The scourge known as pickleball continues to sweep across the land like a cloud of irksome locusts, and a recent article from Bloomberg reveals that we are all paying the price:

Earlier this month, shares of big health insurance companies fell after UnitedHealth Group Inc. warned that healthcare utilization rates were up. At a conference the company had said that it was seeing a higher-than-expected pace of hip replacements, knee surgeries and other elective procedures. 

In a new note out Monday, UBS Group AG analysts led by Andrew Mok offer a surprising theory about one factor that could be driving a higher pace of injuries: pickleball.

As everyone knows, the racket game has become a booming (and sometimes controversial) sport and business. And per UBS, not only are “Picklers” competing with the public for use of park and court space, they’re also driving up healthcare capacity utilization and costs.

The firm estimates between $250-500 million in costs attributable to pickle injuries in 2023.

Disgusting. Abhorrent! People are junking up the emergency room with fugazi injuries. They’re getting elective surgeries. The healthcare system exists to treat people with real problems, like leprosy, not the sprained pinky finger you suffered playing pickle in Haddon Heights. Put all pickleball injuries on the back burner. Or just turn the burner off entirely.

New rule: if you injure yourself playing glorified ping pong, you are ineligible for an ER visit or elective surgery. Seems fair. The pickleball hordes are already hogging all of the public space for themselves, so we have to draw a line somewhere or else they will dominate everything, like Carmelo Anthony asking for the ball in the half court.

The real question here is how do you even injure yourself playing pickleball? You barely move. It’s like watching four geriatric Patrick Rafters but there’s no serving or running. It’s outrageous!

Just say no to pickleball.