The USA Pickleball National Championships just wrapped this past weekend and is now looking for a new home in 2024. Will it be Dallas again (despite some negative fan feedback this year) or will it be somewhere else? Where would you like to see the National Championships in 2024?
Now, let's dive straight into your pickleball tips, strategies, stories, news, and more... 👏
#1. FOUR TIPS TO HITTING THE PERFECT PICKLEBALL SLICE ⚡️
There are a lot of shots to master on the pickleball court. One common shot to master is the slice—a shot where you put backspin on the pickleball. A slice—whether a forehand slice or a backhand slice—is a common shot selection on returns of serve and dinks at the Kitchen line. Learn why a slice is an effective shot and how to hit the perfect slice on the court! 😎
#2. 2024 PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENT CALENDAR: INSIGHTS INTO THE BEST EVENTS IN THE COMING YEAR 🗓
Are you new to pickleball and looking to compete in your first tournament? Or are you returning to the court to defend your title or improve your game? Regardless of your skill level, you’re sure to have fun competing with “now friends” and meeting “new friends” in this fast-paced, social sport. The explosive growth of pickleball has led to an increasing slate of tournaments across the country. Set yourself up for success with these upcoming tournament schedules and tips to select competition events that fit your personal needs. 👍
The first Pickleball Major of the year will be the US OPEN Pickleball Championships scheduled in Naples, FL in April. Fresh off her Triple Crown at the USA Pickleball Nationals, Anna Leigh Waters announced her return to the US OPEN.
Featured Pickleball Tournaments from Pickleball Den
#3. THREE WAYS TO COUNTERATTACK A SLICE RETURN IN PICKLEBALL 🎯
The slice is becoming a popular shot for the return of serve on the pickleball court. A slice can be troubling and create an unpredictable situation for the serving team when trying to execute the all-important third shot. So, how do you counterattack a slice return when you are the serving team on the pickleball court? 🤔
Combining industry-changing innovations with brand new paddle composition technology, the Luxx Control Air is designed with one goal in mind: to be the ultimate control paddle for balanced Pickleball players.
Building on the success of Selkirk Labs Project 003, the Luxx Control Air introduces transformative Florek Carbon Fiber technology to expand the sweet spot, amplify power play, and enable optimal performance on the court.
#4. MURMURS FROM THE LOSERS' BRACKET: A BABY BOOMER LAMENT 💭
In case you haven't noticed, the young have discovered pickleball. 😳 The average age of picklers keeps getting younger as the sport continues to grow in popularity. What does this mean to baby boomers who, until recently, held a tight grip on America's fastest growing sport?
#5. FIVE TIPS TO MASTER THE MOST DIFFICULT SPACE ON THE PICKLEBALL COURT
Although “No Man’s Land” - also known as the transition area - on the pickleball court is a place to avoid, oftentimes, the pickleball player or team that is better in transition will be the deciding factor between a win and a loss. The transition area is one of the most difficult places to be on the pickleball court because your opponents are able to hit the pickleball down at your feet. Learn a few pickleball tips to improve your game in "No Man's Land" on the court. 💡
#6. WHY TRY THE LOB SERVE IN PICKLEBALL?
A lob serve is a high, loopy serve that is high and deep in the pickleball court. Learn why you should try the lob serve on the pickleball court, as well as some keys to executing the perfect lob serve. 👌
Have a laugh and learn some great tips to take to the pickleball court with longtime humor writer Frank Cerabino's book I Dink, Therefore I Am: Coming to Grips with My Pickleball Addiction! Plus, this book makes a great gift for your favorite player or partner! 📚
#7. QUICK TIP: WORK THE ANGLE! 👊
When you have an overhead, look to hit the pickleball on an angle (i.e., taking the pickleball to the left or to the right of the court). Angles—as opposed to hitting your overheads down the middle of the court—will make for a more difficult return for your opponents, as they will have to cover more ground to retrieve your shot (if they can even get to it). Plus, a strong overhead—especially a strong overhead with angles—will discourage your opponents from hitting lobs against you. But, be cautious of “going for too much”—give yourself some margin for error on the sidelines. ↖️↗️
#8. RULES REFRESH Q&A
By Mark Peifer, USA Pickleball Certified Referee; Past Chairman, USA Pickleball Rules Committee
"Some of my friends have said that the serving rules have changed, and it's no longer okay to play a let. Is this true? What are the current rules for playing a let serve (that falls outside the NVZ)?"
