Pickleball’s Popularity and Rising Injuries

As Pickleball’s Popularity Surges, Injuries Are Also on the Rise

Pickleball, a paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has been gaining immense popularity in recent years. With its easy-to-learn rules, low-impact nature, and social appeal, it has attracted players of all ages and skill levels. However, as the sport’s popularity surges, so do the number of injuries associated with it.

The Rise of Pickleball

Pickleball was invented in the mid-1960s and has since grown into a widely recognized sport. It is played on a smaller court than tennis, with a lower net and specialized paddles. The game’s simplicity and accessibility have made it a favorite among older adults looking for a fun way to stay active.

According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), pickleball participation has increased by over 650% since 2013. The sport now boasts millions of players across the United States alone, with dedicated pickleball courts popping up in parks, community centers, and retirement communities.

The Inherent Risks

While pickleball is generally considered a low-impact sport, injuries can still occur. The most common injuries reported include sprained ankles, strained muscles, and tennis elbow. These injuries can happen due to overuse, improper technique, or accidents on the court.

One of the main reasons for the rise in injuries is the increasing number of novice players who are not familiar with the proper techniques and strategies of the game. As more people jump on the pickleball bandwagon, they may underestimate the physical demands of the sport, leading to avoidable injuries.

Preventing Pickleball Injuries

Fortunately, there are steps that players can take to minimize the risk of injuries while enjoying pickleball:

  • Warm up properly before playing to prepare your muscles and joints.
  • Wear appropriate footwear with good ankle support.
  • Learn and practice proper techniques to avoid strain and overuse injuries.
  • Listen to your body and take breaks when needed.
  • Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy lifestyle to support overall physical fitness.

Additionally, it is crucial for pickleball facilities and organizations to prioritize safety. Providing education and training programs for players, ensuring well-maintained courts, and promoting proper equipment usage can all contribute to reducing the risk of injuries.


Pickleball’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down, but it is essential for players to be aware of the potential risks associated with the sport. By taking precautions, practicing proper techniques, and promoting safety measures, players can continue to enjoy the game while minimizing the chances of injuries. Remember, staying injury-free allows for a more enjoyable and long-lasting pickleball experience.