Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Jim Stanlaw


An ethnography of the sport of pickleball was conducted over a span of 7 months in the United States. Findings are partly the result of the author’s journey from playing in the park to playing in the Pros—presented in autoethnographic terms—and partly the result of 11 semi-structured interviews with 13 avid pickleball players. The main contention of this study is that sport is non-zero sum, despite a tendency for sport to be considered in zero sum terms. The non-zero sum aspect of sport is argued to be the result of two main causes: one, sport is coopetive, in that it is simultaneously competitive and cooperative; and two, players’ appraisals of their successes and failures are not strictly tied to wins and losses, but instead indicate a flexibility of potential rewards from competitions. The coopetive element of sport is particularly illuminated through the lens of agential realism. Findings also indicate that pickleball may be more coopetive and less zero sum than most sports.


Imported from Manthou_ilstu_0092N_12447.pdf


Page Count