Good morning. This Pickleball Forum post surveyed the Facebook group’s audience to find out: what pickleball format would you play for an entire year if you could only choose one?
We want to know what you’d choose:
In This Issue:
📐 Use triangles to measure your next move
🌎 What you need to know from Nationals
An over-the-net somersault
USAP National Championships
The Triangle Effect
Knowing your opponent’s next move is a huge advantage on the pickleball court. Although it’s hard to predict exactly what they will do next, there are some scenarios where you can play the odds to find an advantage.
Kyle Kozsuta explains the Triangle Effect in a film breakdown of the Arizona Pickleball League:
The Triangle Effect comes into play when hitting a speed up at your cross-court opponent
The counter will almost always be directed straight-ahead at your partner
This is great if you’re partner is ready for it but will end up in a bodybag if they’re not
To use the triangle effect to your favor, it’s important to be on the same page as your partner. Learn when they like to speed up and pay attention when they might have the opportunity.
Be ready to step in on the firefight and finish the point. Hopefully, you’re gifted a juicy pop-up to put away, but if not, a strong counter is a great way to end the point.
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10,000 Pickleball Fans Flood Dallas
The 2023 National Championships were unlike any other in pickleball history.
They're the first to be played at Brookhaven Country Club
They're the first air on pickleballtv
And it's the first time in 7 years the men's singles title wasn't won by either Ben Johns or Tyson McGuffin
This year's title was won by JW Johnson, who bested first-time medalist Jaume Martinez Vich in three games. Both (1) Johns and (2) McGuffin were eliminated earlier in the week.
The most impressive performance of the week belonged to Anna Leigh Waters. She duplicated her triple crown performance from last year with another three titles.
The Catherine Parenteau/ALW partnership started last year at Nationals after a disappointing injury to Mama Waters
The duo has been unbeatable since partnering up and cruised to gold together in Dallas
These two also squared off in singles and CP had Waters on the ropes 10-9 in game three. But as we've seen so many times with ALW, no lead is safe. She fought off 4 match points and one rough call to rally back and win gold
Ben Johns, of course, did not leave empty-handed. He and Anna Leigh didn't drop a game in mixed on their way to gold.
Ben made it back-to-back men’s doubles titles with Collin Johns as the brother duo continues to dominate the game.
Over 10,000 pickleball fanatics attended the 2023 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships in Dallas. The historic week marks the first of what is likely to be an annual tradition in Texas.
What Should Happen to the Serve?
Lea Jansen believes the pro scene should move to the drop serve to eliminate offensive potential, citing a USA Pickleball’s official rule which states the serve should not be a weapon.
You only have to look at the now-illegal spin serve to see an example of a rule change that evens the playing field. But is the drop-serve the answer? And, more importantly: is a weaponized serve a problem, or not?
We asked readers of our blog for their thoughts:
Kathy C. says Lea’s citing of the rule is misleading:
The USA pickleball rule on serves states: “The purpose of the serve (at the developing levels) is simply to place the ball in play and is not intended as an offensive weapon.”
It specifically says “at the developing levels,” and does not say it cannot be used as an offensive weapon in higher play.
Every other shot in the game can be considered a weapon on some level, why not the serve?
Bryan O. says pickleball is only getting faster because it’s attracting better athletes:
Imagine baseball saying ‘you can’t throw the baseball that way because it increases velocity or spin too much.’
A well placed serve still beats a hard hit serve. Just watch Ben Shelton serve. He hits more 110mph spin serves out wide to the backhand, than he does 140mph serves.
Others, like Joe W., believe some pros are bending the rules with their serves:
It looks like the paddle top is above the wrist and many times slightly above the waist.
What are your thoughts? Send ‘em here – and if you’re looking to weaponize your own serve, check out these tips & drills.
$175,000 Cash Purse 👀
Registration is now open for the inaugural 2024 WPT Amateur Invitational Championship! More than 650 players are already locked in and ready to compete for their share of the $175,000 cash purse - the largest in pickleball history!
This amateur-only event will be held January 11-15, 2024 at the Oasis Pickleball Club in Rockwall, TX, home to the best tournaments across all of pickleball.
You'll be competing against players from across the world while experiencing the best tournament experience exclusively for amateurs. Eight guaranteed matches, photo packages, limited edition merch, VIP lounges, food trucks - we'll have it all in Texas!
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Tales from the Court, Part 11
This unusual pickleball experience comes to us from Kip C. Send in your own interesting pickleball stories here.
"Out of the corner of my eye, I see this young hipster sprinting up for a tight drop. He is late and, OMG, he trips and is going to face plant at the base of the net. This is going to be really ugly!
Somehow, at full speed and going down hard (face first), he puts one hand on the ground, then the other, and performs a cartwheel over the net.
He lands on his feet to a standing ovation from myself and most everyone on the 23 surrounding courts. He lost the point but sure got me as a fan."
Rivalry Brewing in the Desert?
In the Arizona Pickleball League, the Scottsdale Scorchers and the Tempe Tornadoes have faced each other 3 times…
Their first match was the first match in the history of the league. It took place on January 31, 2023. A mere 286 days ago…
Fast forward to the present time, and as we enter Week 8 of Season 2, the Tornadoes have a record of 1-1; the Scorchers stand at 1-2.
Both teams will likely make the playoffs, but the loser will likely face the undefeated juggernaut, Gilbert Gladiators.
Needless to say, there’s a lot riding on this rivalry match!
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...