One hundred and twenty Players from all corners of the United States and beyond competed in the Emerald Coast Pickleball Classic in Destin, FL. Seventy competitors rallied for victory in the Ashland Pickleball Tourney. Las Vegas, NV, will be hosting the Sin City Showdown in early April. The Low Country Pickleball Classic will draw hundreds of players to Sun City/Hilton Head, SC for showdown championship play.

The calendar of events maintained by the United States Pickleball Association (USAPA) gives credence to the swift and strong growth of the sport.

Pickleball is here to stay, making a solid impression on the type of sports available in the future.

The facts of the matter

The USAPA Open is weeks away. Over 1,000 athletes are expected to play on the 46 courts in Naples, FL. Over 50 million viewers are expected to watch the live CBS broadcast of the finals. By 2018, the number of pickleball players is expected to rise to over eight million up from two million today. USAPA membership has increased by 46% since 2010, a meteoric rise for any sport. The number of places to play pickleball has risen by 385% since 2010, again meteoric.

The root of pickleball fascination

Pickleball is a relatively inexpensive sport. With a net, racquets, a ball, and a space smaller than a tennis court, pickleball becomes a possibility.

The rules are relatively familiar to anyone who has played tennis, ping pong, badminton, or racquetball. The difficult and archaic scoring system found in tennis is gone, replaced with games played to 11 points with a win by two point requirement.

Pickleball can be played in a single or double format, with doubles being currently more predominant.

Unlike other similar sports, a pickleball court has a non-volley area, located immediately in front of the net on both sides. It is one of the few unique aspects of the sport, and the non-volley or kitchen area has several sub-rules associated with it -- all easily remembered and understood.

From newbie to professional, the draw of pickleball is drawing notice!