The War for Pickleball

How the fastest-growing sport is becoming divided

Cody Collins


Image from Canva

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America. Partly driven by the pandemic, it has gained immense popularity in recent years.

In 2021, pickleball grew to 4.8 million players in the US. This is a 14.8% growth from 2020, after seeing a 21.3% growth from 2019.

All this growth has enticed big money and competition.

This has led to a struggle — there are three competing pickleball leagues in the US currently battling it out to be the top and only option.

Brief History

Pickleball was invented in the 1960s to entertain a bored teenager on vacation. Frank Pritchard, the bored teenager, and his father, Joel Pritchard, along with a few other friends, created the game.

Frank's mother, Joanne, was the one to give the sport its name.

Pickleball became a popular pastime played for fun at the summer location they vacationed at. Eventually, it spread out to the greater Washington State area.

The game became prevalent in schools and retirement communities. By 2016, the US Amateur pickleball Association included 17,000 members.



Cody Collins

Energy Finance Professional. Top writer in Investing, Economics, Technology, and Business. Co-Creator of Yard Couch. Email: