Breaking News: Lime Green Pickleball Shirts No Longer Banned

January 1st, 2023: The new USA Pickleball Rules officially went into effect

SPOILER ALERT:  You can wear Lime Green shirts or apparel while playing pickleball. No Rule Against It.

Every year it is a big deal.  The new rules go into effect and immediately everybody starts talking about them. Some rules get no discussion, while some rule’s conversations go viral with players dissecting every sentence and word to make sure they understand the intent and how to apply the rule to their next game of pickleball.
This year one of the first posts to hit social media was a post that said “lime green shirts will have to stay in the closet.  USA Pickleball rules have now banned them.”  And just like that, people started commenting and sharing the news in record fashion. It became entertaining to watch social media take this very simple rule and twist it into something it isn’t. Soon the whole world was talking about the fact that one of their favorite colored shirts could no longer be worn on a pickleball court.

So if you know anything about Pickleball Rocks, you know we sell shirts, and yes we sell lime green shirts.  And yes we sell lime green shirts in big numbers. So at first, that first social media post was quite disappointing to us, but at the same time became intriguing to us.
The intrigue????

Did USA Pickleball actually single out one color and ban it from being worn in the sport of pickleball?    Just didn’t seem to make sense.   So we did what any good, common sense practicing pickleball player would do.  We decided to actually read the rule book.  

What did we find?
The rule that everyone was talking about is rule 2.G.1. Safety and Distraction: A player may be required to change apparel the is inappropriate, including that which approximates the color of the ball.
So somehow social media took that simple rule to mean, YOU CAN’T WEAR A LIME GREEN SHIRT.

Rule 2.G.1 is for player’s protection, and rightfully so, but the rule is ONLY for a piece of apparel (could be a shirt or could be shorts, or could be wristbands) that is exactly the same color as the ball being used.  In other words, you literally can’t see the ball when it is laid on the apparel. If there is a contrast, a tournament director will not ask for a change. In rec play, we are the referee, and likewise we should only ask someone to change an item if it truly is causing the complete loss of sight of the ball.

Think about it.  In rec play and even in tournaments there are many different colored balls being used.  White, Red, Lime Green, Yellow and many others.

This picture below from social media, shows well known pro player Dekel Bar in a lime green shirt.  If you look at the ball in his hand, it is yellow.  So a tournament director would never ask for a shirt change.

So the bottom line is, wear what you want (but not exactly the same color of the ball).  Have fun and…

8.9 Million Pickleball Players Now Playing: Can You Say Tsunami?

Wow! I thought our sport was exploding before.  Now the word explosion almost under describes the growth.  How about tsunami?  This just in from USA Pickleball.  The 2023 Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s (SFIA) Topline Participation Report was released today, announcing that pickleball continued to be America’s fastest-growing sport for the third year in a row.

According to the report, pickleball participation almost doubled in 2022, increasing by 85.7 percent year-over-year and by an astonishing 158.6 percent over three years.

“After anticipating the 2023 SFIA report and its insightful findings, we were thrilled to see further evidence-based research that confirms pickleball’s momentum and exponential growth continued last year,” said Stu Upson, USA Pickleball Chief Executive Officer. “This data from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association is valuable for our team’s efforts to build the pickleball community and reach new mainstream audiences, as the sport collectively reaches new heights.”

Pickleball is now up to a total of 8.9 million players in the United States over the age of six years old, an increase from 4.8 million in the 2022 SFIA Report. Tom Cove, SFIA President and Chief Executive Officer, stated in his Executive Summary that “you will find the pickleball craze is alive and well, still the fastest growing sport in the United States.”

The annual SFIA Topline Participation report provides a comprehensive snapshot of all sports, fitness, and recreation activities in the United States for the previous year. SFIA research is the leading supplier of sports and fitness research, publishing over 100 industry reports each year on industry and product categories.  END OF USA PICKLEBALL RELEASE.

So we all have some work to do.  Gonna need more courts!
But in the meantime….

Let’s play!

2022 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year Announced

During the year, people throughout Pickleball Nation email us or use our 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 amazing people such as Zane Navratil, Riley and Lindsey Newman, Stephanie Lane, Ben Johns, Leigh and Anna Leigh Waters, Enrique Ruiz, Jim and Yvonne Hackenberg, Jennifer Lucore and Alex Hamner, Daniel Moore and Scott Moore, Aspen Kern, Simone Jardim, Dick Johnson and we even recognized how important we believe the certified referee program has been to our sport.
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.

2022 saw one player become the face of our sport. And before you start writing to us saying she was already the face. She was already the face to people inside pickleball. But in 2022 her face was introduced to millions of people seeing the sport for the very first time. Through ESPN, CBS, NBC and Tennis Channel, many of them were seeing her on a gold medal stand on a Sunday. So all the new players and potential players are seeing a 15 year old young lady having fun and simply dominating the women’s side of pickleball.
Some people call her AL. At our office, we nicknamed her APS (Always Playing on Sundays) because we saw her on the TV screen on championship Sunday every tournament she played.

Not only was she entertaining to all those first time viewers and attracting them to the sport, she also amassed about as dominating a single year record as we’ve ever seen.

Just think about this, in 2022 Anna Leigh played mostly PPA tournaments. In those tournaments, there were 78 gold medals handed out in singles, doubles and mixed doubles combined. Of the 78 gold medals available, she took home 38 of them including an amazing 7 Triple Crowns (she won singles gold, women’s doubles gold and mixed doubles gold all at the same tournament). Just as amazing, she played in 16 PPA singles gold medal matches, and won 15 of them. Oh and when her regular women’s doubles playing partner (her mom Leigh) sustained a season ending injury, AL simply continued to win regardless of who was by her side on the court.

