The following article answers questions like Is pickleball an Olympic sport? If not, then what needs to be done to get it into the Olympics?
Is Pickleball An Olympic Sport?
Pickleball is not an Olympic sport, straight and simple! However, that does not imply that it can not be an Olympic sport. There is plenty of room in the Olympics for newer games. This is the reason why five new games were introduced in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Based on this, you can rest assured that pickleball is bound to enter the Olympics sooner or later.
It is already a very famous game in the United States; however, that is not enough for a game to be counted in the Olympics. There are certain pickleball rules and set guidelines in this entire procedure. For instance, in order to hold a women’s Olympic competition for a particular sport, it needs to be played in at least 40 countries across three continents.
On the other hand, for the men’s Olympic competition of sport, it should be played in over seventy-five countries across four continents. So, you can imagine why pickleball is not yet included in the Olympic games. In any case, there are plenty of sports groups working on it, and soon we will see pickleball in the Olympics, if not in the immediate next Olympics in 2024, then the one after that in 2028.
What Kind Of Sports Pickleball Is It?
What Is Pickleball?
You may have heard that great things have humble beginnings. The same is true for pickleball as well. Pickleball was invented by a couple of men looking for a creative way to engage their kids in their backyard back in 1965. For so many years, this sport remained dormant. But over time, it gained popularity and is now on the verge of being played as an Olympic sport. Who would have thought that this simple game would one day gain so much fame all across the world?
If you haven’t already played pickleball, let me give you a brief description of what this game is like and how it is played. It is basically a combination of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. It may sound a little weird to you right now, but hear me out! The only difference between these games and pickleball is that it is played using paddles instead of rackets. There are also a few differences in their gaming rules.
Pickleball needs at least two teams composed of two players each. These teams compete with each other in a doubles match. In order to score a point, you will have to throw the perforated pickleball ball past the other team’s player. If the other team misses the ball, you will score a point. The same is the case when you or your teammate miss hitting the ball when it is in your half of the field; your opponent team scores a point.
How Does A Sport Become An Olympic Sport?
As I mentioned earlier in the first half of this article, a sport can only be included in the Olympics if it is played in a prescribed number of countries across set continents. But since it is an important part of our discussion, let me restate what I had originally said. To hold a women’s competition of a particular sport in the Olympics, it needs to be played in at least 45 countries across three continents. Whereas, for men’s Olympic competition a sport, it needs to be played in more than 75 countries across four continents.
Now, let’s imagine a sport that fulfills the above requirements; now what? Can it be included in the Olympics just like that? The answer is no. That is just the beginning of a very lengthy procedure. Apart from the above requirement, there needs to be a separate organization to oversee the operations of that particular sport internationally. If there is already an organization working and overlooking a sport, then you can proceed to the next step; otherwise, one such organization would have to be made first.
Let’s suppose that such an organization exists; now what? So, to move onto the next level, that organization will have to make a written application to the International Olympic Committee, i.e., IOC. This committee performs its procedures and runs its tests to see if the sport is eligible for the Olympics. If a sport passes all these tests, the IOC gives its organization an International Sports Federation Status.
The International Federation Of Pickleball
The International Federation Of Pickleball is the organization we were talking about earlier. This organization looks over the affairs of pickleball internationally, and its only aim is to take pickleball into the Olympics. This organization is headquartered in Arizona and was launched back in 2010. This federation has been working successfully towards the betterment of the future of Pickleball and it is so close to having pickleball recognized as an Olympic game.
It is all owing to their continuous struggle towards the betterment of this game that pickleball has amassed 63 member countries. It is only a matter of time before this organization gathers the remaining twelve members under their umbrella. The day it happens, pickleball will land straight into the Olympics!
Will Pickleball Debut At The Olympics?
Yes, I agree that pickleball has come a long way from what it used to be. But frankly speaking, it still has a long way to go. It is currently just a US game being played in many other parts of the world as well. However, it is not popular enough to be played worldwide just yet. Millions of people don’t even know of this sport.
Yes, I agree that it has decent popularity across the continents, but for it to enter the Olympics, its current popularity is not enough. With the current speed of things, pickleball will be a part of the Olympics in the year 2028 and no sooner than that.
However, there are certain ways this process can be accelerated. For instance, if more seminars and webinars are held, it will spread awareness. Hence, more people will be attracted to this game. Furthermore, holding large-scale pickleball events worldwide would open doors to further population. The results of such tournaments could also be shared on social media platforms to pique the curiosity of the masses and so on.
People Also Ask
Will Pickleball Enter The Olympics Soon?
With the pace of steep popularity pickleball is gaining with every passing day, it is estimated to be in the Olympics by the year 2028. However, that is exactly that, an estimate, and there are ways to boost its popularity much faster. If timely measures are taken, pickleball might make it to the Olympics by the year 2024.
Is Pickleball A Professional Sport?
Yes, pickleball is a professional sport. It may not be as popular as other sports like tennis, cricket, and football, but it is still played at a professional level. In fact, it has its renowned pickleball players. It is mainly an American game, but it is played in many other countries as well. In fact, it is about to enter the Olympics soon in the year 2024 or 2028.
Why Isn’t Pickleball An Olympic Sport?
Pickleball is not yet an Olympic sport because it is not yet that popular. For it to enter the Olympics, this game needs to be played in at least 75 countries across four continents. This threshold has not been achieved yet, which is why it is not an Olympic sport. However, it is expected that if correct and timely measures are taken, we will see pickleball in the Olympics by the year 2024 or 2028.
In How Many Countries Is Pickleball Played?
With the latest addition of Lebanon to the member countries of the International Federation Of Pickleball, the threshold has reached 63 in total. It means that a total of sixty-three countries hold and play pickleball tournaments on a large scale. For a sport to enter the Olympics, it needs to be played in at least seventy-five countries across four continents.
What Sports Are Not In The Olympics?
Pickleball and some other sports are also not included in the Olympics which are Cricket, Polo, Squash, Darts, and Bowling. Baseball and softball were included in pickleball and later removed in 2005 and reversed in 2016.
What Sport Is Similar To Pickleball?
Pickleball has cousin sports, including Ping ball, racquetball, and paddleball. If you love outdoor sports, you can also play padel, ping, and racquetball. Padel combines outdoor and indoor sports and is closely related to tennis.
When Did Pickleball Become An Official Sport?
Pickleball was officially established as a sport in 1972. In 1972, the Pickleball Inc. Corporation was born. In the same year, a pickleball tournament is also arranged with large wooden paddles and whiffle balls.
So, if you ask if pickleball is an Olympic sport yet, the answer is no, but will it be in the new future? The answer to this question is a big fat yes. The International Federation Of Pickleball is not the only organization working towards this cause. There are also many other organizations doing their utmost for the betterment of this sport.
With strict regulations and further awareness, not even the IOC’s strict criteria will be able to stop the grand entrance of this popular sport into the Olympics. So, keep your hopes high because we are definitely seeing pickleball in the 2024 or 2028 Olympics!
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.