The first Pickleball Country Club, Minor League Pickleball and the Death of the Spin Serve.
Well, good morning.
Remember when bumper stickers used to read "Coexist"? Times have changed.
Ready for a mind-boggling stat? There are 66 new places to play pickleball opening in the US every month. Don't tell that to the anti-pickleballers who made those bumper stickers.
In real pickleball news, the spin-serve is almost completely gone. A 2023 rule proposal is on the doorstep of ratification. It would end all variations of the spin-serve and put to rest a two-year debate over its place in the game.
Don't Wait on the Ball
You know what people hate on the pickleball court? When they don't have time to hit the shot that they want.
One way to cut down on your opponent's reaction time is to charge the ball. In the latest episode of 'It Feels Right,' Adam Stone and Rob Nunnery break down Federico Staksrud's ability to control time.
Stone points out Stakrud's ability to 'explode to the ball.' While moving through the transition zone, he cuts off shots before they bounce, taking time away from opponents. If the ball does bounce, he is known to play it on the short hop to keep the pressure on.
The obvious case for this is when the opponent is pulled to one side of the court. Closing on the ball with pace and being decisive allows you to take advantage of the open court before your opponent can recover. It's a matter of timing.
Try alternating this aggressive style of play with a more reserved style of play. It pays to be methodical and lean on your fundamentals. But it's costly to be predictable. Varying your style of play throughout a game makes you unpredictable. It also makes your opponent uncomfortable, preventing them from 'settling in' to the game.
This tactic can be particularly useful when the points aren't going your way. Pickleball is a game of streaks. When you need to shift the momentum, look to vary your pace and style of play.
It's Been Fun, Spin-Serve
The infamous spin serve journey may soon be coming to an end. The Chainsaw (two-handed) spin serve was popularized in 2021 led by one of the most notorious proponents, Zane Navratil. The chainsaw serve was outlawed by USA Pickleball at the start of 2022.
But even then, a loophole in the revised rule allowed for a one-handed spin serve. Players around the county shifted their focus to mastering a one-handed, spin-maximizing toss. Now, all signs point to that being eliminated, too.
- The USA Pickleball Rules Committee passed rule proposal 524 titled "Elimination of the spin serve"
- The rule would outlaw pre-serve manipulation of the ball during the serve
- The toss of the serve would also need to be visible to the referee and the opponent
The next step for rule proposal 524 is the USA Pickleball Board. They still need to approve the rule in order for it to take effect, but it appears inevitable. The new rule would go into effect in 2023.
Millions Pouring into Pickleball Facilities
According to Front Office Sports, there are 66 new places to play pickleball opening in the U.S. every month. Massive facilities throughout the country offer 10, 15, or even 20+ courts under one roof.
Most of the 'entertainment' venues are built with the franchise model in mind. Chicken N' Pickle started with one location and quickly expanded to 6 locations with 3 more in the works.
But nothing has topped this. A newly announced $180 million venture aims to build 15 first of their kind pickleball country club's across Florida, starting with Lakewood Ranch Pickleball Club in Sarasota.
"There are other smaller, indoor concepts for the booming sport of pickleball, but nothing yet to this extent. The Pickleball Club is essentially embracing golf’s country club concept..."
APP Sacramento Preview
The APP Tour is making a first-time stop in Northern California for the APP Sacramento Open this weekend. The event is part of the Challenger Series and carries a $40k prize pool.
The location, reduced prize pool and greenhorn status of the tournament have led to a limited pro roster. There will be no women's pro singles division at this event.
On the other hand, the audience will be treated to a variety of unique pairings. Anna Bright and senior pro Beth Bellamy will vie for gold with the Brascia sisters and Susannah Barr/Lina Padegimaite standing in their way.
DJ Young and Mario Barrientos are likely to take the men's doubles division. But we could also see the Pickleball Cowboy, Kyle McMakin on the medal stand with partner Chuck Taylor. Tune into the event on APPTV.
Pickleball for the Cure
Join Susan G. Komen this October for National Breast Cancer Awareness month for the first ever Pickleball for the Cure National Tournament, October 14 – 16 at The Tennis & Pickleball Club at Newport Beach. Registration closes on September 30, 2022.
This unique charity event offers all skill levels and brackets, including women’s, men’s and mixed divisions, as well as a 2.5 division for beginners.
Player experiences will include clinics with industry pros like Morgan Evans and Kim Jagd, a pro-exhibition and opportunities to honor those who have been affected by breast cancer.
Minor League Pickleball
Major League Pickleball is expanding. Coming in late October the DUPR Minor League Pickleball Battle at Dreamland will take place with its own live stream, prize money and two divisions, DUPR 22 and DUPR 20.
How does it work? The collective DUPR of each four-person team cannot exceed the respective division total cap (22 or 20). Teams will compete in matches featuring the 4-game MLP format with the potential of going to a singles Dreambreaker tiebreak. The event is meant to be a pilot for a potential rollout to future MiLP events and possibly serve as a 'feeder' league for MLP.
The event will take place October 29-30 at Dreamland in Dripping Springs, TX.
Headlines & Quick Hits
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- Pickleball rapidly expands at all levels in U.S. as popularity grows
- Classic mixed doubles haters
- So nice he hit it twice, Jay Devilliers smashes the double erne
- Rip. Bang. Win. Cake 🍰
- The 'Crab Walk' once you see it you can't un-see it 🦀
Went for the black kitchen on this Vermont gem. A perfect addition to the small family cabin. Check out the fencing and lighting, these two additions that are worth every penny.