Is Pickleball an Olympic Sport? The Answer Might Surprise You

Is pickleball an olympic sport

Are you a pickleball enthusiast or just someone who’s been wondering, “is pickleball an Olympic sport?” Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news… but no, it is not. At least not yet.

But don’t worry – there’s still hope that we might see some pickleball in the Olympics one day! Read on for the full scoop.

What Is Pickleball?

First things first, let’s all get on the same page and answer this question: what is pickleball?

If you haven’t heard of it before, pickleball is a game that can be played with two to four people and combines elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong.

It’s popular in plenty of countries around the world, so many athletes are hoping that one day it will become an official Olympic sport.

We’ve written plenty about the history of pickleball, including where it got its weird name, in our article, “What Is Pickleball? The truth about America’s fastest growing sport”.

Is pickleball an Olympic sport

Why We Don’t Have Pickleball in The Olympics Yet

So why isn’t there any pickleball in the Olympics yet? Well, to become an Olympic sport, a game needs to meet certain criteria as set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

First, it must be widely practiced around the world (which, check!). Second, it must follow rules recognized by international federations (also check!).

Finally – and most importantly – it needs to receive approval from at least 75% of IOC members. And unfortunately for us pickleball fans, this hasn’t happened yet. So there will be no official pickleball games in 2024 Olympics… but keep your fingers crossed for 2028!

The good news is that pickleball is thriving when it comes to gender equality, another important factor in a sport being accepted into the Olympics. Players from all genders compete together in tournaments around the world in mixed doubles tournaments.

But isn’t pickleball extremely popular?

Pickleball has become increasingly popular in the United States and Canada, but if it’s going to be accepted as an Olympic sport, it needs to gain a following in other parts of the world too.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations state that for a sport to receive approval from at least 75% of IOC members, it must be widespread throughout the world.

At this point, pickleball is still in its infancy and largely unknown outside of North America.

The sport’s governing body, USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), is working on reaching out to other countries to increase awareness about the game. They have also been actively lobbying IOC members in an effort to get them to recognize pickleball as an official Olympic sport.

Every year there is a US Open Pickleball Championship tournament held in Naples, Florida with over 5,000 participants from more than 20 countries. There are also several other international tournaments throughout the year such as the Canadian Open Championship and the European Pickleball Open Championship.

Additionally, there is now an international governing body for pickleball called the International Pickleball Federation (IPF). The IPF regulates international competitions and sets rules for pickleball play worldwide.

Is pickleball an Olympic sport

How You Can Help Make Pickleball An Official Sport

Just because pickleball isn’t an official Olympic sport doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it!

In fact, there are plenty of ways you can help push for recognition and make sure your favorite game gets its chance in the spotlight.

You can start by joining forces with fellow athletes and raising awareness through social media or local events – or even contacting your local government representatives about making changes to international sports policy!

Professional athletes often comment on social media about how fun and exciting the game can be to watch and play—which bodes well for its chances of becoming an Olympic sport.

To put things into perspective, badminton became an Olympic sport in 1992. Another small sport called ‘kabaddi’ also became an Olympic sport (a team game from India that is like tag but with wrestling). If they can do it, so can pickleball!

What this means for pickleball lovers

It’s true – as far as we know right now, there won’t be any officially recognized pickleball at next year’s Summer Games in Paris, France (July 26th to August 11th, 2024).

But just because something isn’t happening today doesn’t mean it won’t happen tomorrow. So don’t lose hope – if you’re passionate about seeing more pickleball action on the world stage someday soon, then keep on playing, talking about, and sharing your love for the sport.

Who knows – maybe we’ll see some official pickleball games at the 2028 Olympics after all!

Is pickleball an Olympic sport

Final Verdict – Pickleball as an Olympic sport

So is pickleball an Olympic sport? Not yet — but there’s still hope!

Unfortunately, while it has made tremendous strides towards meeting all of these criteria in recent years, pickleball won’t make its debut at next summer’s Olympics in Paris—at least not yet!

However, if it continues to grow in popularity as it has been lately, we may see some form of pickleball at future Olympics down the road.

Who knows? Maybe one day soon you’ll even get to watch your favorite player compete for gold on TV. One thing’s for sure: whatever happens next with pickleball will be interesting to watch unfold.


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