Pickleball Juniors? UNSTOPPABLE

It’s Coming and It’s UNSTOPPABLE

In case you haven’t noticed, kids love pickleball.  And the number of juniors playing pickleball is growing like crazy.  Yes, the junior pickleball movement is coming…..and it’s UNSTOPPABLE.

The number of clinics is increasing as coaches and players everywhere are teaching young girls and boys to play this great sport.

Likewise the number of tournaments now accepting players under the age of 19 is growing like wild too.

We knew it was only a matter of time before pickleball came full circle. 

And now it has!

A lot of people don’t realize that pickleball was played in phys ed classes in many schools over 30 years ago.  The problem back then was that there were no pickleball courts where kids could play once they graduated.  Consequently, kids went off to start their careers and their families, and didn’t pick up a paddle until many years later.  We are now seeing many of those kids rediscovering the sport they loved in school, and excitedly introducing pickleball to their kids and grandkids.

But the really great news is that schools and YMCA’s across the country are now introducing boys and girls to pickleball in record numbers.  And this time, those kids have places to play.

 

So What Can Everyone Do To Help???

Many of you are already out there teaching and helping the kids everywhere you go.  THANKS and keep up the great work.

Whether you are teaching juniors or playing with juniors, we hope you are part of the youth movement.  As much as we love pickleball now, the juniors are our sport’s future and the more we help them now, the better the sport will be in the coming years.

The more we promote the various junior activities, the better it is for all of us.

So a couple of things we at Pickleball Rocks are doing and we hope you will too.

  1. When you post a junior related pickleball activity online, use the hashtag #unstoppable or #unstoppablejuniors in your post or description. When we see your post, we’ll help share it through our Facebook pages and our other social media platforms.
  2. If you send any of your pictures of junior clinics, tournaments or other activities to playservices@allaboutpickleball.com,  we will post them to our Instagram account, acknowledging you as the submitter and we’ll hashtag it #unstoppable and #unstoppablejuniors
  3. And most importantly, help a kid play pickleball today.

Congratulations to all those communities that already have youth pickleball growing.

For everyone else, have fun growing pickleball at the junior level.  Pickleball rocks now and well into the future because of all of you.

We are just here to help.

The youth movement is coming and it is definitely #UNSTOPPABLE.

Keep up the great work,

Rocket, Josh, Abby, Zack, Stephanie, LeEllen, Cam, Mindy, Jason and Wyatt
THE PICKLEBALL ROCKS TEAM

 

How To Layout The Perfect Pickleball Complex or Venue

The word is out and pickleball courts are popping up everywhere.  Parks departments are building pickleball courts. Towns and cities are building pickleball courts.  County’s are building pickleball courts.   Yes, the word is out that having pickleball courts can be a boost to the local economy, and can do wonders in pulling communities together socially.  But be careful.

Consider this as a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.

Let us start by saying that In our opinion, any pickleball court is a good pickleball court.  Give me a piece of chalk and some portable nets and we’ll have some fun. That is what is making pickleball grow so fast.  But many communities are spending the money to build pickleball courts and some do a great job, and some…..not so much. We’ve seen the best and the worst of pickleball court planning.

Happened to recently catch a new court layout (location will remain unnamed here) where they had a nice distance between the courts, but decided to place a light pole between two of the courts, positioned about half way between the non-volley lines and the baselines.  Guess they wanted good lighting, but OUCH when players start running into that misplaced pole. 

Almost as bad is the court layout that leaves so little room between the baseline and the back fence or wall, that you can’t take a good back swing to serve, let alone running down a lob that was carefully placed over your head.  I’m sure many of us have bruises to show from that lack of court planning.

So this PSA is to help you help those who are building the courts and complexes across the country. There are a lot of things to consider when you build pickleball courts.  So the best thing you can do is educate those builders before they build something they will regret later.

So if you are laying out a new pickleball court complex, what kinda things should be considered?

1) Think seriously about the number of courts you’ll need. 
Are you building courts to simply accommodate the number of players who currently play in your area.  This is the most common mistake made by communities.  Keep in mind that the sport of pickleball is without question, the fastest growing sport in the country and on track to continue its growth path for years.  So plan ahead now.  Otherwise you will have a logjam of disgruntled players very soon, and your growth will stop.

2) Plan adequate space for your courts
This is the second biggest mistake made by pickleball court planners.  Everyone of course wants to squeeze in as many courts as they can in their available space.  But if you squeeze too much and leave too little room between your courts or beyond the baselines, you will create permanent problems, including creating injuries from running into fences or even a player from an adjacent court. 
The USAPA provides the following minimal guidelines for each court:
A total playing area 30 feet wide (9.14 m) and 60 feet long (18.28 m) is the minimum size that is recommended. A total size of 34 feet by 64 feet is preferred.

