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APP Tour Announces Teams Format Play for Pro Players

by Adam Forziati on

It was a year full of announcements from the Association of Pickleball Players (APP Tour): global partnerships, organized high school play, plus their announcement about 2024 schedule changes. But the APP has one more surprise up its sleeve, and it stands to upset the pro pickleball scene...

...It's team play. Today, the APP Tour announced its first-ever team-based pro competition to complement its pro tour experience.

The team-based format will be featured at five tour stops as a single-day competition of singles, doubles, and mixed doubles play, with pros vying for their share of the $100,000 prize pool.

Chief Marketing Officer Tom Webb told The Dink that the APP has always intended to add teams competitions "at the right time."

"It had to be done within the context of the efficient use of our resources, not doing it as a response to others, but because it's been planned," Webb said.

"Our strategy is based on embracing all levels of players and therefore embracing all types of competition. We want to offer players the choice that they look for when they want to compete."

The announcement should come as no surprise, since the APP's Jenny Klitch, SVP, Pro Player Relations & Competition, was the original commissioner at Major League Pickleball and even invented the dreambreaker.

Team play format, dates, players, and all other details will be announced soon, Webb says.

UPDATE: The first team based event was announced today. It'll be the Humana Cup, a recurring series of 50+ and 60+ events, slated to begin at the January 17-21 event at Punta Gorda.

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Bold moves for the APP

The APP's strategy of late can be summed up in one word: diversify.

Consider that with this year's announcements included, the Tour now covers:

  • International events
  • High school competition
  • Collegiate competition
  • Top-level professional play in standard format AND teams format
  • Senior organized play

To quote the APP's announcement:

"With the addition of a team-based competition, the APP Tour now offers the most variety of any pickleball organization."

A bold claim, but with the current progression of offerings, they may have a point. Until the merger between MLP and PPA goes through, the APP is the only tour that can claim all of these formats and events.

Adam Forziati

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