Is pickleball your passion? Do colleges recognize it? There is indeed good news! More and more universities offer teams and scholarships to prospective pickleball players. If you want answers about this trend, continue reading! In this blog, we will cover if pickleball is a college sport or not. We’ll provide solutions to the most common questions about playing pickleball at the college level.
Get ready to satisfy your curiosity about whether collegiate competitive play is possible in pickleball!
Is Pickleball a College Sport?
Recent years have seen debates over whether pickleball belongs on college campuses. While some universities have added pickleball to their list of sports offerings, it has yet to be widely recognized as an NCAA-sanctioned varsity sport.
Many high schools and universities offer pickleball as one of the many recreational activities. Additionally, some intramural leagues have been developed at various universities and colleges throughout the U.S., providing opportunities for friendly competition between peers from different schools or within a single university.
Currently, there are no professional pickleball leagues like those seen in other college sports, such as basketball or football; however, club teams exist for those looking to compete more seriously by traveling to tournaments around the country.
Regarding collegiate recognition outside of intramural play, the National Collegiate Pickleball Association (NCPA) has been established to promote collegiate participation in pickleball while offering scholarships and other incentives to student players who demonstrate excellence on the court and off.
The rising popularity of pickleball suggests that it might someday become a traditional college sport like basketball, football, or volleyball!
Do Any Colleges Have Pickleball Teams?
The short answer is yes! Several colleges across the country offer pickleball teams for their students to join.
Five U.S. schools have clubs that are official members of USA Pickleball: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, North Carolina State University in Raleigh, ERAU in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Metropolitan State University of Denver, Colorado.
There are also many other schools with pickleball programs or courts, such as Western Michigan University, the University of Iowa, and Texas A&M University. Most college teams practice two or three times per week and compete against other universities throughout the season.
Joining a college pickleball team can be an excellent way to stay active while having fun with friends and members of your community.
Can You Get a Pickleball Scholarship?
The answer is yes, you can get a pickleball scholarship. There are several ways that pickleball players can find financial aid or support for their college studies, such as –
Join Pickleball Club or Team
Many colleges have pickleball clubs or teams that participate in tournaments and events, either locally or nationally. These clubs or teams may offer some benefits to their members.
Some colleges may also have intramural or recreational pickleball leagues open to all students. Joining a pickleball team or club in college can help students develop their skills, make friends, and have fun.
Apply for General Athletic Scholarships
Although there are no specific scholarships for pickleball players, there are many athletic scholarships available for students who participate in any sport. Colleges, organizations, foundations, or individuals who want to support student-athletes may offer scholarships.
Some scholarships may have specific criteria or requirements, such as academic performance, community service, leadership, or financial need. To stand out, students who play pickleball can highlight their achievements, skills, and goals in their applications.
Look For Individual and Local Clubs or Sponsors
Another way to find financial aid or support for college is to look for private and local pickleball clubs or sponsors who are willing to help.
Some individuals and local pickleball clubs may offer scholarships or sponsorships to students who play or want to promote the sport. Local businesses or individuals may also be interested in supporting pickleball players with potential or talent.
Students who play pickleball can network and reach out to these potential funding resources and ask for their assistance.
Seek Grants or Awards From Pickleball Organizations
Some pickleball organizations offer grants or awards to youth and communities with collegiate intentions. Here, are some examples of the organizations –
- The United States Pickleball Association (USAP) provides grants to help start or expand pickleball programs or college campuses.
- The Pickleball Legacy Scholarship Foundation (PLSF) regularly offers scholarships to students interested in pickleball or its community.
- The Pickleball Pad Scholarship offers scholarships to students who are interested in pickleball or its community.
Students who play pickleball can research more on these grants or awards to help fund their education.
NCAA in pickleball stands for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and is a governing body that organizes college sports competitions. It is similar to the NCAA in sports such as basketball and football. Pickleball is not an NCAA-sanctioned sport. However, the organization recognizes and supports it through its Emerging Sports for Women program. This program allows colleges to add pickleball as a varsity sport and compete in the NCAA.
Yes, pickleball can be a competitive sport. Pickleball can be competitive because it requires skill, strategy, and agility. Pickleball can also be competitive because it has tournaments and events at various levels. Therefore, pickleball can be a competitive sport that challenges and rewards players who want to test their skills and abilities against others.
Pickleball can be considered a low-impact sport, depending on how it is played. Pickleball can be low-impact because it involves little running or jumping. Pickleball can also be low-impact because it can be played at different speeds and intensities. Therefore, pickleball can be a low-impact sport that suits players who want to enjoy a fun and healthy activity without putting too much pressure on their bodies.
At this time, pickleball is not an Olympic sport. However, the International Olympic Committee has announced that it will consider adding new sports to the Summer Olympics program, so pickleball could eventually become an Olympic sport.
Pickleball is yet to receive recognition from the NCAA, so pickleball players cannot receive official scholarships. However, this does not mean pickleball enthusiasts have no option but to pursue their passion and education simultaneously.
There are several ways pickleball players can find financial aid or support for their college studies, such as joining a pickleball club or team in college, applying for general athletic scholarships, seeking grants or awards from pickleball organizations, and looking for individual and local pickleball clubs or sponsors.
By exploring these opportunities, pickleball students can pursue their passion and education at the same time. Pickleball may be a sport later, but it is worth playing in college.
I am a professional physiotherapist and the author of the BallSportsPro. I worked with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and i helped them overcome injuries and improve their performance. I am a certified Pickleball instructor and has been playing the sport for over 10 years.