This week is a special week in pickleball. The Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships will host 2200+ players at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Once the most prominent tournament in the pickleball game, it has lost some luster due to the growth of the professional pickleball tours and vaccination mandate that is enforced this year.
This year’s event has come with controversy after Indian Wells issued a vaccination mandate for tournament participants. Meaning that players that qualified by winning regional tournaments would need to be vaccinated in order to play at nationals. This has created some firey debates within the pickleball community and now the day has come for the tournament to begin.
There are professional matches every day of the week starting tomorrow with, Men’s Senior Pro Singles and Women’s Senior Pro Doubles. Both of these events start at 9:30am PT, 12:30pm ET.
Here is the schedule for the pro events in the tournament this week.
Tuesday, December 7
Men’s Senior Pro Singles
Women’s Senior Pro Doubles
Wednesday, December 8
9:30 am PT – Women’s Senior Pro Singles
11:00am PT – Men’s Senior Pro Doubles
Thursday, December 9
9:00 am PT – Mixed Senior Pro Doubles
10:00am PT – Men’s Pro Singles
11:00am PT – Women’s Pro Singles
Friday, December 10
8:30 am PT – Mixed Pro Doubles
Saturday, December 11
10:00am Pro Women’s & Men’s Doubles
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If you look at the pro player list you will notice it is lighter than most professional tournaments. It looks like either the mandate or the grind of the professional schedule has kept some pros away. The APP also introduced a competing event that will take place over the weekend.
The APP World Pickleball Open will be played in Port St Lucie, FL December 12/9-12/12. For players on the Eastern half of the country, this seems to a viable substitute for Nationals. The men’s singles field boasts an impressive 53 players registered. It seems like a large group of 5.0 level players are taking this opportunity to test the waters at the pro level.
Whichever tournament you prefer, there will be plenty of pickleball to watch throughout the week. Pickleball fans should make the most of it, this will be the last professional event of the year.