Pickleball, a combination of tennis, table tennis, and badminton, is currently the fastest growing sport in America. A sport in which TV channels and investment funds see a lot of money. One of these funds, together with American football legends Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters, bought a team that will participate in the American League.
“Of course I am excited about this investment opportunity,” Kim Clijsters said in a press release announcing MLP news. “But what excites me most about becoming a part-owner of an MLP team is that I can help shape the future of pickleball — a sport I love — along with amazing people, who also have some of my best friends,” says the six-time Grand Slam tennis champion. A number of people are already calling pickleball the new alternative, the new hype in racquet sports.
How much money Kim & co has invested has not been disclosed, but according to US news channel CNBC, paying for a team in the MLP is “soon to be a seven-figure figure.” MLP founder Steve Coon is convinced that by 2030 more than 40 million people will play pickleball in America alone, especially now well-known names such as Tom Brady and Kim Clijsters, but also basketball legend LeBron James and tennis player James Blake, are completely behind. on him.
The game originated in 1965. According to legend, the name comes from a “pickle barge”, a ship (a trawler then last in a sailing competition) that was the last to return to port and could carry nothing more than leftovers on board. Not very interesting: pickleball will then be a sport for those who are not good enough for other sports. It was also said sarcastically about padel that tennis is for the elderly. But: between 2019 and 2021 the number of pickleball players in the United States grew about forty percent, in 2023 there will be about two million dollars in prize money to be distributed.
There are approximately 4.8 million pickleball players in the United States The New York Times Just last month. The paper then published a conversation with a San Diego woman, Christine Miller, who turned a swimming pool into a pickleball field. “My son has left the house and no one uses it,” she said. “I’m more likely to see people in their 60s playing pickleball than wearing a swimsuit.” Because this cannot be ignored, the paper says: Half of those who play regularly are 55 or older, although progress is mainly underway among the younger age groups.
“Pickleball is on the rise in our country,” says Cassandra Bourgeois. I brought the sport here from the US in 2015. While studying in Florida, I played it every day. Once I got home, I started to miss him, so I started my first pickle ball club with my parents. Today there are about thirty people in our country, and every week someone from the tennis or padel club is on the line for more information. We are now counting 250 to 300 players. Last weekend there was a tournament in Germany, in which 40 compatriots participated.
The fact that the sport is also catching up with us is no surprise to the Chairwoman of Pickleball Belgium. “You can get away with it in about an hour, it’s really easy,” says Cassandra Bourgeois. Article – “Paddle” (A smaller version of a tennis racketred.) and “wiffle ball” (A plastic ball with holes, ed.) – mild, so injuries rarely occur. You don’t have to be a physical or artistic prodigy, although it can get tough sometimes. It is a sport for all ages, as pairs usually compete against each other. But of course you can also go pickleball in singles.
bit of rules?
Unlike padel, pickleball is not played in a cage, while the court is smaller and the net is lower than tennis (91.4 cm at the ends and 86.4 cm in the middle). The court area is one quarter the size of a tennis court. Specifically: it is 13.41 meters long and 6.10 meters wide. Pickleball is played in a game with two winning combinations of 11 points. Points can only be scored by the serving side.
Due to the type of ball used, it bounces less high than a tennis ball and the speed is lower. In addition, meals are served privately, which makes returning less arduous and parades usually last longer.
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