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USA Pickleball, JOOLA Saga Headed for Courtroom

by Jason Flamm on

Just when you think paddle drama is coming to an end, it finds a way to keep pulling you back in.

On Tuesday evening, USA Pickleball sent out a message to the pickleball world telling us that JOOLA Generation 3 paddles (the ones that were not-so-quietly removed from their Approved Paddle list just a few weeks ago) had been resubmitted for testing and had once again failed.

Here's Tuesday's statement from USA Pickleball:

JOOLA Responds

Wednesday, JOOLA responded:

For those keeping score at home, this means that JOOLA has all but conceded the fight to get their most recent paddles approved by USA Pickleball and will instead take their case to the courtroom.

"We plan to dispute USAP's decision to remove Gen 3 paddles from the list, and the process employed to do so, in forthcoming legal proceedings."

But, that's not all ...

Another lawsuit has been added to the saga.

According to a document received by The Dink on Wednesday, a class-action complaint has been filed by an individual in Florida against JOOLA.

The Plaintiff is Gregory Matus, a resident of Fort Lauderdale who recently competed in the US Open Championships back in April.

Who cares about all this?

A lot of people, especially those who spent almost $300 on a pickleball paddle so they could emulate top pros like Ben Johns, Tyson McGuffin, Anna Bright, and others.

If you've been on a rec court in the past month, you've likely seen many of these Gen 3 JOOLA paddles in players' hands.

There's a chance you're gripping one right now wondering what exactly the big deal is – it's just another pickleball paddle, right?

Unfortunately, no.

At least according to the two governing bodies of pickleball - The USAP and the UPA-A.

In case you need to catch up on all the drama, this provides a nice timeline of events:

USA Pickleball Makes Announcement Regarding Update to JOOLA Gen3 Paddles
USA Pickleball came out with an updated position regarding the JOOLA Gen 3 paddles, which were not allowed at the recent PPA Texas Open.

Why Generation 3 paddles might be under increased scrutiny

We started digging deeper into Gen 3 paddles in early May, just a few weeks after the JOOLAs launched. But essentially, the technology inside Gen 3 paddles is such that they are not only powerful but actually become more powerful as you use them.

Is Pickleball Paddle Manufacturing Facing a Potential Crisis?
The latest wave of pickleball paddles to hit the market are causing quite a stir, mostly because of the increase in power they provide. We shed light on the hottest topic in the sport.

This has led to some unfortunate events on the pickleball court and, now, some even more unfortunate ones off the court.

We even spoke to one of the foremost pickleball paddle review experts, Chris Olson, who helped break this wide open with his review of another "Generation 3" paddle, the Vatic Pro Oni.

Where do we go from here?

All indications are that JOOLA will offer full refunds to anyone who purchased a Gen 3. Check out their website for details on their return policy.

As for testing and now two governing bodies in the sport, surely there will be more to come with this story.

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.
  • How does the UPA-A handle the JOOLA Gen 3s moving forward? It banned them last week at the PPA Texas Open and came out and said that paddles need to be on the approved USAP list.
  • How does this impact the amateur landscape? Who will enforce this at the local level? At least one prominent club in California sent a notice to its members that the Gen 3s were banned from any competition at the facility.

As always, stay tuned (and subscribe to our newsletter). As more news breaks, you know The Dink will cover it.

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.

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