How Old Are Pro Pickleball Players?

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Pickleball is a relatively new sport that was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. It combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong and is played on a smaller court with a lower net. The sport has grown in popularity over the years, with many players of all ages and skill levels joining in on the fun. However, when it comes to the professional level of the sport, many people may wonder how old these players are.

The Average Age of Pickleball Players

According to a study by The Pickleball Player, the average age of pickleball players in 2021 is 38.1 years old, down from 41 years old in 2020 [The Pickleball Player]. This shows that the sport is gaining traction among younger players. However, it is important to note that the age of professional pickleball players may differ from the average age of recreational players.

Age Demographics of Core and Casual Pickleball Players

The same study by The Pickleball Player also found that the average age of core pickleball players is 47.5 years old, while the average age of casual players is 33.6 years old. Additionally, 33% of core players are over the age of 65 [The Pickleball Player]. This suggests that while the sport is growing in popularity among younger players, it still remains popular among older individuals as well.

Youngest Pro Pickleball Players

While pickleball may be a sport that is enjoyed by individuals of all ages, professional pickleball players tend to be on the older side. However, there have been some notable exceptions throughout the years. Let’s take a look at some of the youngest pro pickleball players to ever compete.

Anna Leigh Waters: The Youngest Pro Pickleball Player Ever

Anna Leigh Waters is a name that is well-known in the pickleball world. She is the youngest professional pickleball player ever, having played in her first pro event at the age of 12 [Pickleball Union]. Anna has gone on to win multiple championships and has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Class of 2022 [Boardroom.TV]. Her success at such a young age is truly impressive and serves as a testament to the skill and dedication required to excel at the sport of pickleball.

Other Youngest Active Players on the Pro Circuit

Anna Leigh Waters is not the only young player making waves on the professional pickleball circuit. Jorja Johnson and her brother JW Johnson are also two of the youngest active players on the pro circuit, with Jorja having played in her first pro event at just 13 years old and JW at 15 years old [Pickleball Union]. Other notable young players include Jack Munro, who played in his first pro event at 14 years old, and Dylan Frazier, who played in his first pro event at 16 years old [Pickleball Union].

Misconceptions about the Age of Pro Pickleball Players

One common misconception about the age of professional pickleball players is that they are all older individuals. While it is true that many professional pickleball players are in their 50s or 60s, there are also plenty of younger players competing at the highest levels of the sport. As we have seen with Anna Leigh Waters and other young players, age is not necessarily a barrier to success in pickleball.

Another misconception is that older players are not as competitive or skilled as their younger counterparts. However, this is simply not true. Pickleball is a sport that requires a combination of skill, strategy, and athleticism, and players of all ages can excel if they put in the work. In fact, many older players have years of experience and wisdom that can give them an advantage on the court.

Age and Performance in Pickleball

While age may not be a barrier to success in pickleball, it is important to note that physical fitness and conditioning can play a role in performance on the court. As we age, our bodies naturally experience changes that can impact our mobility, strength, and endurance. However, there are many older pickleball players who are in excellent shape and are able to compete at a high level.

In addition to physical fitness, experience and skill are also important factors in performance on the pickleball court. Many older players have been playing the sport for years and have developed a deep understanding of the game and its nuances. This can give them a strategic advantage over younger players who may be more focused on speed and athleticism.


In conclusion, while the average age of pickleball players may be around 38 years old, the age of professional pickleball players can vary widely. While many professionals are older individuals, there are also plenty of young players making waves on the pro circuit. Age is not necessarily a barrier to success in pickleball, and players of all ages can excel if they put in the work and dedication required to master the sport.


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