How Many Referees Does It Take to Run a Pickleball Tournament?

So how many referees does it take to run a sanctioned tournament or any pickleball tournament for that matter?

The answer is 1.   If you have 300 matches to play during your tournament, and your one referee agrees to do all of them, then he or she will be one tired referee. But in theory you could do it.

But the real answer is, it depends on the number of courts you have available for your tournament. If you have 6 courts, then you minimally need 6 referees who are willing to referee all the matches that occur on their court that day. If you have 8 courts, then you need a minimum of 8 referees. If you have 12 courts, 12 refs and so on.

That is, of course, the minimum number needed to have a referee on every match and thus pass that sanctioning requirement.

Now, do we think that is a realistic number? Of course not.

If you have six courts and can find people willing to referee a half day, then you can get by with 12 people. 8 courts would need 16 refs and so on.

But the bottom line is, you need a referee on each court all day long.

So how do you do that? Well, it still goes back to the number of courts you have. It is important that you have enough referees lined up and one assigned to each court at the beginning of each day. That allows you to get off to a good start. The keyword here was “assigned” ahead of time. So referees are already on their courts and ready to go when the players arrived courtside to warm up for that first match. Don’t wait until 15 minutes before the start of your tournament to see who shows up to ref and then assign them.

Schedule and assign them at the beginning of each day.

Likewise it is crucial to schedule your referees for the end of each day. Again, you will need as many refs as you will have courts running in that final two to three hours of the day. This allows you to end each day on a good note.

So where do you get your referees for the rest of each day? That is where your players will always help fill in.

When players register for a tournament, you should always ask, during registration, if they would be willing to help out with a little refereeing. Many will signup when offered the option during registration.

Now the key, very important part: Contact those volunteer players two weeks in advance and ask them to signup for a shift to referee. Let them pick what day and time they want to offer their services. Then follow up with them to confirm you have them scheduled for that day and time. This allows the players to choose the day and time that is most convenient for them and also is the most likely to cause them to follow through on their commitment.

Make a spreadsheet with days and timeslots available and fill it in as people and players commit.   Then it is easy to see the times where you will need some additional help.   But knowing that challenge days ahead of time, rather than the day of the tournament, makes it easy to address.

You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is to get the necessary referees to allow your tournament to be a USAPA sanctioned event. It takes some planning, but it is well worth having that USAPA seal of approval on your tournament. It shows your commitment to growing the tournament side of the sport the right way and is always appreciated by the players who play it.

Having a pickleball tournament without a referee is no different than having a basketball game without a ref or a baseball game without an umpire or any other sport without any officials. It simply becomes no different than playing for fun at your local courts.

The gold standard when it comes to very well run sanctioned tournaments is of course the USAPA National tournament in Casa Grande. The 2016 Nationals had over 2,000 matches played on 32 courts and every single match was refereed by only 157 people.
It’s really not as tough as people make it out to be.

I love it when I walk onto the court at a tournament and there is a referee standing there. It doesn’t have to be a USAPA certified ref.  It simply needs to be someone who can keep score for us and watch the kitchen violations.  When I see that referee on my court, I know someone is working hard behind the scenes to give me a good tournament playing feel.

Thank you to those tournament directors that go that extra mile.

It certainly is noticed and appreciated. Pickleball Rocks because of you.

-Rocket

Sick Trx Pickleball Team Coming To Nationals Junior Party

USAPA JUNIORS PLAYER PARTY:

Join us at the pavilion next to the food trailer Thursday November 9th from 4:00-6:00 for a party just for USAPA junior Players, featuring free pizza, pop and Sick Trx.

SickTrx is not your grandma’s pickleball.
The Sick Trx guys and gals are a combination of national champions and top rated professional pickleball players who are inspiring a new generation of pickleball players around the world through their entertaining exhibitions and clinics.

Sick Trx members who have committed to come to the party includes:  Brian “The Beard” Ashworth, Irena Tereshenko, Ben Johns, Kyle Yates and Vicki Love.

Sick Trx will be doing a little bit of teaching and having a whole lot of fun on court with you.  Bring your paddles.

See you there,

Rocket
The Pickleball Rocks Team

An Open Letter To Every Pickleball Loving, Pickleball Club in America

You’ve seen it first hand and now you are experiencing it. The growth of pickleball is incredible and the fun is infectious.

So congratulations. Yes, congratulations.

Whether you only have 2 or 3 players and simply have fun calling yourselves a club or you have hundreds of players and are officially organized as a corporate entity, the fact that you have a club indicates that pickleball is hot and growing in your community. Yes, congratulations are in order.

You and your fellow players are the heart that is pumping up the growth of pickleball like never before and we love what you are doing.

Anyone who knows our family, likely knows our mission statement by heart: “We will always strive to Help Pickleball Grow”.

We love what you are doing, and as we have done for the past decade, we would love to help. And we have more help available for you than ever before.

Did you know that our Pickleball Rocks team travels to over 35 tournaments a year bringing with them the world famous Pickleball Rocks brand of clothing and accessories and some of the top, fun players in the sport.

Did you know that our Pickleball Champions Club supplies free attention grabbing signs for your courts which brings more players your way?

Did you know that Pickleball Club Wear is the top pickleball apparel company in the world for supplying colorful, customized club shirts, hats, jackets and sweatshirts for your club, team or organization.

