Follow the flight path. PPA's snow day. Bar owner hero.
We're seeing more and more outright bans of pickleball in communities across the country. But thankfully, there's strength in numbers.
For the third year in a row, our sport is named the fastest-growing in the country. While that's not news to us, it feels like noise complainers view this spread like the fungus-consumed hordes of proto-zombies in The Last of Us.
Anyhow, here's what we have for you on this chilly Friday:
- Follow the ball's flight path
- PPA's snow day
- Our bar owner hero
Follow the Flight Path
Pickleball instructor Mark Price dropped another gem of a video. This one revolves around strategy on the return of serve.
Price says: after returning the serve, you should follow the flight path of the ball to the kitchen line.
This means that if you return the ball down the line, run straight ahead to the kitchen and protect your sideline. In turn, your partner should slide towards the midline to help defend the middle of the court.
If you return cross-court, approach the kitchen on a diagonal angle. With a cross-court return, your partner will need to shift to cover their sideline. As a refsult, you should position yourself closer to the midline to help protect the middle.
Moving in sync with your partner is crucial. Having an understanding of how that will work before the point even starts puts you at an even greater advantage.
Pass this one along to your partner before the divorce ball puts an end to your pickleball partnership.
Play Like Zane
It's been rumored about for months, but the day has finally come. The new Zane Navratil Signature Carbon paddle is now available from ProXR Pickleball.
The paddle features an Ultra-RAW carbon face that is designed to maximize spin and power.
An elongated straight handle allows Zane (and you) to fit both hands on the paddle, perfect for the two-handed backhand.
Shop Now at proxrpickleball.com
More Evidence of Pickle Domination
For the third straight year, pickleball is named America's fastest-growing sport by the 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report.
According to the report, pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7% and by an astonishing 158.6% over three years.
The total count of players is now 8.9 million players, up from 4.8 mil in the 2022 report. This looks a bit different from the 36.5 million figure discussed in the APP Tour report from earlier in the year, and some in the community are questioning how that could be.
But the studies obviously used different thresholds for what they consider “players.”
The APP study estimated the number of players who played more than eight times in the year to be closer to 8.5 million.
No matter which number is closest to the exact amount, we’re glad to see such encouraging stats.
It's safe to say snow and pickleball do not mix. Snow storms hit Minnesota starting on Tuesday and dropped over 16 inches of fresh pow in Minneapolis.
All of that snow made travel to the PPA Indoor National Championships harder than a third shot in front of a packed crowd. Competitors struggled to find flights into MSP. Some, including Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters, opted out of the tournament altogether.
Former partners Catherine Parenteau and Lea Jansen will face off for the women's singles title. They have been trading second-place finishes for months now. In a post-match interview, Jansen joked that she's "excited for a Championship Sunday without Anna Leigh."
Salome Devidze won her second straight bronze medal, narrowly edging out Brooke Buckner.
JW Johnson interrupted Federico Staksrud's run of three straight Championship Sundays with a nail-biting win. Johnson topped Staks by the slimmest of margins, 14-12, 12-14, 11-9.
He will face training partner and trash-talk rival James Ignatowich for gold. Jay Devilliers finished the day with bronze.
Players have commented on the courts playing 'softer' than they're used to. The ball is bouncing lower than expected, accounting for some changes in gameplay and unforced errors.
Mixed doubles action picks up today at 2pm CST on PPA TV.
Cold can be therapeutic. In fact, it can be more.
The Cold Plunge may sound like a hard sell, but that’s exactly why it works: studies show dipping your body in cold water increases your muscles’ ability to heal, promotes focus, reduces anxiety, and other health benefits.
Take the plunge and stay in top pickleball shape. Click here to learn more.
Leave it to Bar Owners
Owners of multi-use spaces may be a saving grace for pickleball communities facing noise complaint bans.
Consider Lake Oswego, Oregon, where the City Council voted to ban pickleball at George Rogers Park. Players don’t have anywhere to go, since the next available space is already being guarded by the local ANTC…Anti-Noise Neighbor Commission (not a real thing, but they're militant nonetheless).
Enter our business-savvy hero, Kent Drangsholt. He owns a nearby pub which already regularly hosts live music, pool, events, card games, and open mics. And, conveniently, his business is zoned for more noise than the parks near residences.
He wisely sees this as an opportunity and is in the process of installing 6 courts on his property.
For small communities like this with limited space — or limited space deemed acceptable for pickleball by ANTCs — ring your local bars, ice rinks, and other multi-use venues; anywhere zoned for some noise allowance. They may be willing to help if there's pickle business to be had.
1000 mg sodium, 200 mg potassium, 60 mg magnesium.
That's LMNT's science-backed electrolyte ratio. When you sweat, the primary electrolyte lost is sodium. You can lose up to 7 grams per day.
When sodium isn’t replaced, it’s common to experience muscle cramps and fatigue, aka game-killers.
Don't let that happen. Try LMNT's electrolyte drink mix.
PicklePod Covers the New Paddle Dilemma
The hottest new pickleball debate is pushing paddle testing to its legal limits. Zane and Thomas go in on the most creative ways to skirt pickleball rules.
Headlines & Quick Hits
- Find your next match here
- Pickleball's latest court? The prison yard. - The Washington Post (free with login)
- New pickleball league launches in Charlotte
- Interest in pickleball exploded during the pandemic - Axios
- Warren Sapp’s new sport? 🔥
- If pickleball were to have a brawl, what players would be most likely to start it?
- Goodbye, glasses & visor. Hello, point.
- Never turn down a tweener
Anybody else a sucker for a duotone court? The shades of green are hitting me right in the feels. This is the kind of home court that turns a house into a haven.
A review from the Dink Fam...
What did you think of today's newsletter?