Pickleball in China: The Rapid Rise of a New Favorite Sport

Last updated:
This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you buy after clicking our links.
pickleball in china
Pickleball in China

Pickleball has found a new frontier in China, captivating a population traditionally aligned with sports such as badminton and table tennis. With its simple rules and engaging play style, pickleball is not just a burgeoning pastime but an emerging social phenomenon across various age groups. The sport’s simplicity and accessibility have facilitated its swift assimilation, as communities embrace the inclusive and social nature of the game, which adds a refreshing dimension to the pickleball in China’s athletic landscape.

The sport’s explosive growth is underpinned by significant support and investment, with ambitions to establish thousands of courts and cultivate a community in the tens of millions. This rapid development is not confined to urban centers; it’s a countrywide movement. Due to initiatives by sports enthusiasts and organizations, infrastructure for both professional tournaments and recreational play is swiftly materializing, setting the stage for China to become a major hub for pickleball globally.

Key Takeaways

  • Pickleball is resonating with the Chinese public, growing beyond its Western origins.
  • Infrastructure investment signifies the country’s commitment to becoming a pickleball powerhouse.
  • China’s adoption of pickleball reflects a blend of enthusiasm for sport and community bonding.

The Rise of Pickleball in China

Video source: CCTV

In recent years, China has witnessed a surging interest in pickleball, with young urbanites leading the charge and lifestyle influencers fueling its popularity through social media.

Popularity Among Young People

Pickleball, typically known for its laid-back appeal, has been rapidly adopted by China’s younger demographic. Indoor pickleball clubs are opening in cities like Chongqing, becoming social hubs where people spend their summers engaging in friendly competition. It appears to be more than a passing trend, with the sport’s straightforward playability resonating with the youthful zest for activity and community.

Influence of Social Media and Influencers

Pickleball in China

On platforms like Xiaohongshu, pickleball has been turning heads as influencers showcase their forays into the sport. With hashtags and dynamic posts, they’ve propelled pickleball to new heights, with views for pickleball content spiking into the millions. These lifestyle influencers are not just participants but trendsetters, showing that being active can also be stylish and socially rewarding.

Sports and Fashion Fusion

The convergence of sports and fashion has taken a new turn with pickleball in China. It’s not just about playing a sport; it’s about being seen playing it. Young people are blending athletic wear with their personal style, making a statement both on and off the court. This marriage of fitness, friendship, and fashion is emblematic of the modern urban lifestyle, and pickleball is at its heart, striking a chord with those seeking the next cool activity.

Professional and Recreational Infrastructure

Pickleball in China

In a bid to bolster the sports landscape, China has made significant strides in laying the groundwork for professional and recreational pickleball — a sport gaining momentum, with infrastructure sprouting up from metropolitan hubs to educational institutions.

Pickleball Clubs and Courts

Shanghai and Beijing are leading the charge with an array of pickleball clubs and dedicated courts. These facilities are not just a smattering of spaces but are strategically placed within communities to enhance accessibility. The Shenzhen Pickleball Association is instrumental in expanding these venues, ensuring that enthusiasts can find a court with ease. Likewise, Chongqing’s landscape boasts courts that have become a common sight, with the number rivaling those of more traditional sports.

Major Leagues and Tournaments

The sport’s competitive spirit is captured through various tournaments that draw both national and international players. The Association of Pickleball Professionals and the Major League Pickleball have their eyes set on the Chinese market, acknowledging the widespread appeal of the sport. Cities like Chengdu have become hotspots for competitive play, supported by the Chengdu Sports Bureau in organizing events that are no shy spectacle.

Government and Institutional Support

pickleball in China

Schools, from primary to universities, are embracing pickleball, woven into physical education curriculums thanks to government backing. The China Liaison Office of the International Pickleball Federation is pivotal in fostering growth at this grassroots level. Cities like Nanjing and Chengdu are observing the sport’s inclusion within educational programs, and there’s a whisper of a potential pickleball league for schools, merging the lines between recreation and professional play.

Bottom Line

The rise of pickleball in China represents a cultural evolution, blending sport with social interaction and fashion. It’s not just a game; it’s a community builder and a style statement, especially among the young and trendy. From urban clubs to educational institutions, pickleball is embedding itself into the Chinese way of life, offering both fun and fitness.

For enthusiasts drawn to this stylish sport, our Pickleball Skirts & Skorts offer the perfect blend of fashion and function. And to delve deeper into the trendy world of pickleball attire, check out our article on Women’s Pickleball Fashion. It’s your gateway to looking great and playing even better. Join the pickleball wave – where style, community, and play come together.


What are the official regulations governing pickleball games in China?

While pickleball in China doesn’t follow a unique set of regulations, they generally adhere to international standards set by bodies like the International Federation of Pickleball. These include rules on court size, equipment, and game play.

Where can one find a pickleball court in major Chinese cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai?

Major Chinese cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai have embraced pickleball, with courts popping up in local sports centers, public parks, and dedicated pickleball clubs. One can expect to find both indoor and outdoor facilities catering to this rapidly growing community.

Can you share highlights from The China Project related to pickleball?

The China Project has reported on the pickleball craze hitting China, highlighting the stylish aspect of the sport and its appeal among the young and fashionable demographic.

How has pickleball’s popularity in China compared to other countries around the world?

Pickleball’s surge in China is quite notable with celebrities and athletes endorsing the sport. It’s rivalling the enthusiasm seen in countries like the US, where nearly 19% of the adult population is reported to play the game.

Could you guide me to the best spots to play pickleball in Beijing?

In Beijing, hotspots for pickleball include several modern sports complexes and international schools with suitable courts. New clubs are continually emerging as the sport gains traction, so keeping one’s ear to the ground is key for the latest and greatest places to play.

Photo of author


Ken Kochman is the founder and chief editor at mypickleballauthority.com. His aim? Very simple. Cut through all the hype and misleading advertisements so you can make the best decision for your pickleball needs based on your level of play.

Leave a Comment