A brewing argument in court etiquette

Drop your ego, protect your eyes. Results from the Arizona Cup.

We want to know. How many of you out there use protection?

Eye protection, for your eyes. When playing pickleball, of course. We all know we should but whether it be inconvenience or ego, most players don’t.

Do you wear eye protection when playing pickleball?

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In This Issue:

🐈 How Tom and Jerry would play pickle
🏜️ Results from Mesa
🏉 An argument over court etiquette

Here we go.

PPA Mesa Arizona Cup Results

Learning the Cat-and-Mouse Game

When tennis players start playing pickleball, it’s usually the singles game that comes naturally. In singles, you can hit powerful ground strokes and passing shots from the baseline.

That was no problem for Jaume Martinez Vich who made the switch from tennis to pickleball last year. Where he struggled was in the cat-and-mouse game.

He explained on a recent episode of the PicklePod how the cat and mouse game was giving him the most trouble and was his biggest barrier to breaking through at the pro level.

The cat-and-mouse game is similar to a dink rally in doubles. Players utilize the kitchen and hit unattackable shots to improve their court position. If they can force a mistake from their opponent or catch them out of position, then they pounce.

To start a cat-and-mouse rally:

  • Hit a drop into the kitchen instead of attempting a passing shot

  • Advance toward the kitchen line and follow the same path as the ball to remove potential passing angles

  • If done successfully, your opponent will be forced to play a dink instead of having the option to pass you

  • Bonus tip: drop to the backhand side, it is more difficult to create offense with the backhand for most players

If singles is your jam, then learning the cat-and-mouse game is a must. And if anyone says pickleball is not a good workout, let them try covering the whole court by themselves.

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Should Eye Protection be Mandatory?

Glasses can do a lot more than correct your vision. They can make you look more intelligent, add fashion to your look and most of all protect your eyes.

As paddle technology advances, the game gets faster. Faster and more dangerous.

Pickleball in particular is dangerous for eye injuries because of the size of the ball. An ophthalmologist interviewed by MedPageToday explained, "Their small size allows them to cause significant optical injuries because they can bypass the protective eye socket … the smaller a ball is, the more it can fit into the eye socket without hitting the bone.”

What we didn’t know was that certain groups are at a higher risk. “People with high levels of nearsightedness -- more than 6 diopters of myopia -- are at special risk because their retinas are thinner and more likely to tear.”

Remember: if it can happen to Cat Woman, then it can happen to you.

In other racquet sports like racquetball and squash, protective eyewear is required in tournament play. Is it time for pickleball to require the same protection?

So Close Yet So Far

Andrei Daescu and Gabe Tardio were slaying giants in Mesa. The 16-seed beat the Johns bros on Thursday then Riley Newman/Thomas Wilson in the semis.

The duo however landed one win short of gold. They lost to JW Johnson/Dylan Frazier in the men’s doubles final.

Ben Johns reclaimed the men’s singles throne. He defeated Federico Staksrud 11-8, 11-4 in their first finals meeting of the year.

Ben and Anna Leigh Waters won the mixed doubles on their biggest stage yet. The gold medal match was broadcast on FOX for the first time.

  • The mixed doubles title was ALW’s first in another triple-crown effort

  • She defeated Mary Brascia for singles gold

  • ALW and Catherine Parenteau kept the undefeated streak alive with a win over Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon

Jorja Johnson and the relatively unknown Mari Humberg made a run from the 12-seed all the way to a bronze medal. Learn more about Humberg on the Tennis Sucks podcast and look out for this duo in future tournaments.

The PPA Tour’s next stop is in the frozen tundra of Minnesota. The Indoor Championships are set to begin March 6th.


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Don’t Get Caught Up

There are plenty of ways to get under a pickleballers skin.

One way in particular is to catch a ball and call it out before it lands. There is something about not seeing the ball land out that can drive a player nuts.

As a rule of thumb, don't catch the ball before it hits the ground. It's technically a fault and won't win you any friends.

One pickleballer on Reddit was caught in a scenario that might be an exception to the rule. "I was playing with someone that got miffed about it when our opponent caught a shanked crosscourt shot that was heading into the court next to us."

This scenario was in rec play so pretty low stakes. It is one of the few times that this sort of thing is actually the right call.

If you can prevent another court from being interrupted, then make the catch. If the ball is going over a short fence or tennis net behind the court, make the catch.

Outside of those few exceptions, let the ball hit the ground. It’s a simple way to keep the peace.

Headlines & Quick Hits


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