And did you know that Pickleball Rocks now has the most fun and easy fundraiser for your club or tournament or organization. If you want to raise money for your club or tournament or organization, the “Pickleball Rocks In A Box” program is just what the pickleball doctor ordered. Simple, easy and profitable for you. Check it out now at http://pickleballrocks.com/pickleball-rocks-in-a-box-fun-and-easy-fundraising/

You’ll be really glad you did and we’ll be very happy to help you.
It’s because of you that “Pickleball Rocks”.

-Rocket, Stephanie, Abby, Josh and Zack
The Pickleball Rocks Team

 

 

Pickleball Rocks at the First Ever Bainbridge Cup and Spanish Open Pickleball Tournaments

Hey Pickleball Nation,
WELCOME TO SPAIN!!! WOW! (pictured at the Royal Palace in Madrid)
Just wanted to give you a quick recap of the first ever Brainbridge Cup pickleball event and this year’s Spanish Open.
I must say, it was amazing.

After a couple of fun days of pickleball clinics with Daniel and some fabulous traditional Spanish dinners, we excitedly arrived for the main event, the first ever Bainbridge Cup.  What great fun to be part of this historic pickleball event. Over 100 players from the United States and Canada came to play matches against approximately 150 players from all over Europe.  Each match was worth one point and after over 300 matches, Team North America prevailed 201-119 to take home the cup.  But the true winner was the sport of pickleball as players from all over the world competed and then broke bread together after the tournament ended.  It was truly wonderful to see.

After a Friday of fun meeting and playing against international players in the Bainbridge Cup, the Spanish Open tournament ran on Saturday and Sunday at the famous Ciudad de la Raqueta.  This is a great venue for pickleball as well as tennis and the popular European sport of Padel.

I finally got to realize one of my pickleball dreams as I teamed with my original pickleball mentor, Lynn Carlson for the first time and we managed to take home a Spanish Open gold medal.

It was so much fun to see the people of Europe step up to our Pickleball Rocks table, such as our new British friend Carolyn (pictured), and leave proudly wearing our shirts and hats. Though many times we could not understand a word they were saying, “Pickleball Rocks” now seems to be a universally understood phrase and pickleball is going to be a truly universal sport that will bring peace and cooperation everywhere it is played.

After packing up the tournament stuff Sunday, Daniel took us on a fantastic Monday tour of Spain’s first capital city, Toledo.  Toldeo was and is a very holy city, and thus the phrase, “Holy Toledo”. 🙂

Next day Dan put us on a bullet train (reaching speeds of almost 200 miles per hour) to Barcelona where we saw some of the most beautiful buildings in the world but also a sobering reminder from the recent terrorist attack there.

And then, of course, Daniel wrapped up the tour the same way we started with some great pickleball at the University of Barcelona and then a great dinner.

Loved every minute of our PickleballTrips.com tour.  Thanks Dan for a great time and a memorable experience.

You ROCK Daniel!

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE BAINBRDGE CUP and SPANISH OPEN COVERAGE

Pickleball Rocks Training Academy Spends Summer On The Road

It’s summertime in Indiana and all of Pickleball Nation loves to move outdoors for pickleball play. We love it outside too, so it is a good time to get out of our indoor academy home at SportONE Fieldhouse and onto the road.  Of course the tournament circuit never ends for us, but it is fun to take the academy to visit towns and communities throughout the state. The reception has been simply amazing.  Thank you to everyone who have invited us to your courts to teach and play.  Pickleball Rocks because of you!

Pickleball Rocks Helping Raise Money for Parkinson Foundation

Stephanie and Abby and LeEllen and Josh
NEED YOUR HELP

Hey Pickleball Nation,

It never ceases to amaze us, the generosity of the pickleball community.

Hopefully you have not been to battle with Parkinson’s.  Hopefully you don’t know anyone who has had to battle this insidious disease.  Unfortunately, you probably have.

The good news is that progress is being made and thanks to the upcoming Gamma Pickleball Classic in Pittsburgh, money is being raised to help speed up the research and eventually cure this horrible disease.

And with your help the Pickleball Rocks Team is going to help with this great cause.

We’ll have four team members at the Gamma Pickleball Classic and you can help any or all of them as we raise funds to battle Parkinson’s disease.

We’ll be using the new USAPA Every Point Counts program to take pledges and raise money.

Josh Grubbs and Stephanie Lane will be teaming up in mixed doubles and would love to have you make a pledge for every point they score during their event.
To pledge and sponsor Josh and Abby, CLICK HERE.

Next we have Abby Grubbs teaming up with our youngest team member LeEllen Lane in ladies doubles.  To support Abby and LeEllen with a pledge, CLICK HERE.

 

YES, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!!

So the bottom line is, we’re asking you to make a pledge where we will multiply it times every point your chosen team scores.
Or you can make a flat fee pledge too by CLICKING HERE.
And trust me, our Pickleball Rocks team members will all be doing their very best.

TO MAKE A SPONSORSHIP PLEDGE FOR TEAM Josh and Stephanie or TEAM Abby and LeEllen, CLICK ON THE SPONSORSHIP SHEET BELOW.  It will take you to a page where you can make your pledge.  You do not pay anything until after the tournament, when we will contact you with our team’s results.

Cannot thank you enough for helping us help fight Parkinson’s.
God Bless You.   -The Pickleball Rocks Team