Is Pickleball an Olympic Sport?

No, Pickleball is not an Olympic Sport. Not yet at least. The Olympics NEED to add Pickleball, THE best sport for all ages.

| Read: 2 min

The Olympic Flag
Perhaps Pickleball will fly under the Olympic Flag in 2028

That could change for the 2024 Paris Olympics or 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games, though a change in status for 2024 is a bit lofty for this recreational-turn-pro ball sport.

How can a sport qualify for Olympic consideration?

To be recognized by the IOC, the governing body of the Olympic Games, and, the people that draft the Olympic requirements, a sport must be played in 75 countries across four continents for men's competition or 40 countries on three continents for women's competition.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is a fast-paced, paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a doubles court with a net that is 1.5 to 2.5 meters high at the center. The game is played by two teams of two players each.

The teams take turns serving, and can score points by hitting the ball and getting it past the other team's player and into the other team's court. The object of the game is to keep the ball in play as much as possible without touching the ground.

To play the sport, you must use a perforated plastic ball which is a combination of a tennis ball and a wiffleball. Pickleball is a fast-paced game which can be played in a variety of locations such as indoor and outdoor facilities, college campuses, and parks.

An Olympic Tennis Court that could be converted for Pickleball
The Rio Olympic Tennis Court could have had Pickleball

When was Pickleball invented?

According to USA Pickleball, the sport was created in 1965 up in the Pacific Northwest, just outside of Seattle, by "three dads ... whose kids were bored with their usual summertime activities", Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.

What are the rules of Pickleball?

In short, players volley back and forth, hitting the ball over the net until the ball can't be returned by a player/team. A point is awarded each team this happens. First player/team to 11 wins. But, you must win by two points - an example being 11-9.

The game is pretty similar to tennis, with an exchange of service and volleying. The introduction of the two-bounce rule and a non-volley zone is where it departs. Read up on the rules of Pickleball if you're interested in learning more about how to play.

Wrapping up

Could you imagine aging tennis superstars coming out of retirement to dominate pickleball and add to their trophy collection, should the Olympics pick up the sport? It would be awesome to see mid-50s Pete Sampras come out of retirement from the ATP to wax the pickleball court and take home a gold. If that were the case, I think people would love to see Pickleball join the Olympics.

Besides, it wouldn't be the weirdest sport to be played in the Olympics. That falls to Equestrian Dressage, Tug-of-War, or Race Walking.

Because Sports!

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