If mindless doom-scrolling on your phone isn’t hitting the way it used to, perhaps a new (more active) pastime is on the cards and, boy, have we got a good one for you. Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and popularity is surging in Australia. Pickleball Australia Association (PAA) figures show that about 25,000 people across the country play – a big proportion of them in NSW.
What's pickleball, you might ask?
Pickleball is a bit like tennis – two to four players hit a perforated, hollow plastic ball over a net until the player/s on one side are unable to return it or do something wrong; though the ball is hit with little paddles, and it's played on a smaller court (outdoors or indoors) than tennis is. The sport was first played in the US back in 1965, and it brings together elements of tennis with badminton and table tennis.
In NSW the sport is become more and more popular all the time – there are now 31 centres around Sydney, and you can play in 27 other regions across NSW.
Can anyone play pickleball?
Part of the rise in popularity of pickleball is thanks to the accessibility of the sport. It's easy to pick up, it's social, it's fun, and anyone can play: kids, older people, and people with a disability.
A whole lot of new people started picking up paddles during lockdowns when people were looking for ways to stay active while physically distancing, and pickleball found appeal with new generations.
Where to play pickleball in Sydney or NSW?
If you’re keen on giving pickleball a try, head to the Pickleball Association of NSW site to find your nearest pickleball centre.