Pickleball rapidly gaining popularity across the metro

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 10:50 AM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - By now, most Kansas Citians have seen or played pickleball between Chicken N Pickle or out at a park. Life Time has been added to the list, and the fitness centers have scrapped six basketball courts and turned them into pickleball courts.

The sport has gained so much popularity in Kansas City, Life Time has seen a 300% increase in participants over the past year. Across the country, over 36.5 million people played pickleball between August 2021 to August 2022, according to the Association for Pickleball Professionals.

Here are some of the benefits of playing pickleball, according to Life Time:

  • One of the best aspects of pickleball is that anyone can play. Whether you have zero experience or you’re an athlete, the rules of pickleball are simple.
  • Studies show pickleball can lead to improved blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness. It offers aerobic exercise, giving players the chance to move around on the court at any level of intensity.
  • Since pickleball moves at a slower pace than tennis, it’s easier on the joints while also improving balance, coordination, and agility. This makes it a wonderful choice for those who have had injuries in the past, or former tennis players looking for a gentler alternative.
  • More than anything, pickleball is a social game, and it’s no secret that strong social connections improve the quality of our life and can extend our life expectancy.

By the end of 2024, Life Time plans to have more than 1,000 permanent pickleball courts across the country. According to the Association for Pickleball Professionals, there are over 10,000 courts in the United States, making it the fastest growing sport in America over the past three years.