Seeking success in the online dating game? Try pickleball

Seeking success in the online dating game? Try pickleball

DALLAS, TX - Pickleball and online dating are a perfect match. And there’s data to prove it.

The Match Group owns and operates the largest global portfolio of popular online dating services, including Tinder,, OkCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, OurTime, and many others.

Every year, Match Group surveys each of their brands to get an in-depth look at what interests and hobbies are most popular among users, and this year the runaway winner was pickleball and paddle sports.

The surveys showed a 300% increase in users who’ve mentioned pickleball in their profile bio or in prompts across the digital dating platforms between 2022 and 2023.

Since pickleball was named the fastest growing sport in America, it’s no wonder there’s a corresponding boom in popularity on dating apps, too, particularly with the 18-34 age demographic — the same age group that represents the largest number of users on dating apps.

Reading this report, it seems so obvious to see a massive spike here.


When it comes to online dating, profile pictures are king, most notably the obligatory photo of a guy holding up a fish, posing with a dog who may or may not be his, or group photos where you have no idea which person you’re supposed to be focusing your attention on. Please, get these guys on a pickleball court asap.

Pickleball pics tell potential swipers that an individual is leading an active lifestyle and demonstrates an appreciation for community, too.

Hinge user, Christian, stated: “As a pilates instructor and fitness enthusiast, finding someone who shares my healthy lifestyle is really important to me. It’s also important to me that my future boyfriend is open to trying new things, just like how I plan to pick up pickleball as my newest hobby in 2024. In the new year, I am going to keep an eye out for my future pickleball partner.”

Pickleball is the perfect conversation starter among dating app users to help eliminate those awkward first message encounters and jitters. How long have you been playing? Played any tournaments? Pickleball can easily turn into a love language.

According to a Plenty of Fish survey, 43% of U.S.-based users said they enjoy experiencing the instant chemistry that happens when sharing similar interests and passions in real life. Common interests are crucial when evaluating a potential new partner.

Given the sport's growing popularity on dating apps, users often claim playing pickleball is their New Year's resolution.

Carlie, a Hinge user said: “I want to pick up a new hobby and really want to learn to play pickleball. It looks like fun, and I have come across other profiles on Hinge who are also looking for someone to play with. Seems like a great way to get to know someone new instead of the typical dinner or coffee dates.”

In a sea of coffee, drink and dinner dates, pickleball is a great low-commitment first date option. It’s the perfect opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise, and you can play at any time of the day.

Most importantly, pickleball reveals a person’s character. Are they a ball hog? Then maybe you should’ve swiped left. Sore winner? Definitely ghosting after match point.

But if they’re a good doubles partner, communicative, or match your competitiveness, it’s nothing but green flags ahead. You might just land your forever person.


Match Group even provided tips to help users when meeting up with matches:

1. Create a game plan and winning strategy. Be clear about what you’re looking for in a partner. Establish boundaries and play with partners who respect those boundaries.

2. In-app features make first-round eliminations a breeze. The best pickleball players have verified accounts, so make sure your draft picks have verified their account to confirm who they are. No catfishing here.

3. Sore losers are an automatic elimination. Trash talking or problematic language is unaccepted on the platform, on the court, anywhere. Get back on the app and take them off the roster.

4. When you’re ready to meet your draft picks in person, avoid meeting in places you frequent often and keep your home court a secret until you feel comfortable.

5. Tell your biggest fans where you’re meeting so they know what court you’re on and can cheer you on from courtside.

Whether you’re a seasoned player or looking to hit the courts for the first time, pickleball’s low barrier of entry makes it the perfect sport to add to your dating profile.

Let’s get courting.