Effective immediately: USAP rule changes

When to volley, when to bounce. No net cord apologies.

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Happy Friday. Turns out this list of the most pb courts by US city discounted Florida’s The Villages on a technicality: it’s not [technically] a city.

But as one eagle-eyed reader pointed out, The Villages would have dominated had it been included.

247 pickleball courts for 135,000 residents. This would easily outrank any other city on the list.

But one thing they don’t have: a Chicken N Pickle…for now. The popular pickleball facility franchise just closed a $10 million investment round.

The money train has not yet left the pickleball station.

Want to upgrade your ride, your wardrobe, and your paddle game? Click here.

In This Issue:

🧠When to volley, when to bounce
📜Surprise rule changes
No apology needed


One if by Air, Two if by Bounce

The decision to hit the ball out of the air vs off the bounce is a core tenant of pickleball. Forcing the opponent to make the wrong decision is one of the quickest ways to win a point.

You know you should reach into the kitchen and take balls out of the air. But the skeptic in you still takes over and convinces you to back off the line and take balls off the bounce.

The ability to make the right decision comes with experience and practice.

But let’s be honest, you need to beat George at the park this weekend. So let’s talk shortcuts.

All Things Pickleball has a great suggestion to accelerate the learning process.

She demonstrates a game called ‘Protect the Castle

  • Line up across from your partner, both at the kitchen line.

  • Drop a cone, bottle, or hat in the kitchen, about a foot inside the line. This is your castle.

  • Dink and volley back and forth attempting to hit each other’s castle and protect your own.

The visual aid in this game helps motivate you to take more balls out of the air. It’s a skill you need to develop if you want to play at a higher level.

Remember the further you reach into the kitchen the higher you can contact the ball. High contact and hitting down on the ball is the best way to keep the advantage in the point.

Give this game a try and reply to this email with your results.

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Mid-Year Rules Update from USAP

The USA Pickleball Board of Directors recently approved a recommendation from their Rules Committee for changes to take effect for both amateur and professional play.

Highlights include:

  • Position Confirmations: The referee will confirm all players are in the correct position and the correct server has the ball before calling the score. If the ref or a player stops a rally to correctly identify a player/position error, the rally shall be replayed.

  • If a player stops a rally and incorrectly identifies a player/position error, it is a fault on the player who stopped the rally.

  • Fault Clarifications: Other than non-volley zone violations, a fault may only be committed when the ball is live.

  • Previously, the point would be forfeited by the offending team/player. Now, it's just a replay

We’re intrigued to see the reactions from pro players, since most of the rule changes affect them more than amateurs. Tyler Loong already weighed-in:

You can read the full slate of changes (and USA Pickleball’s reasoning for them) on our website.

Opinion: Why Apologize for Net Cord Shots?

Say it with me: "I will no longer apologize for something that I want to happen."

Anyone who apologizes for a net cord is a liar. And technically, anyone who apologizes after every net cord is a pathological liar.

I'm not sorry when it happens. You're not sorry when it happens. It's okay to not be okay (don't think this applies here, but it sounded good).

I get it. It’s courteous, it’s sportsmanship, and it’s the nice thing to do.

But let’s consider the origin. 

Tennis. We've borrowed this illogical phenomenon from tennis.

We are NOT tennis. We are pickleball.

Net cords are rare in tennis; the court is larger - a ball that clips the net and dribbles over is almost impossible to get to.

An apology maybe makes sense there...it's an acknowledgment of luck, in a rare circumstance, that results in an unearned point.

But in pickle, it’s extremely common for the ball to clip the net. It happens ALL THE TIME. It's more rare for it not to happen a couple times per game.

Anyone who apologizes for a net cord winner is lying to themselves and to their opposition. Abolish net cord apologies! – Thomas @ The Dink

Click here for the full argument. Do you agree? Should we stop apologizing for this common on-court scenario?

Should players apologize for net cord winning shots?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

If you voted yes, reply to this email and tell me why. I’d love to hear your take.

Brigham City Battle

The Tournament of Champions has provided a level of entertainment that matches the tournament's namesake. Yesterday's thrilling mixed doubles competition was cut short due to high winds and will be finished today.

After a couple upsets and a withdrawal from the 3-seed, we will have a 15-seed or higher playing on Championship Saturday. (15) Andrea Koop/Zane Navratil will face (19) Tina Pisnik/Pat Smith in the second semifinal match.

The action is live this morning on YouTube.

Singles Day Wednesday set up some headline finals matchups:

Catherine Parenteau and Salome Devidze developed a bit of a rivalry earlier in the year. Now they will face off on the big stage for the PPA crown.

Women’s Singles Final 
Catherine Parenteau vs Salome Devidze
Bronze: Lauren Stratman

Tyson McGuffin and Connor Garnett on the other hand have trained together. They have also traded wins this season. We'll see if McGuffin withheld some tricks up his sleeve and can stave off the up-and-comer for another weekend.

Men’s Singles Final
Tyson McGuffin vs Connor Garnett
Bronze: Federico Staksrud

Tune in to men’s and women’s doubles today and don’t miss a special broadcast on CBS Sports Network from 3-7pm ET.

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Make your money work as hard as you do on the court and diversify your portfolio today on Vint.co.

Headlines & Quick Hits


Homecourt Havens

Welcome to a backyard paradise in Paradise Valley. It’s worth playing through the basketball lines to get to dive into this pool between games.

If you have a homecourt that you’d like to start paying the bills, sign up today for Swimply’s pickleball feature.

A review from the Dink Fam...

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