What to Look for in a Pickleball Tournament
Do you play pickleball for exercise, for the social aspect, or for competition? According to Pickleball University, roughly 20% of people play pickleball for the competition. Fortunately, there are many tournaments in pickleball to satisfy competitors and even those who want fun exercise while being social.
Whether this is your first pickleball tournament or your 100th, you want to find the best tournaments to play in. Some tournaments have a great reputation while others not so much. Pickleball has a few professional leagues, such as the APP and PPA. They also have large annual tournaments such as the US Open and Nationals. However, there are many other tournaments throughout the country that provide great opportunities in which to participate.
Consider the Following Before Registering for a Pickleball Tournament
When deciding on a tournament, consider the following:
Will the tournament be held indoors or outdoors?
Most times, the location and the time of year will determine whether a tournament is held indoors or outdoors. However, you might have a tournament scheduled to be played outside during a summer day. Even though the weather might be great, there is still a risk of rain or extreme heat. That leads to the next point.
Is there a rain policy? How does the tournament handle rain delays?
Typically, a tournament director should post on the tournament website if there is a rain policy. Sometimes, they will refund a portion of your registration fee. Sometimes, they have a backup indoor venue. Sometimes, they offer the opportunity to purchase insurance. Other times, you’re out of luck if it rains.
What is the match/game format?
Depending on the tournament format, you may get more play time or have a longer wait time between matches. Different formats include double-elimination and round-robin.
How many courts will the tournament be playing on and are they permanent courts?
This will help determine how long you might be waiting throughout the day. Of course, with fewer courts, you may be waiting longer between games. It depends on how experienced the tournament director is. If they’ve run previous tournaments, they should know how to create the tournament so that there will be minimal wait time between matches.
The other issue with courts is how close they are to each other and whether they are using permanent or portable nets. Dedicated pickleball courts should be spaced properly. Ideally, there should be enough space around the court so you can serve properly or hit an ATP. The nets should be secure, and the correct height.
How much does it cost to play in the tournament?
Is there a registration fee and a per-event fee? Depending if it is a small, local tournament or a national tournament, you may pay anywhere from $30 – $200+ to be in a tournament. When considering the cost, determine what is included. Does the cost include snacks or meal tickets? Is there a gift bag provided? Are there tournament shirts, or is that an additional cost?
Pickleball Tournament Reviews
These are just a few of the many things that you should look for in a pickleball tournament before registering.
Be sure to check out Pickleball User Reviews to find out which tournaments have a good reputation before you register for a tournament. Don’t forget to also leave your own review after you participate in a tournament. This will help future pickleball players and tournament directors.