The USA Pickleball rules related to serves and what happens if the serve touches the net are described in Rule 4.A.2:
4.A.2. Placement. The server must serve to the correct service court (the court diagonally opposite the server). The serve may clear or touch the net and must clear the NVZ and the NVZ lines. The serve may land on any other service court line.
Rule 4.A.2 makes it clear that 'let serves', which used to result in a replay, are no longer allowed. That rule came into place two years ago and has not changed. Unfortunately, one of the pro tours has, however, continued to allow replay upon a let serve for their pro players. Of note is that amateur players who play at those same tournaments play by the USA Pickleball rules; there are no 'let serves'. Because the pro players on that tour do replay 'let serves', there has been some confusion for the amateur players who watch those pro tournaments.
Here is the bottom line: For amateur play everywhere, if a serve hits the top of the net but lands in the correct service court, play on. There is no longer any replay in this case.
The countdown is on for the 2024 US Open Pickleball Championships! 🗓️With 3,038 players and 41,000 spectators representing 50 states and 29 countries, 2023 was a record-breaking year for The Open. Be sure to mark your calendar for The Biggest Pickleball Party in the World™ April 13th-April 20th, 2024 in beautiful Naples, Florida! 🥳
#9. HEADLINES FROM THE COURT
Check out the latest headlines to stay in the know on all things pickleball 📢
- Happy National Pickle Day!!! Grab a shot of pickle juice (high in electrolytes) and your paddles to celebrate.
- Anonymous donation nets 10 new pickleball courts for YMCA in Lexington, KY. 👍
- This site is like Airbnb for pickleball courts, and it's incredible.
- Maryland couple puts franchise experience to work to create pickleball facilities across the nation. 🛠
- A family affair: Three generations unite over pickleball at UMass Lowell rec center 🥰
- Pickleball dating app helps players find love 💛 on and off the court.
- In development: One of the Southwest's largest pickleball facilities slated for Phoenix area, touted as future home of USA Pickleball training center.
- In hopes to grow 📈 pickleball internationally and lobby for pickleball inclusion in Olympic/Paralympic Games, USA Pickleball launches Global Pickleball Federation.
#10. ON THE TOUR
The 2023 USA Pickleball National Championships wrapped up seven days of professional and amateur competition in Texas this past weekend. All the tournament results are now available online. 🏆
In victories across the board, Anna Leigh Waters claimed another triple crown. 👑
J.W. Johnson took home the men's singles title and stood on the podium three times taking silver with Dylan Frazier in Men's Doubles and Bronze with sister Jorja Johnson in Mixed Doubles.
Congrats to all the medal winners- a wrap-up of the pro medals is below.
🥇Gold: Anna Leigh Waters
🥈Silver: Catherine Parenteau
🥉Bronze: Judit Castillo
🥇Gold: Anna Leigh Waters / Catherine Parenteau
🥈Silver: Maggie Brascia / Mary Brascia
🥉Bronze: Anna Bright / Jade Kawamoto
🥇Gold: J.W. Johnson
🥈Silver: Jaume Martinez Vich
🥉Bronze: Christopher Haworth
🥇Gold: Ben Johns / Collin Johns
🥈Silver: Dylan Frazier / J.W. Johnson
🥉Bronze: Riley Newman / Christian Alshon
🥇Gold: Anna Leigh Waters / Ben Johns
🥈Silver: Anna Bright / James Ignatowich
🥉Bronze: Jorga Johnson / J.W. Johnson
Don't forget to mark your calendars for more pro pickleball action in NOVEMBER! 🗓
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