Pickleball has come a long way since I started playing just a few years ago. This year we launched the Professional Pickleball Federation. Its goal is to advance the sport through the support, promotion, and creation of opportunities for professional players to achieve excellence in pickleball.
Joining the Professional Pickleball Federation
I am so grateful for what pickleball has given me and my family. And I was pleased to join the board of the PPF last year as its youngest member. Membership in the Professional Pickleball Federation is open to players ranked 4.5 or above who pay an annual fee. This enables the PPF to provide a series of tournaments that are classified as professional events. This, in turn, brings more attention to pickleball at the highest level.
This also allows players to have more events with prize money. Now we are not talking about making a living kind of money…but I believe this will come in time. In 2018 we expect to have more PPF tournaments, and as visibility increases larger sponsors will get involved.
The PPF and Nationals
At Nationals this year, they will introduce the Masters Invitational. In most events, the pro’s would play in Open as well as age divisions. But at Nationals this year, we will be placed in a separate division.
Professional Pickleball Federation and LiveStreaming
The PPF is also leveraging technology to promote pickleball. You may have noticed that the PPF utilized Facebook “live streaming” during many of the recent TOC matches. We are still in the early phases but given the positive response to date, we expect this will continue. If you haven’t already visited the PPF Facebook page, follow it now so you don’t miss another match.
What I find important about the Professional Pickleball Federation is that there is an Open and Senior bracket. As much as many of us young players would like to say we lead this sport; the reality is the biggest draws with the most depth are the Senior players. And all the matches are worth watching.
The level of competition at every age is getting tougher. Every round makes the players work to get to the next. I am personally really excited to see what new players this will draw to our sport. At the highest level the more we can attract athletes from other sports means the faster we grow.