Something will be different at the first ever US Open Pickleball Championships. This brand new tournament is poised to move the sport in a new direction. Rusty from Pickleball Channel had a chance to talk with some top players about the new tournament structure as well as the addition of the Pro category. Hear their thoughts and then comment below to let us know what you think.

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  1. Is there going to be live streaming of the Pro Division Matches. Living in Los Angeles and for players all over North America, it would be great to be able to watch the matches in Naples livw as they happen. I watched almost all of those great matches during the Nationals last year.

  2. Anne Smith

    The percentage of players who make it into the US Open PB Championships is very small. The average player generally doesn’t care how the upper-crust tournaments are run! However, if this format works to promote PB as an equitable sport to, say tennis, then that’s all good.

  3. Bob De Robertis

    I like the “experimental” tournament format – on the consolation side I’m satisfied with the concept of the consolation winner only being able to get the bronze medal. The winners in that category should be happy because in a single elimination format when you lose one your done. On the PRO division I believe that it’s about time and if it’s adopted will it be offered in all tournaments or just one’s with prize money? If you qualify to play in the “PRO” division and/or you consistently play in that division will someone be able to play down in the “amateur” 5.0 division? My thought on that is “there needs to be separation between Amateur and Pro”. What will make that separation; annual prize money earnings, earns a top 10 (or maybe 20) Pro player ranking, a certain level of both, etc. There will be many thoughts but I want to compliment the possible enhancements to the sport of pickleball.

  4. So glad to see this format with the consolation winner having to settle for bronze!!

    There can be so much variation in the length and effort of the games. If a team goes into the consolation bracket in the first round, the games may be shorter and easier meaning they might be ‘fresher’ at the second chance to defeat the winners. The winners may have to work much harder to stay in the winners bracket which means they would arrive at that last game compromised in comparison to the winners of the consolation bracket.

  5. I can remember when USTA had double elimination for most of their tennis tournaments which is about the same time that I stopped playing in them. I felt it was too much money with the registration fee, travel, and overnight accommodations needed to have the possibility of only one match. To date, I still play tennis and continue to be a USTA member although I do not play in tournaments. This year, I have been receiving emails from USTA informing me of the multiple tournaments in my region that are just about to close registration due to the date deadline. This seems like USTA’s way of “drumming up business” because these tournaments are hurting for $$ and registrants
    I would bet Pickle Ball will experience the same thing should they decide this is the way to design all future USAPA sanctioned tournaments, especially considering a majority of PB players are retired with somewhat of a fixed income, or are people traveling during vacation time to places hosting tournaments.
    I am totally against USAPA making this change!

  6. P.S. Does the USAPA really want to be just like the USTA? Please say no! USTA has so many ex players because of dissatisfaction with the organization which seems to have driven the sports enthusiasm down.

  7. A professional is a professional and if they are making an income from playing, I see no problem putting them in a pro division. It does not mean a tournament cannot have a pro division, it just means that some of the events will not draw the best players because of the limited amount of money the pros may earn.
    If the object is to format a major tournaments similar to the USTA, then I agree with Beth. We should be making our tournaments unique to our sport. Next thing you know, we will all be getting two serves and serving overhead.
    I applaud the USAPA in making an effort to grow the sport, but let’s be clear as our sport grows, there will be more expenses from the administrative side and it may be difficult to get sponsors.

  8. Once you participate as a Pro, then are you always a pro? If only a few tournaments offer that level, then there would be nowhere to play if you couldn’t continue to play as a 5.0. Double elimination should be all the way through. If somebody can play all those matches and win, more power to them! And nobody wants to go home after one match.

  9. John Allevi

    Why the changes all of a sudden. I hope you don’t get like tennis also. This is such a great game, and now changes. Where will it stop. There is no advantage for a consolation team. They have to pay more games and usually one right after another and the undefeated team is usually rested by then which gives them an advantage which they should have.


  10. Lillian Palmer

    I continue to like the “double elimination” tournaments. I am always ‘travelling’ to tournaments and I like being promised at least two matches for my money.

  11. Joe Nguyen

    This new consolation format enables the U.S. Open organizers to accept more entrants and run the event in 5 or 6 days,less expenses and more revenue. The Rankings must be done right otherwise two strong teams will meet in the first round and eliminate each other. I agree with complaints that people spend a lot of money and most are under fixed income to come to the tourney and their excitements may last only twenty or thirty minutes.

  12. I am a 3.5 player and have just recently started going to tournaments and would recommend that more events be based upon skill level rather than age and amended to the gold and silver must come from the winners bracket and the bronz from the losers bracket.

  13. Robert of Redding

    I’m not sure how an official ‘pro’ category would work. I’d just offer prize money for gold-silver-bronze and let the best team (or player) win.
    I also like to see tournaments have skill levels by age category when possible. A pickleball pal of mine went to a recent tourney where there weren’t enough entrants so the games were by skill only. He and his partner are over sixty (4.5) and they got their clocks cleaned by 4.5 teams in their 30’s. And the other way can be just as lopsided if you go by ages only and a 3.5 team plays a 4.5 team. Even if the ages are close, the games won’t be.
    I like the idea of double-elimination, but the so-called loser bracket players cannot win the gold.
    I’m sure the issues mentioned will be sorted out. I’m glad to see all the ideas put forth.

  14. I think it is wonderful for Pickleball that a big tournament can try out some new concepts that ,if successful, might then be incorporated into the body of USAPA tournament regulations. I applaud the tournament for addressing the need for a 6.0 or “Pro” level, and adjusting the double elimination structure so everyone gets at least 2 matches but one can only win Bronze from the consolation bracket. Great comments from the various players, as well. These changes and conversations only serve to help Pickleball competition grow fairly and increase the credibility of our sport. Bravo!

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