Monumental merger ends the Tour Wars

Land of opportunity. College Championships.


It’s over. The PPA and MLP have agreed to merge. One unified organization, backed by a fresh injection of $50 million.

PPA Tour will live on. MLP will live on. Two distinct brands governed by a single entity with a joint bank account.

More on that below. But in the meantime, Honcho Amateur Pickleball Leagues are quickly filling up around the country. You can still register here for the Fall season.

In This Issue:

🌊 The college pickleball wave is coming
🏈 Nashville is in on pickleball
💪 Turn weakness into strength

Wǒmen zǒu ba (“Let’s go!” in Mandarin)

The Land of Opportunity

By now you should know the slinky drill is the best use of time before a match. It helps you lock in your drops at different depths in the court.

Well, Selkirk Pro Morgan Evans has a drill that will help turn no man’s land into the land of opportunity for drops, resets and dinks.

  • Start with the “student” and “feeder” across from each other at the kitchen line

  • The student’s goal is to land the ball in the kitchen, if successful, they can take one step back

  • The student progresses back to the baseline and then forward again after each successful attempt

  • If they miss, they remain in that position until successful

The kicker comes in round two. Instead of taking the ball off the bounce, the student must now volley the ball back into the kitchen.

This will be more difficult than round one and will likely have a few more stops along the way. Coach Evans recommends getting lower in your stance as you move closer to the baseline.

Successful drops and resets from the transition zone are a must-have if you want to play at a high level.

Let us know how it goes and tell us what problems you want solved by replying to this email.

PCKL Mega Deal is Back!

We're doing our best to bring you the best deals so we partnered with PCKL for you to save 40% when you grab more than 48 balls and use code DINK15 checkout!

Players have consistently said the balls are easy to track, withstand hard hitting games and provide excellent feel that results in predictable flight with solid spin response.

Based on its performance, PCKL is also the official ball provider of the popular PickleBowl hosted by Danny Wuerffel's foundation so if you're around Atlanta for MLP next week check it out!

The Merger

It’s done (for now). The PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball have sheathed their swords. They’ve holstered their squirt guns. They’ve come together.

The Gist: Agreement to merge under a unified and definitive professional pickleball holding company. The deal is backed by a $50M investment from SC Holdings, DC Pickleball Team owner Al Tylis, PPA Tour owner Tom Dundon, and a roster of existing MLP team owners.

If you want to read the full press release, here it is. But for those who want the inside scoop and answers to the real questions, read on:

Ok, rapid fire facts that you won’t find elsewhere:

  • MLP Atlanta is a go

  • Player contracts will be honored (or renegotiated)

  • Certain players feel slighted. The Tour Wars created inflated contract values, meaning some high ranking players will make 1/3 of those that struggle to find podiums

  • Al Tylis and Jason Stein, which some describe as Lebron’s money guy, injected $50m into the organization and were awarded a significant stake

  • The joint organization will be governed by a board of directors comprised of previous decision makers from both sides

  • Certain key figures will assume *new roles

There is way more that will emerge as the dust settles. And we’ll be publishing more (blogs, newsletter segments and podcasts) over the next few days as details come to light.

For now, let’s all take a breather. It’s been a wild few weeks. But as we’ve said in the past, you never know what’s going to happen in pro pickleball. Even now.

APP’s New Event

While PPA and MLP continue their weekly news bombing, the APP Tour is digging out from the trenches and showing off some artillery of their own: they’re targeting college players.

The inaugural APP U.S. Collegiate Championships and Midwest Open will be held January 3-7 at Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana.

Here are the key details:

  • The event will be nationally televised

  • Top college pickleball teams from across the nation will go head-to-head

  • There will be $50,000 in prize money on the line

  • First team-style competition at an APP event with rally scoring

APP says each team will comprise a minimum of four players (two women and two men) and a maximum of six players (three women and three men).

The APP Midwest Open will be played alongside the college event for players of all ages and skill levels.

Registration for the tournament opens September 14. College teams wishing to enter the tournament are asked to register their intention to field a team via More details here.

Healthy Hydration

Drinking enough water isn’t just about keeping your blood pumping or your body properly hydrated.

You literally need water to stay smart and strong on the court. If you’ve ever asked yourself if you’re drinking enough water, the answer is: probably not.

Click here to find the best water bottle for you. Their bottles keep fluids cool all day, whether you’re practicing with friends or competing for gold.

We Are The Titans

Shout out to the members of the dink fam in Tennessee living a life free of state income tax and full of hot chicken. Those of you near Nashville have a chance to play in the first pickleball tournament sponsored by the Tennesee Titans this weekend.

Great prizes will be up for grabs for the top finishers. This includes a helmet signed by Derrick Henry, a jersey signed by Ryan Tannehill, and prize money, including $500 for the winning team and $250 for the finalists.

In an effort to give back the tournament host, Bounce, will cover Nolensville High School’s tennis budget for the 2023-2024 school year.

That’s right, it’s this weekend…so make sure to sign up today. Learn more & sign up here.

The Best Night of the Week

The NFL might own Sundays, Mondays and even Thursdays, but Tuesday is all about pickleball. Starting Sept 26, Tuesday Night Pickleball at The Orchard returns for the second season of the Arizona Pickleball League.

The Dink is proud to partner with Jigsaw Health to live-stream season 2 running from Sept 26 to The Orchard Championship Cup on Dec 19. More info available on Subscribe to The Dink on YouTube to watch matches live.

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