The Passion And Politics Of Pickleball : 1A Over the past three years, the number of Americans who reported playing pickleball went from 5 million to 36.5 million according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals.

As the sport builds in popularity among amateur players, professional pickleball is also getting an influx of cash from sporting celebrities like Lebron James and Kevin Love.

We host a panel conversation about the passion and politics of pickleball.

Want to support 1A? Give to your local public radio station and subscribe to this podcast. Have questions? Find us on Twitter @1A.

1A

The Passion And Politics Of Pickleball

The Passion And Politics Of Pickleball

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1145093565/1200115240" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lance Shaw and Norma Jenkins take a class in the game pickleball with a group fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Lance Shaw and Norma Jenkins take a class in the game pickleball with a group fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the John Knox Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rainy weather forced the action indoors. The clack of plastic paddles echoed throughout the Walter Reed Community Center gymnasium. Monday mornings are reserved for players 55 and older in this gym. Both basketball courts were converted for pickleball, with eight eager seniors occupying a quadrant.

Barbara Smith has been living in Arlington for 17 years. She discovered her love for pickleball last December.

"I took pickleball classes here at Walter Reed. It was called Pickleball 1. Then I started playing three times a week. I felt like I started making progress."

Over the past three years, the number of Americans who reported playing pickleball went from 5 million to 36.5 million according to the Association of Pickleball Professionals.

Arlington County is one of the many communities caught up in the pickleball craze. That's not without its problems. Denizens are fighting over sound ordinances and the use of public parks.

As the sport builds in popularity among amateur players, professional pickleball is also getting an influx of cash from sporting celebrities like Lebron James and Kevin Love.

We host a panel conversation about the passion and politics of pickleball.

Like what you hear? Find more of our programs online.