Happy National Pickleball Month! How are you going to celebrate?
When I step out of the Pickleball bubble and talk to people that don’t play, I’m surprised how many of them know about the sport. Pickleball is only about 50 years old, it’s not on TV very often and it’s played mainly in North America.
The sport has grown via grassroots. Friends telling friends, family telling family or just curiosity when driving past a court and seeing a group of people having fun.
There aren’t many sports that grandparents can beat their kids or grandkids. Next time your offspring is showing off his or her soccer or basketball skills, ask them if they know how to drop a dink shot into their opponent’s kitchen. “Do I know how to what?”
In the spirit of Tax Day on April 15th in the U.S., I’ll share some numbers:
The upcoming 3rd Annual US Open Pickleball Championships in Naples, Florida started out with a few hundred people and has grown to over 5,000. Minto Communities has been the title sponsor for 3 years and has embraced the sport at their residential developments. William Bullock, Senior VP, said, “It’s growing by leaps and bounds, and it’s because of how accessible the sport is. It’s intergenerational and crosses all boundaries.”
Franklin Sports, who has been a mainstay in baseball has been all in with Pickleball for a few years. They started developing paddles and balls in 2015. Today their ball, the X-40 and their new paddles will be sold at Wal-Mart, Academy Sports and will be the first Pickleball equipment provider to Target. By the end of 2018, they’ll be in more than 4,000 retail stores.
Interested in looking for more places to play Pickleball? Are you traveling and not sure where the courts are? Check out USAPA’s Places 2 Play website to search by address or city and state.
Congratulations on being a part of the Pickleball community. Let’s continue to Spread the Love!
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-Duke with Quick Pickle
© Quick Pickle 2018
Last week, the USAPA rolled out their new player rating system. The UTPR (USAPA Tournament Player Ratings) was established to have a more accurate assessment of all players.
With the previous or legacy system, the ratings were based on tournament directors and each player’s own ratings. (Surely no one would play down a level, would they?)
With tournaments getting bigger and more players entering the sport, it became difficult to track everyone correctly.
The UTPR is comprised using up to 3 years of tournament history from pickleballtournaments.com. It’s based on past performance and will help in seeding future tournaments.
I was playing doubles recently and had a match against a couple former tennis players new to Pickleball. I’ve shared some stats about the Tennis to Pickleball migration on our Instagram account and how great it is to see firsthand.
Our opponents as former tennis players were used to driving the ball but didn’t have much experience with the soft game.
“Dinking? What is that?”
Not being one to give unsolicited advice, I let them play using their banger or slammer techniques.
What do you do when playing against a banger?
There’s a debate going on in Pickleball whether we should change from Side Out scoring to Rally Scoring. Not sure what the difference is?
Rally Scoring is a scoring method where points can be won by the serving or receiving team
Side Out Scoring is a format of scoring where points can be won only by the serving team