2018 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year Announced

During the year, people throughout Pickleball Nation email us or use our NominateAPlayer.com website to tell us about their favorite players. They tell us about players who have dominated in tournament play, but many times they also tell us about players who have had tremendous impacts on their communities or towns or even the game of pickleball overall.  (We really like those.)

Throughout the year we may recognize a player, club or community of the month, or we may give a simple Facebook shout out. They are all deserving.  But once a year, we pull together all the nominations and feedback, to finally determine who is most deserving to be called the Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year.     It’s certainly not an easy task.

Past winners include:
Enrique Ruiz, Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg, Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner, Daniel Moore and Scott Moore, Kyle Yates, Aspen Kern and Simone Jardim.
You’ll notice all our past winners are definitely great players, but you will also immediately recognize they all are very giving of their time and talents to “help pickleball grow”, which of course is the foundation of our Pickleball Rocks mission.

This year we are recognizing two fantastic players as Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year. 

First up is this year’s Triple Crown winner on the world’s biggest pickleball stage, the USAPA National Championships at Indian Wells. With ESPN covering the action and thousands of people watching throughout the week, Lucy navigated through all three super tough Open brackets, singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.  That is a rare feat indeed.
Lucy Kovalova had a great 2017 on the courts, but in 2018 she took it up another notch.
Lucy only played in 5 tournaments in 2018.  But in those 5 tournaments, she entered 12 Open Pro events.

In those 12 Open events, playing against the strongest players in the world,
she came home with 12 medals.        7 Golds, 4 Silvers and 1 Bronze.

Truly a year that most of us only dream about.   People certainly did notice as Lucy was our overwhelming vote winner at NominateAPlayer.com.

Congratulations to 2018 Player of the Year: Lucy Kovalova

Our 2018 Men’s Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year is a gentleman who inspires players everywhere he goes.
In the five years that he has been playing pickleball, he has amassed over 200 medals, winning golds at major tournaments like the Huntsman World Games, the Nationals Senior Games, US Open and the USAPA Nationals.

At age 78, Dick Johnson has been winning and inspiring athletes for years.  But not only is Dick an exceptional pickleball player, he has devoted a big part of his life to making the world a better place. 

He has been recognized at the State Games of America Athlete of the Year and this year the National Senior Games of America recognized Dick with their prestigious Personal Best Award.

The National Senior Games of America recently released an excellent article detailing all the reasons why Dick Johnson is so deserving of our 2018 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year.  Congratulations Dick!  Keep up the great work(s).


Pickleball Rocks Apparel Coming To Canada

Pickleball Rocks Team and In A Pickle, Ltd Announce The Launch of Pickleball Rocks Canada

Today the world famous Pickleball Rocks Team teamed up with the owners of In A Pickle Ltd, Sean McCartan and Leslie Srogen to create Pickleball Rocks Canada.

The creation of Pickleball Rocks Canada will give Canadian pickleball players and clubs across Canada, easy access to the world famous Pickleball Rocks branded apparel and club shirts.


Said Pickleball Rocks CEO Rocket Grubbs, “The demand from our many Canadian pickleball friends has kept increasing to the point where it just made good sense to find a way to create and deliver the Pickleball Rocks branded apparel from within Canada.

We’ve spent the last two years looking for the right fit to create and represent our Pickleball Rocks brand there, and we couldn’t be happier to have formed this agreement with Sean and Leslie from In A Pickle Ltd.  They are already well known and respected as two people who are helping the sport of pickleball grow in Canada, so they are a perfect choice.”

Additionally, In A Pickle Ltd’s Sean McCartan said, “We recognize that we have a huge opportunity here in Canada.  The sport of pickleball is taking off like crazy and we’ll be able to showcase the world’s most recognized pickleball apparel brand all across the country.  Players are going to love the new Pickleball Rocks Canada clothes.”

Leslie Srogen added, “There are a lot of Pickleball Rocks fans already in Canada and now they will have new Pickleball Rocks clothing choices as well as easy access to some of Pickleball Rocks best selling USA items. Plus we’re looking forward to being able to provide pickleball clubs all across the country with matching customized club shirts.   We couldn’t be more excited.”

Exact terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but key ingredients of the new agreement included that In A Pickle Ltd will own and operate Pickleball Rocks Canada and distribute Pickleball Rocks apparel through various Canadian sales channels including tournaments, clinics and websites, while Pickleball Rocks USA will provide business and marketing support as well as existing intellectual property assets.

Pickleball Rocks Canada Facebook page 

ABOUT In A Pickle Ltd and Pickleball Rocks

 In A Pickle Ltd is a privately owned company specializing in providing pickleball training, clothing and equipment all across Canada.  Learn more at their Pickleball Rocks Canada Facebook page.

