It’s good to be The King. And it’s hard to deny Altaf Merchant’s royal status:
Altaf is on track to be best Senior Pro of all time. Shout out to the Mumbai Monster.
In This Issue:
🛡️ Protect the line
🏛️ Trouble in DC
🎓 Biggest collegiate tourney yet
Protect the Line
The kitchen line was added to the game of pickleball to keep players off of the net. It prevents players from smashing volleys and angling insane winners.
Even though you have to stand 7 feet away from the net, it’s still advantageous to take balls out of the air when possible. In a new video, Zane explains how important it is to protect your line with volleys instead of dinks.
He demonstrates a drill to help practice protecting the line and maintaining the most advantageous position on the court:
Set up a barrier roughly three feet behind the kitchen line
Stand across the net from your drilling partner
Your objective is to land a ball in the area between the kitchen line and the barrier on your partner’s court
Their objective is to intercept the ball with a volley before it can land in that zone
This drill will help you maintain the kitchen line, the most advantageous position on the court. The more time you spend here, the better your odds to win any point.
Pretty straight forward here: all of their balls including the PCKL Elite 40 are going for 30% off which means if you grab 100 balls you're paying $1.50 for a ball thats going to last you a LONG time.
Cross Your Fingers for DC
While the DC Pickleball Team is living large, recreational players in the nation’s capital are far less celebratory.
Even though court space is scarce there, just like it is in many of the nation's large cities, District of Columbia officials have decided to restrict pickleball play on any court not lined exclusively for the sport:
That means no more playing on tennis courts with pickleball lines unless otherwise marked. Any pickleball played in the city must take place on dedicated courts ordained by the city – by our count, there are currently only 17 of them (not including privately-held courts, of course).
The Department of Parks & Rec has outlined their reasoning for the restriction here and outlined a list of “legal” places to play.
There's a chance these restrictions will only be temporary. The District's Department of Parks & Recreation have announced a Pickleball Summit to take place today to allow locals the chance to provide their feedback about the future of the sport in town.
Specifically, the Summit aims to "safely [balance] the needs of other sports that are played in the same outdoor spaces..."
Let’s hope that doesn’t turn out to be a bunch of tennis players complaining about courts they only use a few weekends per year.
The End of 2023 is Near
The 2023 pro calendar is rapidly coming to a close. This week is the last traditional PPA Tour event of the year, the Hertz Gold Cup in Daytona, FL.
The tour will also host the PPA Finals at the end of the month in CA, but that event is invitation-only based on 2023 results.
The Gold Cup is the last chance for some players to earn a spot in the finals, and if MLP San Clemente is canceled, could be their last event of the year.
The event will include the majority of top ranked pros in the game, including Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters who would both love to cap the season with triple crowns.
Nationals champion JW Johnson returns to his home state of FL to try to make it back-to-back golds
In men's doubles, Riley Newman will test his hand with Dekel Bar to try to top the podium before the close of the year
Daytona is where Catherine Parenteau bested ALW earlier in the year but appears to be skipping the singles grind this week
Catch all of the action on pickleballtv and Amazon Prime starting at 10am ET tomorrow.
Takeya Knows Pickleball
Takeya is revolutionizing the pickleball world with their cutting-edge Titan Elite & Helios paddles.
The Titan Elite provides players with unparalleled spin and power, enhancing precision in every shot. For those seeking versatility, the Helios paddle is the perfect match, offering incredible control and finesse, suitable for all skill levels.
Beyond their premium paddles, Takeya is committed to promoting healthy hydration among athletes. Their lineup includes durable water bottles and hydration essentials, available in a selection of sizes and appealing colors, ensuring players stay refreshed and energized during the game.
With Takeya, it's more than just a game; it's a lifestyle that combines performance, style, and well-being on the court. Check out their website to explore their full range of pickleball paddles and accessories.
Biggest Collegiate Tournament in Pickleball History
This weekend is the biggest tournament for collegiate pickleball in the history of the sport.
The 2nd annual DUPR Collegiate Pickleball National Championships takes place Nov 17-19 at Peachtree Corners, Georgia.
Thirty-six schools across the nation will compete. The event features the top 36 universities with over 350 participating players – all battling it out for a $32,000 prize pool.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are currently the reigning champions, led by Collin Shick, who we know from the Major League Team Florida Smash.
Speaking of MLP: the tournament is MLP-style, with teams made up of 4-6 players, a combination of 2-3 men and 2-3 women.
For streaming details & a pool breakdown, check out our blog.
All 3 Elements of the Serve are Broken
Connor Garnett is in studio to cover everything from Nationals in Dallas. The former investment banker made the switch to full-time pickleball in 2023 and it is paying off.
Garnett weighs in on the drop serve discussion and Zane explains why the serve is so difficult to regulate. Connor shares his experience with the progression draw and questions if JW Johnson and Collin Johns swap secrets to benefit the Columbus Sliders. Don’t miss Connor on this all-new episode.
Headlines & Quick Hits
A review from the Dink Fam...