Perhaps you’ve heard: The sport of pickleball is experiencing something of a growth spurt.

According to the 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report — an annual snapshot of sports, fitness, and recreation activities in the United States — pickleball is America's fastest-growing sport, with participation nearly doubling in 2022 and increasing by 158.6% over three years.

“It’s just the best thing around, there’s nothing better than it,” said Dawson Stento, a pickleball player from Wellesley. “I think it's going to be in the high schools and colleges, probably next year. I think it's going to be the real deal. I think it already is.”

According to The Association of Pickleball Professionals, more than 36 million Americans played the sport at least once between August 2021 and August 2022. And a recent study by the website Solitaire Bliss named Massachusetts the No.-1 pickleball obsessed state in America.

“It translates not just to our country and our cultures, but it resonates with people around the world,” said Aaron Stahl with Franklin Sports. “We are watching it explode on a global scene. We have partnerships in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa; with countries ranging from Japan to India, England to France, Sweden to Peru.”

Of course, with all that growth comes the inevitable growing pains. Outlets from The Guardian to have examined growing tensions between the pickleball and tennis communities. And one of the most common complaints about the sport was summed-up succinctly in a recent New York Times headline: “Shattered Nerves, Sleepless Nights: Pickleball Noise Is Driving Everyone Nuts.

Still, there’s enough enthusiasm that there are multiple professional pickleball leagues vying for players and fans.

“It’s unbelievable, because it’s something our whole family can do together,” said Julie Johnson, a player on the pro senior circuit from Boynton Beach, Fla., whose son and daughter are also professionals. “All of a sudden it was all of us as a family traveling the country together, having a blast. It's been the best decision we ever made.”

But the pickleball surge is largely being driven by the millions of amateurs and enthusiasts who are taking up the sport.

“It is totally a way of life,” said one of those enthusiasts, Brookline’s Anu Advani. “We’re here to stay. If I have anything to do with it, it’s pickleball forever.”

Perhaps nothing symbolizes pickleball’s arrival more clearly than what happened on a recent summer weekend here in Boston, when one of the great cathedrals of American sports, Fenway Park, played home to a series of tournaments for professionals and amateurs alike.

We here at the Curiosity Desk spent some time there to see if we could find out why so many are not just enthusiastic about pickleball, but “obsessed.” Check out what we learned: