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D1 college pickleball? Not so fast...

by The Dink Media Team on

Pickleball pranks. When to use the crossover step.

The inaugural Pickleball Slam, featuring four tennis legends (we covered it last issue), apparently beat out television ratings for MLB, NHL, NBA.

The televised event on ESPN averaged 670K views, peaking at 796K.

Oh hey, haters: what was that about people never watching pickleball?


In today's issue:

  • When to use the crossover step
  • An anti-singles manifesto
  • A different look for PPA Red Rock
  • We got fooled

Let’s get into it.

Move Like Zane

Zane is into feet. In particular, your feet. Hold on, that came out wrong.

Zane is here to help you with your footwork. That's better.

In a new video, he explains how you can move efficiently at the kitchen line.

According to some, you should avoid a crossover step. Zane says that is only half true.

When hitting a backhand dink, a crossover step actually increases your reach. It should be used to field short dinks in the kitchen and those close to the sideline.

On the forehand side, this is not the case. A crossover step does not add to your reach on this side. You're better off shuffling in the forehand direction and lunging if needed.

Proper footwork eliminates more errors than you’d expect. Move more efficiently with this tip from one of the most agile players in the game.

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One Pro’s Case Against Singles

Pro Lea Jansen recently shared her hot take regarding singles play in the pro scene on Twitter:

As you might imagine, she had lots to add in the comments in support of her claim.

Here are her main points:

The PB singles format is really taxing on the body. Unlike pro tennis players, who only play one match a day spread over 1-2 weeks, pro picklers typically have to play in another event the next day.

“[Three to seven] single[s] PB matches in a day does not compare to tennis one match,” Jansen says in a tweet reply.

Doubles pickleball is more interesting to watch. “PB is different than tennis, doubles is main event/most interesting to watch,” she says. “No one outside of the PB community will gravitate to pickleball to watch for leisure.”

When we reposted this on our own Instagram account, Federico Staksrud was gracious enough to leave his thoughts:

“If we eliminate singles then mixed doubles has to go as well!” he said, to which Lea agreed.

Then, our comments section turned into a sounding board for pros’ opinions on the state of professional play:

We want to hear from you. Do you think Lea Jansen makes a good point? Keep in mind, she’s only talking about pro singles, not rec play.

Leave your comment here and keep the conversation going.

PPA Red Rock Preview

Snow. No Ben Johns. No Anna Leigh Waters. Wednesday Start. Championship Saturday. This week's Red Rock is unlike any other PPA event on the calendar.

Snow flurries greeted pros as they arrived in Utah. We're in for some low temps to start the event in St. George but luckily no additional precipitation is in the forecast.

Friendly reminder that Easter is on Sunday. The holiday and Utah tradition push the tournament schedule ahead a day. Pro singles matches begin today at 12 ET and Championship Sunday becomes Championship Saturday.

The door is open in men's doubles with Ben and Matt Wright both skipping the event.

Collin Johns is matched up with new LV Night Owls teammate Dekel Bar. James Ignatowich will fill the role of Wright playing alongside Riley Newman.

Newman will garner extra attention in a debut partnership with Andrea Koop. The pair are favorites in the mixed doubles field.

Federico Staksrud takes over as the one seed in men's singles. He will have a slightly lighter load than usual with no JW Johnson and no Dylan Frazier in the event.

Catch the live stream starting shortly and we will update you with results on Friday.

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Pickleball’s April Shenanigans

The Washington State University’s Athletics Department really had us going. A few days ago, they posted a Facebook update which claimed a WSU Division 1 pickleball team was slated to hit the courts in 2025.

Posted on April 1st…damn, and we were so excited to break the news about pickleball’s first D1 school team. We are JOURNALISTS, folks, you can’t tease us like this!

But seriously, why isn’t there a single college (that we know of) willing to take the leap? Sure, there’s the DUPR Collegiate National Championships and other smaller-scale tournies, but no high-level organization from schools.

Simply put: if eSports is a thing that earns some kids scholarships, why can’t pickleball?

If you know anyone who enjoys defiling the name of pickleball by claiming it isn’t a sport, imagine how their heads would explode if they learned college kids get paid to play video games under their school’s banner.

Other pickleball-themed tomfoolery from over the weekend that we actually loved and immediately recognized as April Fool’s pranks:

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Does Pickleball Need to Grow Up?

Zane and Thomas burn through pickleball’s hottest stories of the week. First up, they respond to Lea Jansen’s take on singles.

Then a juicy letter from a host in Daytona is making its way through the picklesphere. We’re talking late-night shenanigans. Can we chalk it up to growing pains?

There’s still a chance for you to get on the pod, jump in the comments and make your case.

Watch the latest episode here or listen here.

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The Dink Media Team

The Dink Media Team

We're the premier pickleball media outlet featuring news, tips, reviews, and highlights with over 1 million subscribers, followers, and listeners.

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