The Dink Pickleball

The Dink Pickleball Logo
Pickleball Lives Here

Report: UPA-A to Paddle Companies: 'The Price of Business Is About To Go Up'

by Jason Flamm on

According to multiple sources, the UPA-A (the governing body for the UPA) is about to announce that beginning in 2025, paddle brands must pay $100,000 per year and $5,000 per paddle for certification and regulation.

All current USA Pickleball-approved paddles will be sunset at the end of that year for UPA (PPA Tour and MLP) events.

This has not yet been confirmed by the UPA or UPA-A, but it is speculated that an announcement is imminent.

Pro player Rob Nunnery tweeted about this speculation early Wednesday morning:

What is the UPA-A?

The UPA-A (United Pickleball Association of America) is the recently-formed governing body for the UPA, which is comprised of the PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball. They announced their formation last month.

Major League Pickleball & PPA Tour Announce USA Pickleball Competitor, New Governing Body
The United Pickleball Association announced that it has severed ties with USA Pickleball and will create its own governing body, which will oversee rules, regulations and equipment standards, among other things.

Why the fees?

One can only assume this is purely a business move. Finding new ways to drive revenue matters. One way to do that is to charge paddle manufacturers for the right to put their paddles into play during their events.

It could also conceivably help rein in the industry as a whole, which has become really big (relatively speaking), quite lucrative and a challenge to regulate in recent years.

For bigger paddle companies like JOOLA, Selkirk, and ProXR/Paddletek, this may not be a big deal.

However, for smaller brands, this could prevent them from getting their paddles in pro hands. Which, of course, means less exposure.

The barrier to entry has certainly been raised.

What does this mean for pickleball?

Exposure on the pro circuit and brand ambassadorship can be pretty significant for paddle companies. Would a brand like Proton be where it is today without Andrei Daescu swinging his bright pink and blue paddle around during gold-medal matches?

While this may not spell the end for smaller brands, it's certainly going to make things more difficult for them and perhaps remove an avenue for them to market their products.

It could also create more exposure for the bigger brands or cause more mergers, like we saw this past year between ProXR Pickleball, Paddletek, and Boundless Pickleball.

We'll keep you updated as word becomes official, but one thing is for certain, the pickleball paddle space continues to dominate the news cycle.

Pickleball Skill Quiz
Find out your pickleball rating
Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

Read more