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PPA and MLP Announce New Combined Organization and Unveil New Logo

by Peter Madden on

In the latest news to drop from the recent merger between the PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball, it was announced on Wednesday that the two entities will combine to form the United Pickleball Association.

It is the latest news to emerge from the much-anticipated partnership between the two organizations.

The new organization will also launch a United Pickleball State Championship Series as part of the new venture.

So where does this leave USA Pickleball?

USA Pickleball has long been the governing body setting the standards across the entire competitive pickleball landscape, but in recent years the PPA and MLP have eschewed some of USAP's rules and regulations in favor of their own.

For instance, while both the PPA and MLP organizations have generally adhered to USA Pickleball's paddle guidelines, MLP began working with Pro Pickle Labs for paddle testing last year. MLP also implemented their own paddle color policies.

MLP Issues New Rules Surrounding Paddle Color
The new paddle color regulations from MLP aim to eliminate unfair advantages and preserve player safety.

Additionally, the PPA instituted its own serve rules, which is just the latest example of the organization branching off from USA Pickleball to set its own guidelines. It previously announced specific rules around spin serves unique to its organization.

This past weekend, members of USA Pickleball, PPA, APP, and MLP took the stage with Thomas Shields from The Dink at the Racquet X Conference to discuss the state of the sport and the recent volatility amongst the organizations.

Carl Foster, co-owner of the NPL Boca Raton Picklers, asked the panel (Mike Nealy, USA Pickleball, Tom Webb, APP, Bryce Morgan, PPA and Anne Worcester, MLP) if all of the fragmentation at the professional level is good for the future of the sport.

"We are a non-exclusive governing body and it's critical that we stay that way," Nealy said. "These guys need to make choices if they're going to follow our rules, get sanctioned (by USAP) and all those types of things. But at the heart of it, I want to make sure we are staying neutral.

"Will there be a merger (of the major organizations) someday? From my perspective it would be great if we all got along and there was one unified professional body." – Mike Nealy, USA Pickleball

With today's announcement it seems that MLP and the PPA under the new United Pickleball Association umbrella might have limited use for USA Pickleball, which could lead to further organizational ramifications down the road.

 

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