Red pickleball courts
Red pickleball courts Shutterstock

Is playing pickleball a red flag?

DALLAS, TX – Single people are flocking to pickleball courts. And while I may have found my permanent mixed doubles partner, that doesn’t mean I’m not at my local courts helping out my single player friends who are looking to join the doubles action

I’m the first person to tell my friends to delete the apps and go to a pickleball court to get courted. I recently discussed this topic with a new friend (who had no idea I’m a journalist in this beloved sport) and she said something truly unsettling: 

“If a guy says he plays pickleball, that’s a red flag.”

My jaw dropped. How could this be? I feel as though my purpose on this site is to talk about fashion and relationships, and provide positive, successful examples on these key topics.

And here is this poor soul who doesn’t know any better, thinking pickleball is a red flag? It’s a travesty. 


She must play tennis and is deeply involved with the turf wars, right? Or maybe she saw the Challengers movie and witnessed the artistry of tennis that hasn't been achieved in pickleball... yet.

But no. She simply thought pickleball is overhyped and a fading trend. Like a few years ago when everyone claimed they were “really into hiking” when we all lived in suburban flat land country where the closest thing to a hike was walking on the sidewalk around the retention pond.

I get it. I respect it. But my darling friend, it’s just inaccurate information. Playing pickleball can be a red flag, just not in the way she thinks. 

This is something I have been dealing with recently. My sweet, beloved pickleball-playing boyfriend has quickly become utterly obsessed now that he recently joined the 5.0 players. 

We went from romantic evenings with long in-depth conversations to:

“Sorry, honey! I’m still playing pickleball and I’m stuck on the challenger court.” 

Pickleball is highly addictive. Once you start playing, you generally can’t stop. And you hear that a lot.

In fact, veteran Lea Jansen even struggles with that very idea.

What starts out with a cheap plywood paddle and a wiffle ball rapidly escalates into a full-on obsession of spending hundreds of dollars on technologically advanced paddles. Then, you're picking up new court shoes because you’re playing so much and wearing through the soles at a rapid pace. Then, you’re taking off work and traveling to pickleball tournaments to fight for a podium spot. Then, you start winning and try to go pro. 

What started off as an afterwork activity has turned into your entire social media being dominated by drill tips from Callie Smith and breaking news from the picklesphere. And you’re watching the Breaking Pickleball documentary and debating on whether or not you should move to Phoenix to be closer to the club action. 

Pickleball is a red flag because it’s addictive.

But at least it’s a positive one. At least they're out there socializing and getting exercise. 

So, you’re better off just getting addicted to pickleball, too, and the red flag will quickly turn into a green flag when you and your doubles partner for life start decorating your home during Christmas time with pickleball wreaths and gold medal ornaments

And with that, you can skip off into the big pickleball sunset and express your love for one another via the five pickleball love languages. Soon enough, you'll be popping the question at Pictona and celebrating your wedding anniversary at PPA tournaments. 

Is playing pickleball a red flag? Leave us a comment on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).