PPA, APP and the pickleball daytime drama
We're like the little devil on your shoulder. The little devil who loves pickleball.
Do with this information what you please.
It's a great weekend to be a sports fan. You get not one, but two Championship Sundays to accompany the first week of NFL Football.
But it's not great weekend if you're a sporting goods store. According to Front Office Sports, Dick's Sporting Goods, Academy Sports + Outdoors and Big 5 Sporting Goods all reported decreased second-quarter revenue.
Sounds like it's time to increase their PB inventory; many retailers already are. The pickle wave is here. Better start surfing, retail giants.
And while they struggle to catch the wave, you can shop the new-fashioned way, DTC. Check out the selection from Fromuth Pickleball and enjoy 10% off on us with code 10DINK.
Table Tennis Crossover
Converts to pickleball from ping po- sorry, table tennis - claim that their superior spin at the kitchen comes from learning with smaller paddles. It begs the question, is it beneficial to train your pickleball skills with table tennis equipment?
TikToker ("Pickletoker"?) Pickleballonice thinks so. She recently dropped a video of her practicing a two-handed pickleball backhand with table tennis accouterment - a table with no net and an automatic return machine.
As you can see, her backhand form tips are on point. But why bother using ping pong paddles and balls when you can simply practice pickleball?
Well, for one thing, it's a lot harder to practice this shot alone on a pickleball court. So if you're lucky enough to own a ping pong returner like the one in the video (or know a pickleball holdout who does) - Ok, the odds of you owning one of these table tennis robots and not having anyone to play pickleball with seem low.
But the point is that cross-training with a tiny ping pong ball and paddle might help you improve your hand-eye coordination. This will help train your ability to hit the sweet spot of your paddle.
Instructors frequently stress the importance of seeing the ball in, or said differently, closely watching the ball all the way until it makes contact with your paddle. The goal: avoid miss-hits and maximize the sweet spot.
Taking your eye off the ball too early can be costly. This drill will help.
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PPA Cincinnatti Open
The PPA Tour pulled out all the stops for the grand slam weekend at the Lindner Family Tennis Center. The championship court has massive stadium seating and features a brand new giant screen covering the baseline wall. Picture an endzone jumbotron but at ground level on a pickleball court.
Thursday was not a good day to be a number 2 seed. Ben Johns and Catherine Parenteau were both knocked out of gold contention and will miss the podium. Johns was upset by the 7 seed, Tyler Loong, who erne'd his way to the W. Whoa.
But Loong's gold medal aspirations were soon squashed by Hunter Johnson in the semifinals, convincingly (11-5, 11-2).
Johnson will play in his first PPA Championship Sunday where he will face the top seed, Tyson McGuffin. Johnson emerged the victor of their previous duel last month at the Tournament of Champions.
Hunter Johnson will have a familiar face on the podium as his twin brother Yates Johnson fought through the loser's bracket to win bronze.
Catherine Parenteau's upset came at the hands of Salome Devidze. Parenteau and Devidze have a budding rivalry that is all Devidze at this point. She beat Parenteau for a second time on Thursday when they met in the bronze medal match.
Devidze's stock continues to rise, but it's not without controversy. Her match vs Lea Jansen was delayed as the PPA scrambled to find extra referees to supervise the match. Devidze has been accused of questionable line calls by a number of her competitors on tour. She will leave Cincy with her first PPA Tour medal.
The women's final will be a TOC rematch between Anna Leigh Waters and Lea Jansen.
The Friday and Saturday broadcast is scheduled for PPA TV from 10am-1pm ET, then it will switch over to Tennis Channel for the remainder of the day. Championship Sunday will be aired on Tennis Channel starting at 10am.
Has Gambling Arrived?
This week the PPA Tour announced a new sponsorship with the online sportsbook DraftKings. To celebrate they introduced a free-to-enter contest with the opportunity to win 'DraftKings Dollars.' The contest included a series of prop bets revolved around this weekend's tournament in Cincinnati.
Not to be outdone, BetMGM released their own pickleball-centric commercial starring Detroit Lions legend, Barry Sanders. Sanders is on the PB court when he answers a call from pickleball enthusiast Jaime Foxx.
Last June we broke the news that gambling was 'coming' to pickleball. We later learned that negotiations had hit a snag last fall. Until now, there were no updates. Technically, there still hasn't been. But, it seems to us that the writing is on the wall...and that writing says bet the house on Anna Leigh Waters to win everything.
Just before publishing this issue, the PPA also posted a cryptic teaser to Instagram. "Pickleball.com. Coming 10.5.22," it reads. Interesting.
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APP Atlanta Metro Open Singles Recap
Down in Griffin GA, the APP Tour placed $65k up for grabs and everyone wants their piece of the pie. Federico Staksrud got his first win over JW Johnson last week and managed to repeat the feat again yesterday. He won the winner's bracket today, but if he wants first place prize money, he needs to beat Johnson again on Championship Sunday.
Jorja Johnson slugged her way through the winner's bracket yesterday. She had hard fought matches with Megan Fudge in the semis and Mary Brascia in the winner's bracket final. Fudge will get a rematch with Johnson on Championship Sunday. If she manages to win gold, it will be her first on the APP Tour.
Dylan Frazier and Mary Brascia both lost in their respective winner's bracket final and ended their days with bronze medals. Doubles action picks up today. The APP Tour will also have a split broadcast. Their morning matches will start on APP TV but switch to ESPN+ in the afternoon.
Pickleball Daytime Drama
The pickleball bandwagon gets a little more crowded each day. A recent addition is the long-standing CBS soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful. The show has been on air since 1987 and in that time has won 77 Daytime Emmys.
Well, they might have their eye on a 2022 Dink Award because pickleball has been introduced into the plot line. In the show, Eric claims to be going to play pickleball. Ridge questions Eric's true intentions "pickleball, is that what the kids call it these days?"
Newsflash Ridge, if someone claims to be going to play pickleball, they're definitely going to play pickleball. What they are lying about is 'going to do errands' or 'having an appointment' when really they're going to get another session in on the courts.
Episode 4: It Feels Right
Headlines & Quick Hits
- Construction to reverse pickleball to tennis courts
- Celebrate future pickleball courts location
- Tired of the text chain? Time to download the pickleball app
- Artificial turf and more pickleball courts coming soon to Daphne, AL
- Senior pickleball players teach the game to beginners
- Hang it in the Louvre
- The Austin connection delivers in Chicago
- Everybody is saying it
- We promise, you have never seen an erne like this!
If you're feeling devilish (you're welcome) and thinking about building a new court, you'll want to think about color scheme. Which of these would you go with?
That'll do it for this week. If you enjoyed this issue, do us a favor and send it to a friend.
We'd appreciate it more than you know. See ya on Tuesday, Dink Fam!