What is Pickleball?

Pickleball players of all ages and levels answer the question: What is pickleball?

Written by
Deborah Lew
October 10, 2023
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What is Pickleball?

Happy World Pickleball Day! It's only right that America's fastest-growing sport gets its own day on the calendar, and we're here for it. But, what exactly IS pickleball? In an attempt to get a better understanding than one Merriam-Webster could provide us, we asked people who actually play this uber popular court sport what the heck it really is. Spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with pickles.


What is pickleball?

"Pickleball to me is a sport filled with friendship. It's an opportunity to meet people and grow as a person and grow as a community. It's a great bonding experience and definitely more than just a sport. It's a huge community of supporting, supportive individuals." - Porter Barr, age 16, Boise, Idaho

"Pickleball is the best social competitive sport there is." - Mellanie Crawford, age 44, Charlotte, North Carolina

"Pickleball to me is a fun activity just to stay fit and active and competitive as well." - Jemere Plummer, age 25, Lakeland, Florida

"Pickleball is a vital part of my longevity plan. Hopefully pickleball will help me to live to 100." - Cindy Alligood, age 53, Macon, Georgia

"Pickleball is an amazing sport for all ages, for all abilities, for everybody to enjoy and come out and socialize, meet people and just discover yourself." - Megan Fudge, age 35, Tampa, Florida

"Pickleball is a sport that incorporates all ages and is a sport that many people from all different cultures, financial standings and backgrounds can develop a love for." - Bella Jones, age 64, Griffin, Georgia

"Pickleball is bringing people together like no other sport has done in the last few years. At work, a few of us started playing for fun. But now we've got regular teams, we play in-house tournaments, and we play other organizations in friendly match ups. Every week, somebody is asking 'Who's playing?' New staff members are playfully quizzed, 'So, do you play?' It's breaking office and technological boundaries and creating a sense of community and camaraderie." - Randy Ishino, age 57, Monterey Park, California


"Pickleball is the answer to world peace. It's where people from all different backgrounds, all different walks of life, all different countries can come together and play this game and forget all our problems and find people that we connect with that we never would have known before." - Susannah Barr, age 45, Boise, Idaho


"Pickleball is a sport that I do for fun. We went to the park one time and saw some people playing and we tried it out and started playing. I love it." - Camden Privett, age 9, Coleman, Alabama

"To me, pickleball is community. If I'm being honest, this is my first APP tour stop in a while and I have never felt more welcomed and it is a phenomenal atmosphere and I will definitely be back." - Cami Blake, age 30, Kalispell, Montana

"Pickleball is, if I could describe it, a very fun sport." - Isaac Buerkle, age 17, Albany, Georgia

"Pickleball for me is having fun and making so many friends. Everyone can play. I started playing because my kids went to college and I wondered what to do. I traveled with them to play sports because they play sports so I didn't know what to do. Then I started playing and I made so many friends - my social life has changed so much. We have lots of weekends together where we go to tournaments and make friends. It's a really nice life." - Luciana Oncins, age 51, Brazil

"I think pickleball is a sport, obviously, but I think it's a sport that brings a lot of people together of different groups - it doesn't matter your age or where you're from. I think that's the biggest thing, it's a community. I've met so many people from it, and now my only friends are pickleball people, so I think it's a great thing." - Noah Roman, age 23, Weston, Florida

"Pickleball to me is time away from the kids. It's mom time, alone time, and a stress relief from school and life." - Brianna Fancher, age 25, Pike County, Georgia

"Pickleball to me is a team sport for all ages. It's great friendships made, and it's also a great workout. That's what I love about it." - Lisa Riley, age 56, Wilson, North Carolina

"Pickleball is just a fun sport. The game as a whole is amazing, the growth right now is so awesome to see, and you want to just be a part of it." - Hunter Johnson, age 29, New Braunfels, Texas

So as it turns out, pickleball is, like anything in life, whatever you make it. If all of these pickleball lovers don't make you want to pick up a paddle right now, we don't know what will. Happy World Pickleball Day - celebrate accordingly!

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