Pickleball News: Fall 2023

Latest news in the Sport of Pickleball: Fall 2023

Published September 16, 2023 | Previous issue: Spring 2023 Updates, June 2023, Summer 2023

Deflate Gate? PPA Match Highlights

At the PPA Cincinnati Open in early September, a controversial call has created quite a buzz.  It wasn’t only the call that has people talking, but the actually phrasing from the referee created a new term. In the mixed doubles match of Anna Leigh Waters and Ben Johns versus James Ignatowich and Anna Bright, a potential rally win was contested by ALW/BJ when James Ignaltowich slammed the ball and the other side failed to return. After review of the rally from the referee, it was determined that the ball became deformed during the play and the rally was replayed.  While this call had a direct impact in the outcome of the game causing the controversy, it does comply with the official USA Pickleball rule book concerning broken or cracked pickleballs

The fun part about the call was the referee. He claimed “the ball did deflate”.  This is where the call became a bit viral as people try to figure out how a plastic ball deflates, but the term is catching on.  It’s become an example of how new terms are born and quickly adopted.  

Are the robots playing pickleball?

In early September, a video showing a robot playing pickleball went viral across TikTok and YouTube.  But is it real or fake?  We did some research and found that indeed it is fake.  Robots aren’t yet playing pickleball but it was a fun video.  Check out our research on the video or grab a robot playing pickleball shirt.

More Court Openings

So many new courts ave popped up this year, it is hard to keep track. This includes Pickleball Courts that continue to move into empty stores and malls.  Here are some of the latest indoor court openings and announcements we are aware of:

  • Pickleball Pop, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica 
  • Pickletown, 1431 Lincoln Boulevard, Santa Monica, California 90401, United States https://pickletownla.com/ 
  • Court 16‘s 26,000-square-foot venue on the fourth floor of City Point will offer seven courts for tennis or pickleball
  • The Dill Dinkers at Manassas Mall in Virginia is slated to open in early 2024

Pickleball Princess: Pickleball as a Featured Presentation

It’s official, Pickleball is now part of American culture, moving beyond a past time to a topic for entertainment.  Released on August 4, Pickleball Princess is the first film to feature our sport.  An indy RomCom, it plays on the love/hate relationship between pickleball and tennis. You can watch Pickleball Princess online rent or buy on Vimeo.

Of course we were so pleased we made a Pickleball Princess t-shirt to celebrate 🙂  For all the gents, we also made a Pickleball King tee.

Pickleball Merger Back On

A merger agreement announced between Major League Pickleball (MLP) and the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) last November was threatened to a potential falling out due to competition for talent and lack of agreement on merger details.  The contention and drama has come to an end with the PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball again agreeing to merge. The combination is backed by a $50 million investment led by private equity firm SC Holdings, PPA Tour owner Tom Dundon and various MLP owners.

National Mall Pickleball Takeover

Pickleball is Coming to the National Mall.   From Sept. 28 to 30, nine courts will pop up at the JFK Hockey Fields by the Lincoln Memorial. The slots to play filled up in 15 minutes, demonstrating the popularity of pickleball is continuing to grow.  The event on the Mall will also include celebrity matches, pickleball clinics, and an invitational tournament. https://nationalmall.org/pickleball

New Arrivals

Tournament Results

Tournament | Date | Organizer | Link


West Diamond Regional | May 5-7 | USAP – event link

Mid-South Diamond Regional | May 4-7 | USAP – event link

The Florida Amateur Open | May 6-7 | APA – Results 

The Nashville Amateur Open | May 6-7 | APA – Results


OS1st North Carolina Open | May 4-7 | PPA – Results

APP Vlasic Classic – NCS Event | May 10-14 | APP

Atlanta Open | May 17-21 | PPA – Results

APP New York City Open – NCS Event | May 23-28 | APP | Results

Player Standings

MLP Team Standings | link 

PPA Tour Player Standings | link


Upcoming Events

Tournament | Date | Organizer | Link

Amateur Pickleball Events

Middle States Diamond Regional | June 1-4 | USAP – Event link

The Kentucky Amateur Open | June 3-4 | APA | Event link

Atlantic South Diamond Regional | June 6-11 | USAP | Event link

Pacific Northwest Diamond Regional | June 14-18 | USAP | Event link

The Ohio Amateur Open | June 17-18 | APA | Event link

The St. Louis Amateur Open | June 24-25 | APA | Event link

The Boston Amateur Open | June 24-25 | APA | Event link

Professional Pickleball Events

Selkirk Texas Open | June 1-4 | PPA | Event link

Orange County Cup | June 8-11 | PPA | Event link

MLP San Clemente | June 15-19 | MLP | Event Link

APP Newport Beach Open – NCS Event | June 28-July 2 | APP | Event link

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