New scoring rules could change the game

PickleBowl 2023. Incarceration to mental health pro.

On Friday, we told you about The National Mall of Pickleball heading to DC next week. The patriotic pickle got started early with a starred and striped court installed inside the Capitol building yesterday.

At this rate, we will see a Honcho League in DC before the end of the year. Until then, find out where you can play in a Honcho League here.

In This Issue:

👀 One Day Away
🏆 Picklebowl 2023
🧠 Locked up to locked in

Fire it up.

The MLP Difference

MLP Atlanta begins tomorrow and if you’re new to the league, you’ll notice things look a little different. The most notable departure from the pickleball you play at home is: rally scoring.

If you’ve never played rally scoring, you will get a crash course this weekend. In rally scoring, a point is awarded after each rally. This means that points rack up quickly and match lengths are more predictable.

Here is what to look for:

  • Games are played to 21, win by 2

  • Teams switch sides at 11

  • A point is awarded to the winner of each rally

  • A sideout occurs each time the serving team loses a rally

  • Players don’t switch sides of the court with their partners except if they choose to during end changes and time-outs

  • Game point must be won on your serve, the first team to reach 20 no longer receives a point on a sideout

  • This season, the second team can continue to score points while on serve or return until they reach 20

The league eliminated a previously used ‘Freeze’ that switched the game from rally to traditional scoring for both teams at 20-18. The new rule opens the door for even more comebacks and tight matches in Atlanta.

If you play often enough, you are bound to come across rally scoring soon. Now you can go in knowing the rules and that you should never give up because there is a big difference between 20 and 21.

It’s Like Airbnb…but for Pickleball Courts

As if you need another reason to add a homecourt to your backyard, now you can share your court with local players when you aren’t using it.

Swimply allows court owners the chance to rent out homecourts and players the opportunity to reserve a private court for their game.

Picklebowl 2023

Last year the Picklebowl brought together athletes, celebrities and pros for a one-of-a-kind pro-am. This year the number of teams was doubled and over $100k was raised for charity.

The additions to this year’s event include:

  • Former MLB All-Star and World Series Champion, Matt Holiday

  • Sports Creator and Guinness World Record Holder, Jenna Bandy

  • Former NFL Receiver, Eric Decker

  • Former NFL Defensive End and ESPN Co-host, Marcellus Wiley

  • The host of ESPN’s Sport Science, John Brenkus

The event is the brainchild of UF Gator and Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel. Proceeds from the event support The Wuerffel Foundation and its mission to inspire greater service and unity in our communities.

Danny Wuerffel and Kyle Yates won the event last year and made it back-to-back titles yesterday. You can watch a replay and see how these athletes and celebrities stack up here.

Let’s Get it Started

The Challenger Level of MLP begins tomorrow at 9 AM ET. Here are the storylines we will have our eyes on at the start of MLP Season 2:

  • Gabe Tardio, arguably the biggest snub of the Premier Level draft, takes over last season’s Super Final winner LA Mad Drops.

  • The Hard 8’s duo of Ewa Radzikowska and Yana Newell is likely the strongest women’s pair in the league. Can they run the table for the Eights?

  • Pat Smith has been on fire in tournament play, will his resurgence continue for the Seattle Pioneers?

One result of the Tour War madness is that all 24 teams will compete at the same level in 2024. That means no more separation between the Premier and Challenger next year.

Clear your calendar and get your screens ready. There will be four courts streamed on Thursday and Friday. Head over to Major League Pickleball’s YouTube to catch it live.

PCKL's Carbon Paddle Stays Light and Maintains Spin

Have you had a chance to read our review of the new PCKL Carbon Fiber paddles?

Quick highlights:

  1. Light but doesn't sacrifice power or spin

  2. The 16 won't send the ball flying with pop, it's great for soft game players who have more control

  3. Both have a 30 day trial period and lifetime guarantee

We also love that you can save 24 bucks when you use code DINK15 at checkout, so make sure to read the full review which also speaks on paddle maturity!

Incarceration to Mental Health Professional

Sam Himelstein, PhD is a clinical psychologist by trade who co-owns a mental health and substance use disorder clinic that serves patients in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is using pickleball to benefit both himself and his community.

In my teen years, I was in and out of juvenile incarceration frequently. As an adult, I now understand my brain was still developing, wrought with poor impulse control, and in need of connection and a place I belonged.

In my mental health clinic, we encounter suffering every day. I will do anything I can to increase mental well-being on this planet. I will also do anything I can to promote pickleball both as a sport and a vehicle for self-care.

Here’s some low-hanging fruit for proactively taking care of your mental health: Find something that brings you unequivocal joy and do it. Do it consistently.

The pockets of pickleball that have popped up in local parks and communities mean different things to different people. For some, it’s a convenient spot to burn some calories on a weeknight. For others, it has become a lifeline. A place of belonging and defined purpose.

Read more about Sam’s journey here.

Lawyers(?) advised these players to sit out

Zane and Thomas caught wind of three players that won’t be in the mix for MLP Atlanta. Some of them might sit at home in bubble wrap until the ball drops on New Year’s to protect their new contracts.

The guys preview the highly anticipated event and share their predictions for who will hoist the cup. Thomas recaps the first-ever Bounce Nashville Tournament sponsored by the Tenessee Titans and issues a correction towards USA Pickleball.

Watch the new episode here or listen here.

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