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Why is Pickleball So Fun? Senior Pro Player Weighs in

The pickleball craze continues.

The sport of pickleball has rapidly grown over the last few years. All of a sudden, tons of people have taken up the sport, making it one of the fastest-growing sports.

So why are so many people interested in the sport? For one, the social atmosphere.

“I’ve never made so many friends as I have in the last two years," Vince Van Patten, senior pro pickleball player and former tennis pro, told Dink it Over.

With a much smaller court than a similar sport like tennis, pickleball encourages more social interaction and communication between players, creating a unique 'intimacy' in the sport.

"It starts out because you're so close to each other," Van Patten said. "You're what, 40 50 ft away, you know, so in tennis, you're way across the court. Pickleball will be right in each other's faces. It's because of the intimacy of the court and then it's just because of the new excitement of this new game and the, the ball goes slow so anybody can play it."

Beyond the closeness of the court, there is a light energy on the pickleball court. With many players and athletes taking up the sport in their later years or to have fun with friends, there is less intensity than many other sports hold. 

The games are notably shorter than tennis, lasting about seven to fifteen minutes Van Patten estimates, which can make it more inviting to newcomers who are unsure if they want to commit to a long game or might be busy.

With this kind of fun and friendly atmosphere, it's not hard to see that fun reflected in the smiles on players' faces. 

“The difference in pickleball is when you see people on the court, they’re hitting the ball and everyone’s smiling, everyone’s laughing," Van Patten said. "They’re so excited to be there.”