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Pickleball Lives Here

The Lob Doctor - The Dink Newsletter

by Thomas Shields on

You see, dear readers, we love pickleball.

We love pickleball like a blogger loves a good font, like a chess grandmaster loves an En Passant. If we spot a wiffle-ball game in the park, we wonder "is that a Dura?"

And last weekend, we got to share our love with the rest of the country as pro pickleball hit live network TV for the first time. With its debut came reactions from across the internet.

Dr. Phil and Larry Fitzgerald showed some love by promoting the CBS debut. As did Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur who appears to have a seat on the pickleball train.

Results APP New Jersey Open

The Lob Doctor

Callan Dawson went 5 for 5 in exhibition matches at the Skechers Invitational last weekend. Part of his success stems from his elite level lob game.

Dawson uses the lob as a weapon. It is not just a defensive shot for him. It's a way to get the opponent off the line and send them scrambling.

In a post game interview, Dawson shed some light on his approach. He explained that he likes to "take the ball out of the air" when hitting his brand of lobs...weird.

He does this to cut down on the time the other team has to prepare for his lob.

The goal is not to hit the perfect, high arching lob that lands on the baseline. The goal is to get the ball over their head in a hurry. He describes it as more of a "linear" lob than the traditional lob.

One specific situation where Dawson seemed to always dial up the lob was when his opponent was going for an erne.

On multiple occasions, he flipped a lob over the head of Jay Devilliers flying across the kitchen. This left Devilliers' partner to chase down the lob.

The most important element of Mr. Dawson's lob technique though, is that of surprise. His ability to conceal and execute it suddenly is rivaled by few. His opponents know it's coming, he has a reputation for it, and yet, he gets away with it time and time again.

Give the Lob Doctor's method a try next time you're on the courts. But remember, it's all about concealment!

Pickleball's Network TV Debut

The Skechers Invitational was broadcasted to pickleball's largest potential audience on Saturday. The CBS viewers saw Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters defeat Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith followed by the Johns brothers getting the win over Riley Newman and Matt Wright.

The action continued Sunday on CBS Sports where Anna Leigh and Ben racked up another national TV win, this time in singles. Kovalova/Wright also snagged a mixed doubles win over Catherine Parenteau/Riley Newman.

Exhibition matches were played throughout the weekend featuring all types of concocted partnerships. One of the best had Ben and Anna Leigh in the booth calling a match between Leigh Waters/Lea Jansen and Allyce Jones/Megan Dizon.

The PPA Tour also debuted their 'fast breaker' tie breaker that replaces the third game in a best of three format. In the fast breaker, each of the four players get a chance to serve. The team that racks up the most points on their serve wins the match.

The Tournament of Champions kicks off tomorrow with pro singles. The gold medal matches will be played on Championship Saturday.

One Tweet Reaction


While it was meant to be a shot at pickleball, they're not 100% wrong. Pickleball and mini golf are similar in a few ways:

  • The whole family can play together
  • It doesn't take 5 hours to finish one game
  • Usually there's a giant windmill involved?

The shortcomings of the comparison are obvious, though. For one, pickleball requires both the power and touch elements of tennis, whereas you don't see anyone teeing off on the putt putt course (hopefully).

Pure Electric Fun

We've teamed up with Jackrabbit for a huge giveaway! Win a 'Dink' branded Jackrabbit Portable Ultralight Micro eBike made to get you to the court and back.

All you have to do is enter your email here...and maybe a few other things to up your chances (;

It weighs only 24 lbs! So you can easily throw a JackRabbit into your trunk or carry it up stairs. No need to leave us locked up on the street and risk being stolen! Reach up to 20 mph of pure electric power for at least 10+ miles at a time.

APP New Jersey Open Recap

JW Johnson capped off his weekend in the Garden State with three victories on Championship Sunday. He paired up with pickleball veterans Dekel Bar and Simone Jardim to bring home gold in men's and mixed doubles.

Johnson defeated Federico Staksrud in the singles final. Staksrud continues to improve his singles game but Johnson has had his number for most of the year.

In women's doubles, two powerhouses teamed up and took the title. Lauren Stratman and Vivenne David won the winner's bracket on Saturday and faced Anna Bright and Jorja Johnson on Championship Sunday. This match went the distance, ending with Stratman/David catching fire in the final, deciding game to 15.

A well-rested Salome Devidze completed the double dip on Sunday. She secured the win over Jorja Johnson after losing to Johnson on Thursday.

The APP Tour will remain in the Northeast for their next event, the Philadelphia Open starting on August 25th.

'It Feels Right' Podcast

Introducing the newest pickleball podcast, It Feels Right with Rob & Stone! Top pros and veterans Rob Nunnery and Adam Stone team up to bring you, well, pickleball podcast gold. In the first episode, they breakdown MLP Newport, the future of the sport, experiences as pros and they even have a special guest...

Listen to episode 1 here or watch it here.

Pickleball is for the young and the young at heart

That’s what we love so much about the DUPR system - it’s ageless. That means that Caroline Carnett (11 - 3.46) and Darleen Johnson (86 - 3.71) could play a fun and competitive match with Jack Loughridge (8 - 3.46) and Gil Middleton (89 - 3.72). In fact, DUPR has that match’s win probability at 50% for each team! How cool is that?

We've compiled a list of the top rated players at every age - check out our rankings page for the full list! Do you have an idea for DUPR, shoot over your idea to

Headlines & Quick Hits


Thomas Shields

Thomas Shields

Founder of The Dink & Upswing Sports. Host of PicklePod with Zane Navratil. Sometimes commentator and show host.