HBO's 'Real Sports' Responds to Pickleball Mania

Celebrities Compete in Picklebowl. Two Hands are Better than One. DC Open and Space City Recap.

Halloween is just around the corner, and so I ask, what's the scariest thing you've seen on-court? I'll go first: my backhand. Whether it was a player in flip-flops, your own performance...or something even scarier, we want to know! 

We've been thinking, Front Office Sports recently reported that there are 66 new places to play in the US every month. But hold on, isn't that registered places? What about the backyard, makeshift and tennis courts with duct tape makeovers? The true number must be at least double that...pickleball propaganda food for thought.

In today's issue:

  • HBO's Real Sports weighs in on pickleball noise complaints

  • See an American Idol winner, Hollywood director, NFL Hall of Famer, and more compete for the Picklebowl

  • The Dink joins Front Office Sports in The Newsroom

  • We recap pro action from DC and Space City

We have lift-off.

APP Houston Open Results

PPA DC Open Results

Lead to Succeed with the Two-Handed Backhand

Tyson McGuffin and Kyle McKenzie recently shared the secrets of the two-handed backhand on Selkirk TV.  Just as importantly, they broke down some common mistakes.

For a powerful, effective two-handed backhand, grip ratio is key. Ideally, your non-dominant hand leads and your dominant supports; imagine a 70-30 split in terms of grip & movement dominance. 

It may sound counter-intuitive to have your non-dominant lead, but doing so ensures full extension of your arms. McKenzie says those who approach the shot with their dominant hand leading tend to "play off their hip" and use too much wrist. 

Here’s what NOT to do:

Instead, you should extend your arms away from your body to generate more power. Leading with the non-dominant hand is the key to making that happen.

We recommend drilling with the paddle in the non-dominant hand to develop stability & consistency. As in, find a wall and literally hit 'forehands' with your non-dominant hand. If you haven't tried this before, you'll immediately see an improvement in your backhand stroke. 

View the full lesson here.

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Pickleball on Premium Cable

HBO's Real Sports will air a segment tonight chronicling pickleball's growth, its effect on tennis, and a pervasive problem facing the game: noise complaints.

Word is, Real Sports will spin the noise complaint angle aggressively, but any press is still good press at this point. One member of the Pickleball Forum is ready to jump to the game's defense:

 "I will be doing a post on how best to legally fight noise complaints. I want to see what this ‘expert’ says so I can include a rebuttal of him in my post.”

Keep fighting the good fight. The episode airs tonight at 10 pm EST on HBO Max.

APP Houston Open Recap

Houston, we have a problem. Paddles were not spared in the men's final of the APP Houston Open.

An epic battle between Hunter Johnson and Federico Staksrud saw two paddle casualties. After Johnson's paddle snapped on a return of serve, he decided to smash it on the ground for good measure. Frustrated by a series of line calls, Staksrud sent a paddle into orbit entering a timeout.

Johnson secured his first APP Title with a victory over Staksrud in the final game to 15.

The standout star of the weekend was Vivienne David who blasted off to win two gold medals in Space City. She and Jorja Johnson held off two of the top teams in the game, Anna Bright/Parris Todd and Simone Jardim/Andrea Koop

A first time pairing with Thomas Wilson was also fruitful for David. Her backhand and his forehand are two of the most formidable shots in the game. With both of them in the middle, opponents had almost nowhere to go.  

  • Megan Fudge proved her win on Thursday was no fluke. She defeated Todd again on Sunday to lock up the gold medal.

  • The consistency of JW Johnson/Zane Navratil outlasted the flash of DJ Young/Dekel Bar in the men's doubles final.

The APP Tour is headed straight to Hilton Head Island for one of the favorite stops on the tour, the Hilton Head Open. 

Picklebowl 2022

Have you ever wanted to see NFL Legend Drew Brees on the pickleball court? How about US Olympian and pro volleyball phenom Casey Patterson? Now's your chance. Selkirk presents Picklebowl 2022 hosted by Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel.

The Picklebowl pairs pro players with celebrities representing their alma maters. The charity event will raise funds for Desire Street Ministries. Tune in live to see your favorite pros and their celebrity partners compete for the title. 

The event will be streamed live tomorrow afternoon on Selkirk TV from 3:00 - 7:00 pm ET.

The Ultimate Pickleball Training Bundle

Rhino Pickleball is giving away a training bundle to kickstart your pickleball journey. Take the game wherever you go with your own personal court setup. Up your fitness game and stay tournament ready with a collection of training accessories. Find out more here.

All Chalk at the PPA DC Open

The top seeds prevailed in each division of the PPA Tour DC Open. Every pro gold went to a number one ranked team. Ben Johns, with the help of brother Collin Johns, captured the triple crown less than an hour from where they grew up.

The home-court advantage had Johns looking like the GOAT we knew in 2021. This was his first triple crown since April. The Johns brothers seized the men's doubles title from Riley Newman and Matt Wright. These two teams have exchanged the belt in 3 consecutive tournaments.

Johns skated through the men's singles field. He faced Jay Devilliers on Sunday but the Frenchman could not stand in Johns' way. Ben and Anna Leigh Waters dominated in mixed doubles without dropping a game. Their finals win was broadcasted live on CBS on Saturday afternoon.

Waters and her mom, Leigh Waters, fought their way to another Championship Sunday appearance. They came up short this time around, losing to an inspired team of Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith.

Anna Leigh Waters kept her singles win streak alive with a win over Catherine Parenteau. The singles finals' format switched from best-of-five to best-of-three. Waters won 11-2, 11-3.

The PPA Tour 2022 season is coming to a close, there are only four events left in the year.

Talking Pickleball in The Newsroom

Dink founder Thomas Shields joined The Newsroom for Ep.6 of the new Front Office Sports podcast. Hosts Owen Poindexter and Doug Greenberg called in Thomas to cover pickleball's meteoric rise and its impact on the sports entertainment industry.

 Listen now or watch on YouTube

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