The hazards of pickleball

The popularity of the game of pickleball has grown by leaps and bounds, especially among older people. This is because it has similarities with tennis and hold the appeal of athleticism outdoors but is easier to learn and play, with the courts being smaller so that it does not require as much running around and the serve is nowhere near as difficult to master.

But it seems to have its downsides and one that is that older players drawn to the game because of its ease of adoption may underestimate that there is some real physicality involved and as a result, there have been quite a number of injuries that have been attributed to the sport, with this report that “injuries related to pickleball could cost Americans between $250 million and $500 million in medical costs this year, mostly related to wrist and leg sprains and fractures.”

The comic strip Grand Avenue, where the main characters are a grandmother and her two grandchildren, has been running strips on this theme this week, such as this one August 8th.

One of the negatives of the game is that its creators chose a hard flat paddle and a hard plastic ball and the sound of the ball hitting the paddle is quite loud and irritating and can become annoying to people nearby.

(Free Range)


  1. Holms says

    The second panel of the second strip reminds me strongly of mechanical keyboards. I will never understand the appeal of those demonic things.

  2. jenorafeuer says

    Some of us learned how to touch-type on purely mechanical typewriters. Keyboards that don’t require a certain amount of force or key travel just feel flimsy as a result.

    Granted, I’m in my 50s and probably the last generation to have been trained in typing on a mechanical typewriter (with blank keycaps so we had to learn how to touch-type rather than hunt-and-peck), but I know a number of professional writers who also like mechanical keyboards because it’s difficult to press a key accidentally, and essentially impossible to press a key accidentally without noticing. Which is important when you’re touch-typing and can end up three words past where you were typing before you notice a mistake because your brain is already three words past where your fingers are.

  3. John Morales says

    “a hard plastic ball”

    Well, one expects issues when playing hardball.

    BTW, I reckon padded paddles would still work just fine, given the relative masses involved and the consequent transfer of momentum.

  4. birgerjohansson says

    As just reported at pharyngula, the elderly justice Clarence Thomas has wisely chosen other recreational activities than pickleball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *