I have had many people ask me, “is pickleball an Olympic sport?” Not yet, my friends.
However, with the popularity of pickleball on the rise, many avid players and fans believe the sport will one day make it to the Olympics. While there is no official word from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Pickleball does seem to have what it takes to be an Olympic sport.
Pickleball Olympics: Coming Soon?
Even though pickleball is a relatively new sport, it has been around since the 1960s, making it already popular enough to warrant international attention and competition. In addition, pickleball is a relatively simple sport that people of all ages and abilities can play. This makes it an ideal candidate for inclusion in the Olympics, which seeks to promote sports that are accessible to all.
Pickleball has already begun to gain traction at the collegiate level. Several universities, including Stanford and the University of Florida, have started offering pickleball as a varsity sport. This is a key step toward pickleball’s inclusion in the Olympics, as many Olympic sports first gained popularity at the collegiate level before making it to the world’s most significant stage.
The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) board of directors overwhelmingly voted to recognize USA Pickleball as the sport’s official governing organization at a meeting. And according to an article on the USA Pickleball website, the vote opens the door for American pickleball players to compete in Olympic and Pan American Games.
Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles; there are also leagues for visually impaired people, those with mobility issues, and other groups of players. It is a fun, active, energetic sport that builds endurance, coordination, and confidence. Best of all, pickleball is easy to learn, and available to people of all ages and abilities. So why should pickleball Olympics happen in the near future?
· Pickleball is played all over the world.
· Pickleball can be indoors or outdoors, making it accessible to more people.
· It’s fun! Unlike some other sports, Pickleball doesn’t require hours of practice before you start to enjoy yourself. You can pick up the pickleball basics in minutes and be playing full games in no time.
· The game helps keep you fit without putting undue stress on your body, allowing players of all fitness levels to enjoy themselves without getting injured or exhausted.
· It’s excellent for families who want to play together because it’s easy for all ages, from young children to grandparents. Pickleball is the ultimate intergenerational sport.
So, is pickleball an Olympic sport? Not yet! But the next Olympics will take place in Paris in 2024. Will pickleball be included? Or perhaps in Los Angeles for 2028? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already added surfing, skateboarding and climbing for the 2028 Summer Olympics Games–is pickleball next?
Another sign that points to pickleball Olympics: The rapid rise of pickleball in college club teams has not only captured the hearts of sports enthusiasts but also paved the way for its potential inclusion as an NCAA sport. Colleges across the nation have witnessed an exponential growth in participation, with students embracing the unique combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. The sport’s accessibility, fast-paced nature, and emphasis on teamwork has made it a favorite among collegiate athletes. As the sport’s popularity continues to soar, the NCAA is taking notice, considering the possibility of adding pickleball to its roster of recognized sports. This momentum is also fueling the dream of pickleball ultimately becoming an Olympic event, further solidifying its status as a global phenomenon. The steadfast dedication and passion of these college club teams have laid the groundwork for a bright and promising future for pickleball on the world stage.