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Why Celebrities Playing Pickleball: Hollywood’s Hottest Trend

Why Celebrities Playing Pickleball: Pickleball has rapidly climbed in popularity across the United States, attracting a diverse array of celebrities and retired athletes with its unique blend of racket sports. It’s an accessible game suitable for all ages, a factor that contributed to its growth, particularly during the pandemic. The sport has now evolved to include its own professional league and teams supported by high-profile celebrities.

Pickleball has emerged as the fastest-growing sport in the US, presenting a staggering 4.8 million players last year and experiencing an impressive annual growth rate of 11.5% over the past five years. This hybrid sport combines elements from various games, played on a badminton-sized court with rules akin to tennis, utilizing paddles to volley a plastic, perforated ball. Unique terms like ‘dink,’ ‘falafel,’ and ‘flapjack’ add to its charm.

The game offers both singles and doubles formats, with the objective of serving the ball and scoring points. Its pace is controlled by rules that mandate underhand serves and include a “kitchen” area near the net where volleys are restricted.

Pandemic Accelerated Pickleball to Celebrities

The sport’s popularity rose significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals desired outdoor activities. This increased interest was highlighted by events like Colbert’s celebrity doubles pickleball tournament, featuring celebrities such as Emma Watson, Daniel Dae Kim, Luis Guzmán, and Sugar Ray Leonard, who have become notable advocates of the sport.

This trend continued with a group of celebrities adopting pickleball as a recreational pursuit, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, George and Amal Clooney, the Kardashians, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, and Ellen DeGeneres. The pandemic accelerated pickleball’s appeal as a safer alternative to indoor activities, drawing in a broader spectrum of enthusiasts.

Athletic Endorsement and Professionalization

Pickleball’s charm extends to athletes transitioning into retirement. Notable figures such as NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady and Eli Manning, former tennis star Andre Agassi, and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps frequently participate in pro-am and celebrity matches, often favoring doubles play.

The sport’s appeal spans generations, appealing particularly to older adults attracted to its relaxed pace. According to the USA Pickleball Association’s 2021 data, the average recreational player is around 47 years old, with a significant portion over the age of 65.

What sets pickleball apart is its potential for both relaxation and profit. Established in 2021, Major League Pickleball aims to expand, offering substantial prize money and attracting investment from basketball icons like LeBron James, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, and Kevin Durant, as well as other sports figures like Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters.

Whether pursuing professional aspirations or simply curious about its celebrity appeal, pickleball continues to captivate enthusiasts for its blend of familiar racket sports elements—similar to tennis, badminton, and ping pong—all played on a court with minimal equipment requirements.

News in Brief: Why Celebrities Playing Pickleball

Pickleball’s rapid rise in the US has attracted celebrities and athletes alike, drawn to its accessible, hybrid nature blending racket sports on a badminton-sized court. With 4.8 million players and 11.5% annual growth, it offers singles and doubles formats pointing out underhand serves and strategic play around the ‘kitchen.’ Celebrities like Emma Watson and Tom Brady boosted its pandemic-era popularity, highlighting events and professional leagues. Its appeal spans generations, particularly among older adults, with Major League Pickleball promising both relaxation and substantial rewards. This unique blend of sports elements continues to intrigue, making pickleball a standout in recreational pursuits.

Also Read: Texas Ranchers Plan to Transform Austin With the Pickleball Craze

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