3) Plan proper access to your courts.  
We see so many pickleball venues that have lots of beautiful courts, but no easy way to enter into the courts. This causes continuous interruption of play.  In placing your gate access to the courts, a good rule of thumb is to position your gates in such a way that a player never has to cross more than one court to arrive at the court they are going to play on.

4) Plan your court useage.  It’s one thing to build a pickleball complex for recreation only play.  But quite different if you are planing to hold tournament play at your venue.   The idea behind holding a tournament is to give a very unique feel for your registered players that is quite different from just playing socially on their home courts.  Otherwise they might as well stay home and play. If you intend to hold tournaments at your new complex, then plan ahead for having a designated area for some vendors.  That area should be in the high traffic area where the players will hang out between matches.  You will need an area for a hospitality tent for your players.  You will need an area for your referees and volunteers to hang out and rest between matches or between duties.  And you will need an area for your tournament operations desk.  What else might you use your courts for?  Plan accordingly, otherwise you potentially shut the door on those additional opportunities to utilize your courts.

The video below was shot recently in Griffin, Georgia where Spalding County has built as close to a perfect pickleball complex as we’ve seen.  They have thought of, and covered so many issues which make for a great pickleball venue.  Do you have to incorporate all their ideas?  Of course not.  But our hope is that this video will help stimulate thoughts and ideas for your next pickleball courts.

Watch This Video For Great Pickleball Court Layout Ideas

So there are a lot of things to consider as you plan that next great pickleball facility.  But it is certainly worth the time it takes to figure it out now rather than later.  The results undoubtedly will show up as increased growth.

Put in the planning time now and you’ll be very happy you did.

Keep up the great work everybody.  Pickleball Rocks because of you.

Rocket, Stephanie, Jason, Wyatt, Josh, Zack Cam, LeEllen and Abby
The Pickleball Rocks Team

The Pickleball Rocks Rockstar Paddle is Here

For years people have asked the same question:  When is Pickleball Rocks going to come out with pickleball paddles? And for years our answer was the same.  We are an apparel company.  We love selling good, high quality clothing to players around the world.  And paddles is just not our thing.  There are plenty of paddle manufacturers such as Pro-Lite and Engage and Paddletek and Selkirk and ONIX and many, many others making good high quality paddles.  So there was no good reason for us to get into the paddle business.
UNTIL NOW….

  • Approximately 7.5 ounces
  • Great Polymer Honeycomb Core
  • Soft Carbon Fiber Face
  • Pro-Level Leather Grip
  • Beautiful Pickleball Rocks Graphics
  • Paddle Paddle Cover

Coach Josh Grubbs was the one who suggested it.  He said, “we are doing so many beginner clinics and when the players ask what paddle they should buy, it just seems unfair to sell them on a $150 paddle when they don’t even know they have a game yet.  We really need a good $50 paddle that we can put them into with confidence and tell them to use it for a year or two.  Then if they want to step up to a tournament level paddle, they can choose based on what is best for their game then.  Most of these new players will never play a tournament.  They will simply have a blast playing recreational pickleball and we need to develop a paddle they will be happy with, but at a good price.”

We feel like we have done exactly that. 
We believe the Rockstar is the perfect first paddle.

We approve it for all recreational play and non-sanctioned tournaments. 
The Rockstar has NOT been tested by the USAPA for sanctioned tournament play.

Play the ROCKSTAR today.  You won’t be disappointed.   

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

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR ROCKSTAR

WHOLESALE PROGRAMS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SCHOOLS, YMCA”S, COMMUNITY CENTERS AND PICKLEBALL CLUBS.
CONTACT US TODAY

Wyatt Stone Joins The Pickleball Rocks Team

Hey Pickleball Nation.  Below is what may be the most exciting press release since we introduced our first Pickleball Rocks shirt ten years ago.  The movement is coming…..We feel the youth of America and the world has been waiting for someone to invite them into the wonderful world of pickleball, and we feel like we’ve found the perfect man to do it.  Help us welcome Wyatt Stone to the Pickleball Rocks Team.

July 23, 2018PRLog — Today, the world famous Pickleball Rocks Team announced the addition of Texas Junior player, Wyatt Stone to the team.  Stone has joined the team to fill the newly created position of National Junior Player Development Manager.

This position will primarily be responsible for growing pickleball at the youth level nationwide. Functions will include but not be limited to attending and playing tournaments, social media posting and article writing as well as teaching and coaching kids of all ages. Stone is an IPTPA Certified Level 2 instructor.

When asked about his joining the Pickleball Rocks Team, Wyatt replied with, “I am so excited about this opportunity to work with the country’s most recognized team when it comes to helping pickleball grow.  They seem to be everywhere and are always giving back to communities. The way I look at it, most adult players already know about Pickleball Rocks.  But now I get the chance to introduce our passion for the game to guys and gals my age and I can’t wait to spread what I’ve already started.  I love that everyone on the team has the same vision, to get EVERYONE playing.

