Have you ever heard of a meme? Or, more particularly, a pickleball meme (or meme of pickleball)?
A pickleball meme is a humorous image, video, or piece of text that is shared across social media among pickleball players and fans. It often features a clever or funny caption or visual that pokes fun at some aspect of the sport or its players. Pickleball memes can range from light-hearted jokes about the quirky aspects of the game to more pointed commentary on controversial topics or personalities in the sport. And, now, one new social media account is using pickleball memes to poke fun at the pro side of the sport, including pro players, pro leagues and tours, pickleball organizations and manufacturers, and other personalities in and around the game.
Let us introduce you to @memesofpickleball on Instagram… And, if you are not yet following @memesofpickleball, you should!
@memesofpickleball first popped up on the scene on November 12, 2022, after pickleball pro Catherine Parenteau dropped her women’s doubles partner—Allyce Jones—for the 2022 USA Pickleball National Championships, in order to fill a spot and play with the #1 women’s player, Anna Leigh Waters. This drop left Jones without a partner to play with at Nationals, and resulting in quite a bit of controversy that was aired out and discussed over social media by pros and fans alike. In other words, this was a very “meme-able” moment in the world of pro pickleball. As a result, the creative mind behind @memesofpickleball had too many good jokes not to post (and had a little peer pressure from a friend to go ahead and post to Instagram). So, needless to say, @memesofpickleball was born and Parenteau was the “butt of the first few jokes.”
Since November 2022, @memesofpickleball has taken aim—in good fun and in good spirits (and never with mean intent)—at everyone in the world of pro and competitive pickleball. There is just one person behind the account, who has chosen to remain anonymous in an effort to be more transparent with the memes and jokes. And, when asked how this creative mind behind @memesofpickleball comes up with the material and jokes, “he/she/they” said that “it just comes to me.”
There are other meme accounts in the sport of pickleball. However, what sets @memesofpickleball apart is that the memes are not generic to the sport (for instance, when grandma shows up to the park…). Rather, they are more “inside baseball” or “inside pickleball.” @memesofpickleball was the first to make jokes about pro pickleball and the personalities around the game (and the timing could not have been better, as pro pickleball has escalated and evolved significantly in the last 12 to 18 months).
The world of pro pickleball has leaned into the memes, too. For instance:
- After a meme of the PPA Tour broadcast was posted, which made light of the fact that a cactus frequently appeared on screen at a tour stop in Arizona, the PPA Tour made t-shirts that were on sale to the public in honor of the joke.
- Pickleball pro Zane Navratil has publicly announced that the only reason he plays is to get featured on @memesofpickleball.
- Jill Braverman, who recently made a comeback to pro pickleball after some time away from the pro scene, was the center of several memes, as she frequently found herself falling on the court during play. After seeing herself as the center of jokes on @memesofpickleball, Braverman joined the fun and made fun of herself and her on-court falls by covering her entire body in bubble wrap.
- Pro pickleball players—and pro pickleball fans, alike—have consistently messaged @memesofpickleball to send in content or jokes for @memesofpickleball to post.
- Pro pickleball players have been known to go on their phones to check @memesofpickleball after their matches—especially if there was a meme-able moment… “OMG, did you check @memes?!”
The bottom line is (1) go follow @memesofpickleball to get “inside pickleball” and have a laugh alongside the best pro players in the sport; and (2) if you are a pro player, you will eventually become a meme. And, heads up to @memesofpickleball’s favorite players to make memes about—Salome Devidze, Zane Navratil, Jill Braverman, and James Ignatowich—you are at the top of the list.