 Pickleball Rocks™ is a registered trademark and the best selling pickleball apparel brand in the world.  PickleballRocks.com is a world famous blog website providing fun tips, tools, news and discounts for the sport of pickleball.  Learn more at www.PickleballRocks.com

USAPA National Tournament Updates for 2019

2019 USAPA Nationals Updates

Check In Regularly To Keep Up With Everything Nationals

The first USAPA Nationals to be hosted at Indian Wells Tennis Garden was an overwhelming success.  From Margaritaville grabbing the title sponsor spot to Indian Wells Tennis Garden’s amazing transformation into the premier outdoor pickleball facility in the world to ESPN rolling their trucks and cameras in for four days, every aspect of the 2018 Nationals showcased pickleball as the fastest growing sport in America.

2019 Nationals Promises To Be Even Bigger and Better

How To Qualify To Be At 2019 Nationals?

Simply register and play in any USAPA Sanctioned Regional held from July 15, 2018 through July 15, 2019 or a USAPA Sanctioned Tier 2 tournament held from July 15, 2018 through July 15, 2019.

Here is your list of qualifying tournaments:

  • Great Lakes Regional (Kalamazoo, MI) July 18-22, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Middle States Regional (Lakeville, MN) Aug 8-12, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Pacific Northwest Regional (Bend, OR) Aug 10-12, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Great Plains Regional (Colorado Springs, CO) Sept 6-9, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • West Regional (Claremont, CA) – Oct 5-7, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Atlantic South Regional (Griffin, GA) – Oct 18-21, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Mid Atlantic Regional (Myrtle Beach, SC – Oct 25-28, 2018  USAPA Regional
  • Coeur d’Alene Classic (Coeur d’Alene, ID) – Aug 16-20 2018  Tier 2
  • Fall Brawl (St. George, UT) – Oct 9-13, 2018  Tier 2
  • Huntsman World Senior Games (St. George, UT) – Oct 15-20, 2018  Tier 2
  • Sun City Fall Roundup (Sun City, AZ) Oct 30- Nov 1, 2018  Tier 2
  • Tommy Wong Tournament (Surprise, AZ)  Jan 4-7, 2019  Tier 2
  • Southwest Regional (Surprise, AZ) – Jan 8-13, 2019   USAPA Regional
  • Happy Trails Classic – (Surprise, AZ) – Jan 14-19, 2019  Tier 2
  • Palm Desert Senior Games (Palm Desert, CA) – Feb 8-10, 2019  Tier 2
  • PebbleCreek 4th Annual (Goodyear, AZ) Feb 13-15, 2019  Tier 2
  • Grand Canyon State Games Arizona (Surprise, AZ) – Feb 21-26, 2019  Tier 2
  • Duel in the Desert 16th Annual (Casa Grande, AZ) Feb 28-Mar 3, 2019  Tier 2
  • Fun In The Sun (Sun City West, AZ) – Mar 11-13, 2019  Tier 2
  • Mid South Regional (Denton, TX) Mar 28-31, 2019  USAPA Regional
  • Mountain Regional (Brigham City, UT) May 24-29, 2019  USAPA Regional
  • Atlantic Regional (Hanover, MA)  June 27-30, 2019  USAPA Regional


Pickleball Rocks National Day Of Giving Announced

We need your help. Click the video below to hear how.

Help us help those in need this holiday season.  Starting Wednesday November 21st at 12:01am, we’ll unveil our new apparel, including new colorful 1/4 zips, warm and waterproof Pickleball Rocks jackets and of course some new Pickleball Rocks shirts that will make for some very happy players this Christmas.

Just shop at www.PickleballShopping.com and for 24 hours, we’ll give 25% of your purchase to the American Red Cross to help those impacted from all the natural disasters this year.

The Pickleball Rocks National Day of Giving will continue on the 21st until 11:59pm EST.

And besides our heartfelt thanks for supporting this great cause, we’ll put the new Pickleball Rocks EVERYWHERE I GO bag tag in your box before it is delivered to your doorstep.

Thank you for helping us help those in need.

May your holidays be happy, healthy and filled with pickleball.

The Pickleball Rocks Team
Rocket, Josh, Abby, Zack, Stephanie, LeEllen and Mindy

A Historic Moment For Pickleball: ESPN Covering the USAPA Nationals

Yes, you are reading that right.  At 4:00pm EST, on Thursday November 8th, 2018 you can say you were there to see it.

It is the day that pickleball went to the next level.  It is the day ESPN came to Indian Wells Tennis/Pickleball Garden and did four days of live coverage of the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships.  There it is on the ESPN broadcast schedule.

And now the world will know about pickleball.

For four consecutive days, beginning on Thursday November 8th, ESPN will broadcast live from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on ESPN3 from 4:00pm EST till 8:00pm EST.  Simply grab any computer and go to
http://www.espn.com/watch/ and there you go.

You will be watching history.  If you have the ESPN App, you can watch it there too.

It will be so much fun to hook my laptop up to a bit screen TV and watch all the action.

Then to top it off ,ESPN News will air a one-hour special highlighting this National tournament on Sunday November 25th at 3:00pm EST, and will rebroadcast it on Saturday December 22nd at 1:00pm EST.

Amazing, how many naysayers have said this day would never come.  Much like every TV program that has ever aired, it only takes money.   So a huge thanks to Margaritaville for the title sponsor support, and also to the USAPA and Indian Wells Tennis Garden and Desert Champions for making this historic event  happen.