So it was a monster year for her and the sport.

Please help us congratulate our female 2022 Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year, Anna Leigh Waters.

Our male choice for 2022 is also a very familiar face on tournament courts across the country.  Not too many players put in more miles this year.  And certainly no male senior pro won more medals in 2022.

But one thing that did pop out at us was the fact that this individual also puts a lot of time on the courts helping others.

Simply ask him to help at a clinic and there is no hesitation, he’s there.  But beyond that, it really caught our attention and was mentioned by almost everyone who nominated him, that Rick Witsken loves to work with kids.

You can catch him regularly giving kids clinics in the Zionsville/Indianapolis area.  Plus he is a NEXTGEN Senior Pro Mentor.

In coming to this choice we saw a player with a dominating record on the courts, but we also saw a special player who was going way above and beyond to help our sport grow, especially at the youth level.

His constant smile and positive attitude on and off the court is infectious, and we are proud to make Rick Witsken our 2022 Male Pickleball Rocks Player of the Year.

Pickleball Rocks Releases New Apparel: Just In Time For Christmas

New For Christmas

Soft, Warm
Hyacinth Color
1/2 Zip

Stretch 1/2 Zip
Pink Rush Color

Soft Warm Hyacinth Colored 1/4 Zip

Silver Color
TShirt Hoodie

Black Color
TShirt Hoodie

Ladies Inspired
Navy Color

Mens Inspired
Navy Color

Ladies Heather Grey
3/4 Sleeve

Soft Shell
Cyan Color
Ladies Jacket

Ladies 1/2 Zip
Warm and Cozy
White Color

Mens Black
3 Stripe
Long Sleeve

Ladies Black

Pickleball Rocks Opens First Retail Brick and Mortar Store In Brookville

If you haven’t heard of the sport of pickleball, you soon will.  Simply turn on the TV and on any given weekend you’ll see players competing in tournaments and leagues across the country and around the world.  Yes, over 70 countries now have people playing the fun sport of pickleball. Television shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show have recently showcased pickleball, and the news is abuzz about the fact that people like Tom Brady, Lebron James and Mark Cuban now own Major League Pickleball teams.

We personally have been playing pickleball in the tiny town of Brookville, Indiana since 2008. And yes, thanks to Brookville friends and residents Marilyn Hedrick, Larry Sheets and Charlie and Betty Allen, pickleball has been played here since 2006.

So with the simple cutting of a ribbon, we’ve launched the very first Pickleball Rocks Shop at 110 Main Street in our hometown of Brookville, Indiana.

This new site will be the first midwest store dedicated solely to the sport of pickleball and further solidifies Pickleball Rocks as the country’s best known pickleball apparel brand.  The shop will handle much of the world famous Pickleball Rocks branded apparel as well as their new branded paddles and portable nets. Additionally people will be able to demo paddles from major paddle makers like Gearbox, Selkirk, Engage and Pro-Lite Sports.



USA Pickleball Rocks
Pickleball Rocks Shop Mens Department

The store has its own indoor dinking court plus, during good weather, will have an outdoor demo court for trying out your future new paddle.  We are excited to move the Pickleball Rocks administrative office to 110 Main Street and additionally the new shop will act as the launch pad for all new Pickleball Rocks products before they go for sale online.

We are thankful for our many customers and fans. Pickleball Rocks because of you!

Why The Spin Serve Is Here To Stay

The spin serve is here to stay. What????

Seems like everyone is buzzing about the possibility of USA Pickleball banning the spin serve starting in 2023. And people are worrying about how we are going to be able to call it against our opponent if a referee is not there to do it for us.

We’ve read the proposed rule change and one critical thing popped out.  It states that a ball will naturally have some spin on it when it leaves your hand during the serve. That is very true.  It is really tough to toss a pickleball and have it exhibit zero spin.

What that statement told me was that USA Pickleball is doing a great job of keeping the intent of the original rules makers intact. The most basic rules of pickleball included the fact that there would be no decisive advantage gained through the serve.  That is why it has always been an underhanded serve.

So USA Pickleball is not trying to eliminate spin completely. They are eliminating what we would call gimmicky spin.

There will be no spinning the ball off our paddle.
There will be no holding the ball with your thumb and index finger and squeezing the ball hard to make it spin fast.
There will be no twisting of the wrist to make the ball spin different directions.

All of these things are very easy to see, and all cause excessive spin which can in turn make the ball do some crazy things when it hits the court on the opposite side of the net.

If this rule change passes the final board of directors vote, this type of spin will be against the rules. Is that a bad thing? NO!

My personal opinion, and it doesn’t have to be yours, is that I love keeping the opposing teams, offensive and defensive, as equal as possible.  That makes for great battles, great rallies, great games and great matches at every level.

So some are worrying about how to tell if their opponent is putting too much spin on the ball.

The simple answer is: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.  Spin has been on everybody’s serve since the first rally was played in 1965. The pure fact is that a little natural spin causes NO advantage for the server.  The kind of spin that makes the ball jump and do crazy things can only be accomplished by an exaggerated motion like the ones mentioned above.  You have to put some serious spin on a pickleball to make it move or jump, and those exaggerated motions are very easy to spot.

If your opponent is tossing the ball and it has a little spin on it, he or she is not breaking the rule. And the only spin they will be able to generate will come from their paddle making contact when striking the ball. Now that spin is a topic for another time.

In the meantime, have fun and spin away with your hand all you want……until January 2023.

See you on the courts,

Click Here For Rocket’s Video Explanation

Click Here To See Rocket’s Video Demonstration and Explanation.