Said Pickleball Rocks CEO Rodney “Rocket” Grubbs, This is an exciting time for the sport of pickleball.  So many great things going on at both the pro level and the amateur level.  And now with the addition of Wyatt, we have just greatly increased our ability to help the sport of pickleball grow at the youth level. Wyatt already has a great reputation for being not only a very good young player, but for being a great advocate for players of all ages and skill levels. There are kids across the country who are just waiting to be invited to try pickleball and Wyatt will find them and get them on the courts.  I see him leading an amazing youth movement, and he will be great at it.  We are so happy to have him on our Pickleball Rocks Team.” 

 

PICKLEBALL ROCKS:
NATIONAL JUNIOR PLAYER DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

The Birth Of The Worlds Largest Pickleball Club: Team Waitlist

It wasn’t that long ago (less than 5 years) that playing in a pickleball tournament went like this:

1) Find out online or through a friend that a tournament was going to be held.
2) Check the dates to make sure they fit into your busy schedule.
3) Find the REGISTRATION OPENS date and mark it on your calendar. 
Notice that I didn’t say you found the exact time that registration would open.
4) Once registration opened, you registered pretty much at your convenience.
5) You received a confirmation that you had registered, were in the tournament and now could start your planning for it.
6) You played the tournament, had fun, and maybe took home a medal.

SO WHAT CHANGED???

The growth rate of pickleball changed!

And with that growth rate,

TEAM WAITLIST WAS BORN.

Five years ago pickleball changed forever.  Yes, pickleball had been growing like crazy before that, but five years ago the sport’s growth absolutely blew up and with it the number of players wanting to play in tournaments.

For some of you newer players, you wouldn’t remember the good old days when you could register at your convenience because there was no danger of your bracket filling up.

To the newer tournament players coming into the sport of pickleball, normal is waiting feverishly with your phone or laptop at midnight on a weekday to hit that magic “REGISTER HERE” button in an attempt to guarantee yourself a spot in a tournament that is still 6 months away.

The tension grows as you type as fast as you can and navigate your way through the registration and payment process.  Because remember, you aren’t really registered unless you’ve payed too.

But alas, for many this drill ends up with the dreaded message, “YOU’VE BEEN PLACED ON THE WAITLIST”.  YES, welcome to the world’s largest pickleball club, TEAM WAITLIST.

So what really happens when you join the infamous Team Waitlist?

Well, it is not an exact science as each tournament director has control over how many people make it into their tournaments and ultimately who makes it.  And each tournament director can choose to work through creating their final brackets any way they want.

But the basics go like this:

Before registration opens for a tournament, the TD has pre-determined the maximum number of players they believe they can handle in the time they’ve allotted to hold the tournament. So let’s pretend for the sake of example that we are going to hold a tournament with 200 players.

Our sample tournament will have 5 mens doubles brackets and 5 womens doubles brackets and each bracket will have a maximum of ten teams in it.  Ten teams of two players means you have 20 players in each of the 10 total brackets (200 total players).  So this is all set up before registration opens.

Now registration opens and players come flooding in.  Pretty soon one of the mens doubles brackets (lets pretend it is the 3.5 mens doubles bracket) now has 15 teams registered to play.  That means the first ten teams are in the tournament because it was predetermined that we would accept up to ten teams in each bracket. 
SO THE REMAINING FIVE TEAMS NOW GO ON THE WAITLIST.  Welcome to Team Waitlist.

SO HOW DO YOU GET OFF THE WAITLIST?

This may seem like a mystery, but it is simply a matter of how many matches can be played in the allotted time you have for the tournament.  If you add more courts, you can have more matches and so you can allow more players into the tournament.

If you decide to extend each day of the tournament a little bit, you can allow more players into the tournament.  If you change to a shorter playing format, you can allow more players into the tournament.  If you allow less warmup time before each match, you can allow more players into the tournament.  If you have referees for each match to police the timeouts and changeovers and delivering of the scorecards back to the tournament desk, you can allow more players into the tournament.

So if you can allow more players into the tournament, you take them from the waitlist.  Most tournament directors will take them in a “whoever went on the waitlist first” order.  But only one team per bracket at a time.  In other words, if there are ladies waiting on the waitlist for both 3.0 doubles and 3.5 doubles, the TD will add a team to the 3.0 doubles, then add a team to the 3.5 doubles, then go back to add another to the 3.0 doubles and then another team to 3.5 until they are all in the tournament or they have determined they can’t handle any more teams.  Those teams remaining are simply out of luck unless a team drops out.

So is it going to get better????  In my opinion, not for awhile because the amount of new players flooding into the sport of pickleball is simply overwhelming the current resources at both the recreational level and the tournament level. 

We need more courts or more hours in the day.  So let’s work on getting those courts!  That will solve a lot of our challenges plus slow down the growth of the world’s largest pickleball club, TEAM WAITLIST.

To purchase a Team Waitlist Club shirt, click on the shirts pictured above.

Kudos to Team Waitlist creators, Joe Gilmore and Betsy Moore.