There is an aura of inevitability that pickleball will grow and grow quickly on college campuses. Social pickleball with alumni and other 'friend raisers' will be first. They are already happening on many college campuses. As private and public colleges look to add club sports programs to grow their enrollment, intercollegiate competition will follow.
College pickleball will establish its own systems and processes with the speed and nimbleness that other sports organizations lack.
Those who have played a little - or a lot of pickleball love how quickly they can learn the game. They also appreciate that getting better is not too expensive or time-consuming.
College students in their athletic prime will take pickleball play to a new level of competition and spectator attendance. College pickleball will form its own regulatory body - independent of the deteriorating NCAA.
The costs to start a collegiate pickleball club is minimal. A modest investment in equipment and part-time coaches gets a club started. Travel can be contained within a 2-3 hour drive. The most substantive challenge is finding other clubs to schedule. Once a handful or more of regional colleges make the pickleball club commitment, the formation of leagues from colleges of all sizes will quickly develop.
Which university will host the first intercollegiate pickleball tournament? Which college(s) will offer the first pickleball athletic scholarships to get the best talent onto their campus? Will there be a college that converts it's tennis team(s) to pickleball teams? Pickleball skills translate nicely to talented tennis players.