 1,973 ambassadors actively promotes pickleball at various levels, further contributing to the sport’s growth. 

In 2022, USAPA sanctioned 237 official pickleball tournaments, representing a yearly increase of nearly 55%.

Referee Certification and Training

Ensuring fair play and maintaining the integrity of the game, the USAPA has invested in referee certification and training programs. 

Currently, the association has certified 212 pickleball referees and 478 Level 1 and Level II referees. 

Furthermore, the Professional Pickleball Registry, a training partner of USAPA, conducted 202 workshops in 2022, with almost 2,000 participants benefitting from these training sessions.

Market Growth and Equipment Sales

The pickleball equipment market is experiencing substantial growth, with an estimated value of $152.8 million in 2022. 

It is projected to achieve a yearly growth rate of 7.7%, reaching $256.1 million by 2028. The United States holds a significant share of the global market, accounting for 74%, followed by Canada at 5.4%. 

Overall, the pickleball equipment market was valued at $65 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $155 billion by 2033, with a CAGR of 9%.

Regional Insights and Pickleball Capitals

Pickleball’s popularity varies across states and regions. New Jersey, despite being the 11th most populous state, ranks 22nd in terms of pickleball locations. 

On the other hand, Naples, Florida, has earned the title of “Capital of Pickleball” due to its strong presence and dedicated pickleball community. 

Additionally, Austin has emerged as a notable pickleball hotspot, with the upcoming opening of the Austin Pickle Ranch, one of the largest pickleball facilities in the country. 

Notably, the growth rate of pickleball locations in North Carolina surpasses its population rank, indicating the sport’s increasing popularity in the region.

Social Media and Follower Engagement

Pickleball’s rise in popularity is further exemplified by the growing engagement on social media platforms. 

In 2022, the official social channels of USAPA experienced a 50% increase in followers. This surge in online interest highlights the sport’s appeal and its ability to attract a wider audience.

Is Pickleball An Old Person Game?

Pickleball, despite its association with older adults, is not exclusively an “old person’s game.” While it is true that a majority of regular pickleball players are 55 years and older, indicating its popularity among older generations, the sport has gained significant traction across various age groups in the past decade. 

Older adults are drawn to pickleball due to its low-impact nature, which provides a form of exercise that helps prevent chronic health issues. 

Is Pickleball An Old Person Game

Additionally, pickleball offers retirees a sense of purpose and social interaction with peers of similar age and interests, fostering a vibrant community. 

The relaxed atmosphere of pickleball encourages friendly competition and enjoyable experiences for seniors, while its fast-paced nature and skill requirements make it challenging and exciting for players of all ages. 

Learning the rules of pickleball is relatively easy, allowing beginners to quickly get started with basic hand-eye coordination. The sport provides opportunities for players to elevate their game, improve their skills, and strike a balance between competitive play and enjoyable recreation. 

With its accessibility and low-impact nature, pickleball is suitable for individuals of all ages, including older adults, enabling them to maintain an active lifestyle and engage in physical activity well into their later years. 

The popularity of pickleball among older generations challenges the notion that it is solely an “old person’s game” by attracting participants of diverse age groups and creating a dynamic and inclusive community.


Pickleball, a sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has gained popularity across various age groups. While older adults form a significant portion of players, the sport attracts individuals of all ages. 

The average age of pickleball players is 34.8 years, challenging the perception that it is exclusively for seniors. Pickleball offers a low-impact exercise option for older adults and provides a balance between competition and recreation. 

It is accessible, easy to learn, and promotes an active lifestyle. The sport’s popularity among older generations challenges the notion that it is only an “old person’s game” and creates an inclusive community for players of all ages.

Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson

Hi, my name is Michael Stevenson and I’m a passionate pickleball player. I’ve been playing the game for many years and I’m pretty highly skilled at it. Pickleball is one of my favorite topics so naturally, I love to write about it.

Whether it’s tips for beginners, guides for experts, reviews of new paddles, or advanced playing techniques – if it relates to pickleball then I have something interesting to write about it. So if you’re looking for entertaining and informative information on the topic of pickleball, look no further than my written works!