The trend sport in China: Pickleball !

BEIJING  – In the last three years, Pickleball has been the fastest growing sport in the United States, now it has arrived in China, according to an article in the latest edition of the COTMI China Outbound Tourism Market Intelligence periodical.

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis, played on a field the size of a badminton court with paddles which look like oversized ping pong paddles and a hollow hard plastic ball with holes in it, resembling a toy for dogs.

The rules are similarly a mixture of the three games, with the ball being hit across an 86 cm high net. Two or four players can compete as singles or doubles. The game was invented already in 1965 at the Pacific coast of the USA, but became popular across the USA and in other countries only in recent years.

According to COTMI, last year Ultimate Frisbee conquered the position of China’s summer trend sport, but this year it has been overtaken by Pickleball. Two millions of Chinese internet users searched for information about it on the lifestyle platform “Little Red Book” (Xiaohongshu) alone in the last two months.

Pickleball is easier, less physically demanding and cheaper than tennis, but offers the opportunity to wear cool “urbancore” outfits, currently trending with Chinese urbanites.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, editor in chief of COTMI: “Destinations and hotels offering Pickleball fields and equipment will have a good chance to be chosen as holiday location by the new wave of Chinese outbound tourism just starting.”

Needless to say: Almost all Pickleball paddles and balls used around the world are Made in China.