Covid-related popularity of pickleball may be faltering

Awareness of pickleball has increased by 33% since May of last year, according to CivicScience polls. Today, one-sixth of U.S. adults (17%) say they have tried pickleball.

But what appeared to be a Covid-related boom in popularity seems to be faltering as people experience the sport and decide whether it is for them. Even among those familiar with pickleball, the percentage who say they have played and enjoyed it has decreased by four percentage points since last year. Roughly the same number of Americans as last year said they intended to try their hand at pickleball.

Interest and overall awareness are still concentrated among younger generations (those under 35). Intent to play pickleball saw a minor increase among young millennials, but their enjoyment playing the game has decreased significantly from 24% to 16%. The percentage of millennials who said they had played pickleball but did not like it grew from 12% to 16%. Among older groups, both playing with enjoyment and overall intent to play have decreased since last year's report.

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