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Newsletter: Pickleball Derangement Syndrome

by The Dink Media Team on

Lessons lead to litigation. Place your bid.

Pickleball growth = off the charts. Well technically, Sportico was able to chart it below...but you know what we mean.

My favorite part about that graph is how much white space the graphic designers had to make peace with. Graphic designers hate unnecessary white space. But that's what happens when you have an outlier like pickleball.

By the way, did you notice that our last issue was titled [2/27 DRAFT]? Needless to say, that was a mistake. But it must have made y'all curious, because more people opened it than ever.

It's like when you go for an out ball, but whiff. Did you mean to do that? No, but you'll take the point.

In this issue:

  • Pickleball Derangement Syndrome
  • On-court injury leads to legal action
  • Pickleball showcase on the Price is Right

Let's dive in!

One More Step

Can I be honest? Are we in the trust circle here? Ok, I whiffed on an overhead...again.

I finally made it to the court this week for the first time in...*checks calendar*...way too long. Let me tell ya, pickleball rust is a real thing. Reaction time decays and the feel for drops and resets suffers.

But what really felt foreign - overheads. On my first one of the day, I looked like a total noob and whiffed it. Yikes, can we get this guy a little unsolicited advice?

Here it is:  When you're moving back to field an overhead, take one extra step.

That's it. That's the whole piece of advice. It's that simple.

Don't just retreat to the point where you can barely reach the ball. Take one more step to position your body behind the ball. This way, when you swing, you're able to step through the overhead.

This helps in three ways:

  • Moving through the overhead leaves you better positioned for the next ball
  • The ability to better leverage your leg strength + forward momentum = more power
  • A contact point in front of the body allows for more control and increased accuracy, vs making contact while falling away

My mistake is that I was lazy and refused to take the extra step. I tried to jump backwards to reach the descending lob.

It might have been the wind, the sun, or a dwindling sense of athleticism that ultimately was my downfall (man I was a great high school athlete). But the whole embarrassment could've been avoided by taking an extra step, getting behind the ball and launching forward through the overhead.

Learn from my mistake, use good form, and go crush some overheads.


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Pickleball Derangement Syndrome

We've all felt the impact. We've all fallen victim. And now, it has a name.

The Boston Globe has declared it: Pickleball Derangement Syndrome.

Here's the gist if you don't want to read the whole article:

People who play pickleball are showing signs of Pickleball Derangement Syndrome, including joining multiple leagues, flying to pickleball camps, playing for seemingly days on end and even buying $145 designer pickleball dresses.

One of the best parts:

😮Karine Marino played pickleball from 8 until midnight on a recent Monday night, drove 11 minutes home to Bedford, took a quick shower, set her alarm for 5 a.m., and drove back to the same indoor courts for her 6:30 a.m. game.

“But I just do that once or twice a week,” Marino, 58, said. “It’s not all the time.”

No, no, of course not. She usually plays a mere three hours a day, unless she’s in a tournament, or she’s coaching a friend from her club, Life Time in Burlington, or...

In summary, pickeball has a knack for becoming an obsession...and quickly. What other sports, hobbies or activities share this characteristic?

I don't know if I can name a single one. More on this story here.

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When Good Games Go Bad

Back in 2019 a Connecticut Superior Court Judge, William Wenzel, was severely injured while playing pickle.

According to the CT Post, Wenzel "broke his neck and ribs and injured his head, knee and hand when he ran headfirst into a concrete wall." Ouch. We've all been a little too aggressive when chasing down a ball, but this one takes the cake.

The incident occurred at the Bigelow Center for Senior Activities which is owned by the town of Fairfield. The judge filed suit against both the town of Fairfield and his volunteer instructor. Now that's harsh. The story made news again this week because a settlement was reached with the town.

The lawsuit basically claimed that:

  • The courts were located too close to the wall
  • Padding was not installed
  • His instructor "Failed to instruct the plaintiff how to avoid the danger posed by the location of the pickleball courts"
  • Wenzel was moved before trained medical professionals arrived

This sounds like a pretty dicey situation but it's hard to imagine a scenario where you sue a volunteer for not telling you to avoid running into walls.

Many of you are, or know someone, who volunteers to teach pickleball. It's part of the reason why the game has grown and has an unrivaled sense of community.

Pickleball is a great sport that anyone can learn but it's important to have protection in place to avoid injury and personal liability. Remember even with the best of intentions, accidents do happen.

Ok, now that we've stated that safety is important, etc. How bout the gall of this judge? He's like the grinch of pickleball, and not the quick witted, strangely charming Jim Carrey version.

If we were snarky (we aren't...always) and didn't like tennis (we do...sometimes), and quick to judge (no pun intended), we'd say, "go back to tennis." But again, we are not snarky tennis detractors that are quick to judge...for the record.

Find your next game in seconds

All your questions about where, when, and with whom to play pickleball: answered with one app.

Let PicklePlay help you find your next court, event, and even a squad to play with. Learn more here.

The Price is Right

Take your guess: how much is this pickleball set worth? It includes a net, two pro-designed paddles, four balls, and a backpack.

Four contestants on a recent episode of The Price is Right (yes, that’s still running) placed their bets on this set of pickleball accouterments for their chance to move on in the show.

If you’ve somehow never seen an episode before (found you, Gen Z readers), the person who guesses closest to the item’s actual price gets to progress while the others stay behind.

The guesses were:

  • $500
  • $476
  • $725
  • $1000

Re-thinking your guess? Too late, it’s locked in. Actual price: $553.

Let’s hope the person who guessed $500 is a pickleball fiend…or at least a soon-to-be subscriber.

Headlines & Quick Hits

  • A refreshing female perspective on the most important headlines in sports. Subscribe to The Gist Newsletter (it's free)
  • Pickleball sweeps the Pacific Northwest, and so do fights about where to play
  • Tallahassee's newest city park offers fun options including pickleball and even cricket
  • Samyn: Is pickleball a good workout?


A review from the Dink Fam:

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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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