Pickleball is a fun and easy sport that all ages can play. What you need for this sport is a paddle, a plastic ball, and an outdoor court with lines on it. We enjoy the game, but is pickleball an Olympic sport?
The game was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard in Washington state when he was teaching his students how to play table tennis indoors during the winter season. It has since become popular throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. There are now more than 1 million registered players worldwide!
This post discusses the criteria to become an Olympics sport and what we can do to promote pickleball and meet those requirements.
Is Pickleball An Olympic Sport?
Pickleball is not an Olympic sport for now, but it is gaining more and more popularity. The recognition of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) means that there could soon enough be a chance for pickleball to make its way into one or both Olympic Games in Paris 2024 or Los Angeles 2028!
However, there are still some requirements of IOC which must meet if any country wants this sport on the list:
Men from 75 countries on 4 continents must participate in this sport. Alternatively, women from 40 nations on three different continents can compete as well.
What a pity, pickleball has not met these criteria just yet. Though, you never know what could happen over time!
What Is The Process For Any Sport To Be Included In The Olympic Event By IOC?
The following is the entire procedure of any sports inclusion:
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) must recognize the game as sports.
After recognition by the IOC, the sport will receive the IF status.
The IOC needs a non-governmental entity on a global scale to oversee the administration. That organization has to supervise at least one sport.
Anti-Doping Code And Olympic Charter Rules
The international entity that manages the sport has to put in place a code for anti-doping, including successfully completing tests on athletes out-of-competition.
The rules also include upholding Olympic Charter regulations to make sure all competitors play fair and have clean records before competing in any event or related activity.
Submission Of Petition
In order to become a part of the prestigious Games, an IF has to submit a petition outlining their eligibility criteria in order to be considered for admission. In one way or another, the IOC may admit them to compete in sport as:
- Triathletes which involves swimming, biking, and running.
- Disciplines fall under different categories, such as Women’s Wrestling.
These are disciplines that have their own set rules because it is not just one single event. Instead, it consists of multiple parts. Each part with specific competitors participating like weightlifters vs wrestlers, etc.
- Consequently, events where athletes take part, whether there be track & field events involving pole vaulting.
The rules for all these methods differ slightly, but the goal is no different.
Value And Appeal
This Olympic Games need the valuation and appeal increasing through the event and sport. It also reveals modern traditions which have been passed on for centuries, so that people can be proud of their heritage while watching this great show!
The committee of Olympic’s management forbids any pure mental exercises or sports that depend on propulsion via mechanical means.
So, chess is not included because it requires too much thought and planning with little reliance on muscle power or natural reflexes, which would be essential in other sports.
What Makes Pickleball An Ideal Sport To Become An Olympic Sport?
1) Courts Worldwide
Pickleball is a simple and low-cost sport to learn. However, the most difficult element is still the courtroom. Pickleball clubs worldwide are looking for new locations to establish new courts.
Many player communities now use modified tennis courts, construct their parking lots, or rent court space from community centers. The good news is that whenever a new sports complex is established, more are built.
However, remember that these things take time. On a worldwide scale, construction can take years… Still, at least, we are getting closer every day.
2) Growth in One Main Audience
The largest group of pickleball players are over 40 years old. This is a fantastic feat! But to push the sport’s popularity and make it an Olympic-level event, we need more people from other demographics playing too.
Nowadays, many younger athletes, including some of the top pickle players in the world, are switching to an alternative form of tennis. They all consider there is less stress involved and more ẹnoyable in comparison with the regular competition.
3) The Olympic Infrastructure
The criteria to become an Olympic sport, as I mentioned earlier, is that men must participate in the sport in at least 75 nations on at least four continents. Whereas women must participate in at least 40 countries on three continents. That is an extremely high threshold,
However, unlike chess and car racing that has still not gone on the list, this is not bad news for pickleball, as the accessibility of the sport is allowing it to spread to all parts of the globe. For obvious logistical considerations, car racing, for instance, has a difficult time spreading globally.
4) The Rules For Olympic’s Image Terms
The Pickleball racquet has long been a beloved sport for both casual and competitive players. It offers an easy way to enjoy the benefits of outdoor play without having any complex equipment or facilities while also being gender-inclusive with its mixed competition options.
The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) is the international governing body for the sport, which matches the requirement of Olympic admission.
Will Pickleball Ever Be Considered In The Next Editions Of The Olympics?
Pickleball is enjoying a growing international reputation, but it still has an uphill battle ahead of it to be included in future Olympics.
The International Federation of Pickleball has been working tirelessly to bring the sport more recognition internationally. Nevertheless, it is still far from the goals of the IOC.
The game has been getting a lot of attention from the media lately, and it is only going to get more popular as time goes on.
It would be cool if this sport became an official Olympic event shortly. To wrap up, we should enjoy what the Olympics have given us while hoping for the debut of pickleball sooner, so everyone can see how great these athletes are!
How Can We Make Pickleball Soon Become An Olympic Sport?
The International Federation of Pickleball can do a lot to increase the popularity of this game. They could inspire tennis players who are already playing on courts all over America, but they need your help too!
The easiest way we might see this sport in 2028 is if its acceptance continues as it has been trending lately- with more tournaments and social media sharing (especially YouTube!).
If that does not work out, there is always number three: Don’t give up hope yet because even when things get tough, good things sometimes happen unexpectedly. I do believe in the bright future of pickleball!
Pickleball is a fast-paced and fun sport that utilizes racket and ball skills. It’s an excellent form of exercise for people of all ages and abilities. Yet, is pickleball an Olympic sport?
If you have been waiting to see pickleball become an Olympic event, it might be time to get involved with the process. You can volunteer as a member of your country’s national committee or as a player on your country’s team to help promote the game locally and internationally!
Pickleball: Olympics Participation Still Far Off