The Rise Of Pickleball

Lara Murray-Sterzel, Editor-In-Chief

Football. Basketball. Baseball. These populars sports have ruled the world of media for generations. However, what if I told you it was the most unlikely of sports to have the biggest impact on physical activity. This sport is quickly coming to the spotlight and integrating its way into mainstream media. The sport is pickleball. Pickleheads, a nationwide sports company, is introducing the Oneonta community to the pickleball sport and all of its benefits.

The origin of this company started a year and a half ago when Pickleheads built their first site from scratch. In the beginning, business was slow until more people came back to their site. And before anyone knew it, things started to take off. Families started to take an interest in pickleball because it was fun, easy, and different from other sports. Its popularity provided the founders opportunities to build their company and expand their sites. Now we’re seeing new courts being built all over. Their current number is fifteen thousand courts profiled between the U.S. and Canada, including Neahwa Park having built eight courts and Oneonta Family YMCA, which has two. The company Pickleheads was founded by Max Ade, Ian Langworth, and Brandon Mackie. These three men put their time and commitment into building this company into what it’s become today. 

“It was just in a lot of ways something that I wished existed when I first started playing the sport,” said founder Brandon Mackie. “I had my own challenges around finding courts, connecting with other players, and I always thought to myself ‘If there was just an easy way where I could play everyday, then I would play everyday.’ And Pickleheads ultimately came from that desire.” Mackie expressed that you don’t have to be athletic or experienced with a racquet to play pickleball. He finds that when the people form groups or participate in large formats, they have fun and connect with their community. 

It’s also become a known fact that pickleball benefits a person’s health. Not only is it a good workout, but pickleball also conducts a game of strategy. Which means it stimulates the mind to stay sharp on the court and off the court. Benefits like these can help you remember, speak, and think better. It also benefits in channeling awareness of your surroundings too. With that being said, Mackie calls pickleball a sport for all ages.

“I think Pickleball is going to continue to grow and I think we’re going to see a lot more people starting companies, finding niches, growing the sport, and we’re really excited to watch all that unfold,” Mackie expressed on the subject of the sport’s future. Mackie also shared that Pickleheads has new and exciting stuff in the works, some of which include building features on their app to do Round-Robin tournaments, and perhaps collect payments if people want to run a tournament on the platform. To learn more about Pickleheads and where to find their courts, visit their official website at

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