The Dink Pickleball

The Dink Pickleball Logo
Pickleball Lives Here
Minor League Pickleball

How to Form a Team and Some Catchy Team Names for The Dink Minor League Pickleball

by Jason Flamm on

If you've ever watched Major League Pickleball (MLP) – with its unique scoring and team-based format – and wished you could play in something exciting like that, then you have to check out The Dink Minor League Pickleball (The Dink MiLP).

When you sign up (not if, but when), you'll have an opportunity to build your team and even give it a super fun (puns are always welcomed) name.

We've got some tips and advice for forming a team for The Dink MiLP and some fun names you're more than welcome to steal.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Dink Minor League Pickleball
Looking for more information about The Dink Minor League? Want to learn more about how to host a local event? We’ve got all of your resources.

Team requirements for The Dink MiLP

The Dink MiLP teams must consist of four players: two men and two women. With those four players, you'll play a total of four games per match (a fifth if a tiebreaker is needed. More on that later):

  • Women's doubles
  • Men's doubles
  • Mixed doubles
  • Mixed doubles

Each person plays in two of the above games.

The fifth match, if needed, is called a Dreambreaker and consists of one singles game where all four players compete (players switch after every four points).

Once the Dreambreaker is complete a winner is crowned. Okay, maybe not actually crowned, but you get it.

The challenge of finding teammates

Anyone who has played tournaments knows that sometimes there is a challenge to finding teammates.

But, hey, that's why we're here.

The challenges you'll face in creating a team for The Dink MiLP include:

  • Finding players of a specific gender - two males and two females
  • Finding others with similar DUPR ratings - Divisions are determined by the team's combined DUPR rating

DUPR-based divisions are unique to The Dink Minor League Pickleball. In order to create a fair and balanced system, the four players must combine their scores and not exceed a specific overall rating.

For example, if you and your team sign up for DUPR 14 Division, your combined DUPR score cannot exceed 14.30, and one single player cannot have a DUPR over 4.10.

So, the makeup of your team might look something like this:

  • Player A - Male, 3.450 DUPR
  • Player B - Male, 3.600 DUPR
  • Player C - Female, 3.800 DUPR
  • Player D - Female, 3.250 DUPR

The aggregate rating for this team would be 14.10, and because no one player is above 4.10, they would qualify for the DUPR 14 Division.

These details are designed to reduce sandbagging and keep each division as competitive as possible.

So, how do you find your team? We're glad you asked.

Pickleball Skill Quiz
Find out your pickleball rating

Five surefire ways to find teammates

Here are a handful of ways you can find a team to compete in The Dink MiLP events:

No. 1 - Simply ask

It sounds so simple, yet the easiest and most often overlooked way to find a teammate is to ask. If you have a group of pickleball friends or regulars you play with at rec play, ask them.

Some people will not know what The Dink Minor League Pickleball is (but, of course, you'll happily tell them), and others might be too shy to ask if they can play.

It's like prom. If you want someone to dance with, sometimes you just have to ask.

No. 2 - Join a Facebook Group

Even if you're not an avid social media user, we're willing to bet you are on Facebook (and if you are, go ahead and follow us). Simply go to Facebook Groups and search "pickleball and your area." There is likely to be a group for you to join.

If it looks active, go ahead and post that you're looking for players within a specific DUPR range and see if anyone else is also looking for teammates.

If they don't know what The Dink MiLP is, send them this article:

Five Reasons to Play in The Dink Minor League Pickleball
Looking to enhance your tournament-playing experience? We highlight five reasons why you should play in The Dink Minor League this summer.

No. 3 - Look on DUPR

The DUPR app is a great place to go to find players of a specific skill level in your area. You can direct message them or add them as friends and then invite them to play on a team with you.

Again, asking is 99 percent of the challenge.

No. 4 - Ask your local club owner

If you are a member of a local pickleball club, contact the coordinator or owner and see if they know of anyone looking for team members. There's an excellent chance you're not the only one asking and, even if you are, they'll know who to reach out to in case someone else comes to them later.

No. 5 - Ask the event organizer or sign up as an individual

The Dink Minor League Pickleball Event organizers want you to play in their event. If you are absolutely stuck filling out a team, e-mail the person running the upcoming tournament and ask if they happen to know anyone in the area who might be looking for a teammate.

Most events offer individual signups, which doesn't guarantee that you'll be on a team but at least gives you one last chance to find your squad. If enough individuals sign up (or a team has a player drop), then you'll be placed in the proper division and get to play the tournament on game day.

What to do once you find your team

Hopefully, this helps you find your team for an upcoming The Dink MiLP event. If not, keep trying with future events. With hundreds planned for this year, the next one is likely right around the corner.

How to Find The Dink Minor League Tournaments Near You
Want to play in Major League Pickleball-style events near you? Check out our guide on how to find The Dink Minor League events in your area.

Once you do have your team together, it's time to put in some work to ensure you make it to the podium. Here are some suggestions for making your team as strong as possible.

Practice, practice, practice

Whether you have a few days or several weeks to prepare, practicing together can go a long way toward helping you gel as a team. You'll learn each other's strengths and weaknesses and develop a sense of who the best pairings will be.

Mimic real games

The beauty of having four players is that you can practice each type of game you'll be in during the tournament – even the singles. When you practice with a purpose, there's a better chance it'll translate over to real games.

Provide each other feedback

Support each other by providing feedback or strategy tips. Knowing who your strongest and weakest players are ahead of the event can help ensure you make your strongest pairings and perform your best during the tournament.

Develop a game day game plan

During the tournament, there is a lot to worry about beyond the games themselves. Develop a strategy for on the court, but also one for off of it. Know what time you'll all show up, where you'll warm up together, etc ...

Pickleball Tournaments: What to Expect and How to Prepare
Competing in pickleball tournaments is a great experience. Being prepared for what to expect can go a long way toward success.

Come up with a fun team name

Matching outfits isn't required, but highly suggested. What is required, though, is coming up with a team name. You can use something generic, but why? Instead, have some fun with it.

Here are a few of our favorite (most are puns, of course) team names that you are welcome to steal.

Names based on bands/Musical Artists

  • Spin Doctors
  • Dinkin' Park
  • Paddle at the Disco
  • Pickleback
  • Net Zeppelin
  • Dink Floyd
  • The Net Hot Chili Peppers
  • Volley Parton
  • Blazing Paddles
  • Parks and Wreck
  • Stranger Swings
  • The Walking Dinks
  • The Netbusters
  • The Dropfathers
  • Super Smash Bros
  • The Wizards of Lobs

Random Names

  • Abraham Dinkins
  • The Volley Llamas
  • Designated Dinkers
  • For Hits and Giggles
  • Stiff Dinks
  • Red Lobsters
  • The Kitchen Staff
  • Don't Lob Us Bro

If none of those are interesting to you, hopefully they at least provided some inspiration for your own creation. The options are endless.

Register for The Dink Minor League Pickleball

Events are happening nationwide constantly. The best way to stay updated is to check the Events Calendar.

And, if you're interested in organizing The Dink Minor League Pickleball Events in your area, here's your guide ...

How to Organize Events with The Dink Minor League Pickleball
The Dink Minor League Pickleball events are some of the best tournaments nationwide. But they couldn’t happen without amazing organizers. If you’re interested in organizing events in your area, here’s how.

We hope to see you at one of The Dink Minor League Pickleball Events soon!

Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

Read more