As the craze of pickleball is burgeoning around the World, the players frequently ask, Is Pickleball an Olympic sport?
No, pickleball is not considered an Olympic sport until now, but might be in the future.
Pickleball, a blend of technical elements of paddle tennis, badminton, and ping-pong is a fast, inclusive, and entertaining sport that is growing rapidly around the world.
It is renowned in North-American countries. Because of its straightforward rules for beginners, its craze is thriving rapidly.
Let’s discuss whether pickleball is professional sport or not. And why it’s not considered an Olympic sport and how it can become one? In this article, we will also deliberate on those sports that should be in the Olympics but are not.
Is Pickleball a Professional Sport?
Yes, pickleball is a professional sport because of its incredible growing factor at the global level.
For the last four years, tournaments are organized for pickleball in the US. It’s renowned among older people especially, as core teams have people around 65.
According to the USA, it is thriving rapidly in younger too, but still, the US too is struggling for pickleball to keep up.
There are fewer places or courts available for pickleball, but the demand is increasing several times monthly.
Pickleball is killing tennis and consider to be the fastest-growing game across the World.
Let’s talk about some stats about pickleball, currently, there are 4.2 million players playing pickleball and that’s an incredible number. There is a 21% increase in the number of players up from 2k19.
If it continues to rise at this rate, it will easily reach 10 million people around the globe.Says “Nikola Aracic”
With the increasing demand, the rising concern is playing areas or courts for pickleball. There are fewer courts available for it, to reach the demand tennis courts should turn into a pickleball courts.
Growth of Pickleball In United States
According to USA Pickleball & Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) report, the rate has been elevated to 39% per two-year that is 4.8 million players in 2021. It was about 4.2 million until 2020.
The details about the pickleball players from the report declared in 2021 are:
- Out of 4.2 million players, 1.4 million were the core players and 2.8 million were casual player.
- Rate of women players playing pickleball is 39%.
- Rate of men players playing pickleball is 61%.
- The average age group playing this sport is around 38 years old.
- The core player’s average age is 47.5 and 33.6 for casual players.
- 60% of core players of the sport are of 55 or older.
- 79% of casual players are less than 54 or 54.
How does a sport become Olympic sport?
To become a part of Olympic sports, the game should meet specific criteria of the IOC. The sport needs to meet all the requirements set by them.
The criteria to meet the Olympic requirement is:
- Regulation by an NGO
- Follow Olympic Movement Anti-Doping code
- Popularity around the World
- International Recognition
1. Regulation by NGO
What does it mean?
Simply, it means writing the basic rules, limitations, and whole about the sport and updating when necessary.
NGO regulation is important to prevent manipulation of the rules. The rules of every sport should be standardized for keeping it away from any complications while considering all countries around the globe.
2. Follow Olympic Movement Anti-Doping code
Anti-doping code means the sport must be away from drugs that enhance the performance of the player. This is a common issue among the plays and players too, they use drugs for enhancing their ability to perform the specific sport.
IOC started to take this issue seriously and standardized a rule that sports should follow the anti-doping code.
3. Popularity around the World
To be a part of an Olympic game, a sport should be enough popular around the World.
As you know, the Olympics is a business the unpopular sport will a loss for it. To become an Olympic sport, the standard set for popularity is fame in more than 75 countries.
The criterion for male athletes playing the sport is at least four continents and for female athletes is a minimum of three continents.
4. International Recognition
As we said, it should play in at least 75 countries, so we mean that it must be recognized at the international level.
After having all these qualities, there are still chances of not having an Olympics tag. There are other matters too that have to be fulfilled for qualifying as an Olympic game. One of those is not having playing areas or proper facilities in the host country.
This is the big complication, and pickleball is facing this too. The courts are not available for pickleball in the US, but they are working for it enthusiastically.
Will pickleball be an Olympic sport?
The United States is working its best to develop pickleball awareness among players and provide facilities for the game. The players according to estimate increasing in incredible numbers.
Do you know when people ponder about the Olympics? Diving, swimming, and athletics are the sports that come in their intellect just right away.
If we talk about pickleball, there are not many people who know about it other than in the US.
Secondly, there are no facilities available for it, which makes it difficult to be a part of the Olympics.
Sports that should be in Olympics (Non olympic sports)
Some sports meet the criteria of the Olympics and are internationally prestigious but still are not the part of Olympics.
Here, we will discuss some of them:
One of the most dedicated and watched sports, known as the British sport. Cricket has an ardent fan base all over the World. Having more than 2.5 billion fans will elevate the viewership of the Olympics.
Cricket is played at an international level and many countries participate in cricket tournaments but are still not a part of the Olympics. If it is proposed in other countries too, the players would love it.
An elegant sport that is massively played in Britain, India, Argentina, and the United States. It is team-based and popular in many countries.
If we consider its historical value and participation from many countries around the world, then it should be the part of the Olympics, but still not.
About 17 million people play squash approximately but are still not a part of the Olympics. It is majorly famous in India.
Kabaddi is a popular sport native to India and is also eminent in Afghanistan, Canada, Iran, Pakistan, and many other countries. It also makes a player flexible and develops stamina and endurance in him. Its addition to the Olympics will give a unique challenge to our athletes and will gain the attention of a wide audience.
These all sports and many others like these are not the part of Olympics, but they should be.
These sports meet the criteria set by the IOC to become a part of the Olympics but are still not considered.
Olympics should consider these sports as they are leading internationally. Other than the mentioned sports, Darts, Bowling, Horseracing, and MMA should also be considered.
There is no limitation of games in the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee IOC decides whether a sport should be introduced in the Olympics or not. The sports are broadcast during peak television hours to get registered as Olympics.
The new sports that are not famous do not get much attention. Some weirdest Olympics events have been showcased. Like 3000m Steeplechase, Motor Boating, Horse Long Jump, Horse High Jump, and Solo synchronized swimming.
These events are random and there is less popular too. As there is no limitation of the events, we do not say to remove some games from the Olympics but should add those sports too that met meeting criteria and are eminent all over the World.
Final Thoughts: Is Pickleball Olympics Sport
Pickleball is not Olympic sport because of some practical matters like the unavailability of playing areas or courts in the host country. The United States is working enthusiastically for making pickleball an Olympic game.
The craze for this game is increasing incredibly, and there is an increase in the number of players too, from the past to now. Many sports have more international recognition as well as popularity but are still not part of the Olympics.
I am Michael Wanner, an experienced and educated expert in the field of pickleball. I hold a degree in Sports Science from Cleveland State University, Ohio, USA. My expertise lies in the technical aspects of pickleball and how to play it effectively. I have spent many years playing and coaching pickleball and have a wealth of knowledge to share with my readers. I am a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their pickleball skills and strategies.