Is Pickleball in the Olympics: What are the Status and Future Prospects for 2024

Is pickleball in the Olympics

A Debate on the Sport’s Inclusion in the Games

Pickleball has seen a surge in popularity over the past several years, with more and more people picking up the paddle and taking it to court. One of the biggest queries in the sporting world is “Is Pickleball in the Olympics?” whether Pickleball will ever feature in the biggest competition of all – the Olympics. In this blog, we aim to answer this question: Is Pickleball an Olympic sport?

What is Pickleball

Pickleball is a hybrid of tennis, badminton and table tennis and is played on a court that is one-third the size of a tennis court. It is a game that is both fun to play and easy to learn, making it an ideal sport for both the young and old. The game is played with a lightweight, plastic perforated ball and wooden paddles and can be played both indoors and outdoors.

History of Pickleball

  • Early Beginnings of the Sport : Pickleball was invented in the 1960s by Joel Pritchard, a US Congressman from Washington state, and his friends. The sport was created as a way for Pritchard’s family and friends to enjoy a fun, active game together. The sport was first played on Pritchard’s property with a perforated plastic ball and badminton rackets. The sport quickly spread to other families and communities in the area, and soon gained popularity as a fun, easy-to-learn sport for players of all ages.
  • Development of the Game: As pickleball’s popularity grew, the game’s rules and equipment were refined. The sport’s original homemade equipment was replaced with standardized equipment, and court dimensions and net heights were set to official standards. The sport’s governing body, the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), was formed in 1984 to promote and govern the sport, and the first national tournament was held that same year. The sport continued to grow in popularity in the United States and Canada, and by 2022, the game has grown and spread to other countries.

For complete detail, must read “History Of Pickleball


Is Pickleball In The Olympics

The query that pops up frequently is: Is Pickleball in the Olympics? But the answer remains the same; Pickleball is not currently in the Olympics. Despite its growing popularity, it has not yet been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a sport suitable for inclusion in the Olympic Games. Efforts are being made to get pickleball recognised as an Olympic sport, but several challenges and obstacles must be overcome before it can be considered for inclusion.
These include limited resources and organization of the sport, lack of recognition from the Olympic committee, and competition from other sports that are also vying for inclusion in the Olympics. While the future of pickleball in the Olympics remains uncertain, the sport’s growing popularity and international representation give hope for its recognition as an Olympic sport in the future.

Rules of Entry into the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games are the biggest sporting event in the world, watched by millions every four years. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body of the Olympics, sets the rules of entry into the Olympics. These rules ensure that only the best athletes and sports are represented at the Olympic Games.

Is Pickleball in the Olympics

The first step to entering the Olympics is to be recognised by the IOC. This recognition is granted to international sports federations when they meet specific criteria and demonstrate an international following. Each sport must be recognised by at least two-thirds of the IOC members and have an international fan base.

The second criteria to be considered for Olympic entry is to show that the sport has international popularity. The IOC must be satisfied that the sport has enough of a following to make it attractive to Olympic viewers. As well as this, the sport must have a professional level, with athletes competing for money. This is essential to ensure that the sport is played competitively.

Finally, the sport must have national federations in multiple countries. The IOC must recognise these federations and have their own international governing body. This means that the sport is played in multiple countries and is popular enough to be considered international.

Discussion of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recognition of the sport

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the governing body responsible for recognising and including sports in the Olympic Games. For a sport to be recognised by the IOC and included in the Olympics, it must meet certain criteria and undergo a rigorous evaluation and approval process.

olympics selection crieteria by IOC

The IOC has established several criteria that sports must meet to be considered for inclusion in the Olympics. These criteria include:

  • Popularity and global appeal of the sport
  • Technical and organizational readiness to host the sport in the Olympics
  • Compliance with the Olympic Charter and the rules of the IOC
  • Gender equality and non-discrimination
  • Fairness and safety of the sport

To be recognized by the IOC, a sport must first be proposed by its international governing body. The proposal is then evaluated by the IOC’s program commission, which assesses the sport’s compliance with the criteria listed above. If the commission finds that the sport meets the criteria, it will recommend that the sport be included in the Olympics.

The final decision on the inclusion of a sport is made by the IOC’s executive board, which takes into account the recommendations of the program commission as well as other factors such as the overall balance of the Olympic program.

Benefits and Challenges of Adding Pickleball To The Olympics

we’ll explore the potential benefits and challenges of adding pickleball to the Olympics

A. Benefits

An increase in pickleball’s participation in the Olympics could result in a larger number of people playing the sport worldwide. With more exposure to the sport worldwide, more individuals are likely to become interested in trying it out, leading to a rise in numbers. With its inclusion in the Olympics, pickleball would receive international recognition, providing the sport with a higher profile and more visibility, potentially drawing in more sponsors and investors.

Additionally, including pickleball in the Olympics would bring economic advantages to its host cities and countries, with increased revenue from ticket sales and merchandise sales. Lastly, its inclusion would also mean improved standardisation in terms of rules and regulations, which would be beneficial for the further development of the sport.

B. Challenges

Pickleball’s reach is mainly confined to North America, with its popularity gradually increasing in other parts of the world. Despite this, it remains much less widely played than other sports already included in the Olympics. This lack of participation means that Pickleball is not yet eligible for Olympic funding and is also missing a governing body like the International Olympic Committee, making it difficult to adhere to and enforce rules. Competing for a place in the Olympic Games is another challenge, as only a select few sports are included, and Pickleball must compete with these for inclusion.


At present, Pickleball is not included as an Olympic sport. However, it is possible that it could be featured at either the 2024 Paris Olympics or the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, though it is unlikely that it will be added for 2024.

Paris 2024 has put forward a suggestion to the International Olympic Committee to add four sports that are popular amongst young people, and promote creativity and athleticism. These sports are breaking, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing.

To be included in the list of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), sports must adhere to certain criteria. Specifically, a minimum of 75 men from four different continents must participate, or 40 countries from three different continents must have female participants.

Final Verdict

So, Is Pickleball in the Olympics? No, not yet. Pickleball has seen a rapid rise in popularity in recent years and has the potential to be an Olympic sport. However, it is not yet recognised by the IOC, and several challenges must be addressed before it can be considered for inclusion in the Olympic Games. Although inclusion in the Olympic Games may be a long way off, hopefully, the sport will continue to grow and strive to become an Olympic sport in the future.

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