Posted by The PROLITE Team on Jun 25th 2016


USAPA Are You Listening?
Evolve or Dissolve.

The survey is closed and, as promised, we have the results to share with you. You can draw your own conclusion  - but whatever that is, we encourage you to let the USAPA Board know your thoughts on the matter. Without further adieu.

What's Next for the USA Pickeball Association (USAPA)?


1) Currently, the USAPA general membership is not permitted to vote for new rules or rule revisions. >>> Should the USAPA membership have a vote in potential new rules and revisions presented by the USAPA Rules Committee?

Yes: 338 (75.78%)
No: 108 (24.22%)

2 ) Currently the USAPA Board creates the Nominating Committee. Only the Board and the Nominating Committee can elect a Board Member. >>> Should the USAPA general membership be allowed to nominate and vote for USAPA Board members?

Yes: 376 (84.68%)
No: 68 (15.32%)

3) Currently, a pickleball manufacturer is not permitted to file a grievance with the USAPA Grievance Committee. >>> Should a company/equipment manufacturer have the same right as an individual member to file a grievance with the USAPA?

Yes: 407 (91.67%)
No: 37 (8.33%)

4) Currently only the deflection testing process for paddles is outsourced to a third party. The roughness testing is performed by the USAPA Rules Chair. >>> Do you believe the entire paddle testing process should be outsourced to a qualified, independent lab for testing?

Yes: 424 (95.50%)
No: 20 (4.50%)

5) Currently there are no engineered specifications for paddle or ball design and development. >>> Should there be published specifications designed by qualified engineers for all equipment manufacturers and their products?

Yes: 416 (93.91%)
No: 27 (6.09%)

6 ) Currently there are no restrictions preventing the USAPA Rules Chair from playing with a branded paddle. >>> Do you feel he/she should avoid any conflict of interest by not playing with - or supporting - a specific branded product?

Yes: 202 (46.01%)
No: (237 (53.99%)

7) Currently the USAPA introduces rule changes that deem previously "approved" paddles and balls as "not approved" for sanctioned tournament play. >>> If the USAPA makes a rule change, should a previously approved product be removed from the "approved" list and banned from sanctioned tournaments?

Yes: 198 (46.05%)
No: 232 (53.95%)

8) Currently 4 of 6 of the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) Board members also serve on the USAPA Board. >>> Do you feel the IFP Board should be comprised of different members to prevent a monopolized system?

Yes: 371 (86.08%)
No: 60 (13.92%)

9) To date, there has been no response from the USAPA Board regarding the Apex paddle naming issue. >>> Should the USAPA be required to respond to the recommendations of its members regarding the Apex paddle issue?

Yes: 359 (85.89%
No: 59 (14.11%)

Free Form Responses

  • 1. USAPA members should have a voice in nominations for office and a vote for said positions. 2. Absolutely..currently the USAPA has the feel of a "good ole boys club." 3. This is not a dictatorship...of course there should be equal opportunity for grievances. 4. Yes, otherwise the USAPA stands to be subject to the same favors as Hillary. 5. There are posts from USAPA upper management that are intended to assure us they have the qualifications. That is questionable as is. It may be questionable of a third party as well but sourcing to a third party at least, hopefully, eliminates the current doubt. 6. I am not sure that this doesn't put the rules chair in a bad position. It will surely result in any paddle they so choose use to be deemed a conflict of interest. Their choice of paddle used should be their business. 7. This should be considered the evolution of the sport. And yes just because it was previously approved doesn't exempt it from future removal from the list. If so removed of course it should banned from future sanctioned tournaments. 8. Two separate organizations....without a doubt two separate boards. No cross over of Board Members, are you kidding me. 9. It's shameful if indeed there has been no response. But should this be a membership driven issue? Should they be required to response, definitely, but not based on the feelings of the membership.
  • USAPA needs get up to speed on how to properly oversee this sport in a professional manor
  • Did not renew my membership in April. Newsletter won't open on the iPad and I dont derive any other value from membership.
  • It's time to act like a professional organization and have a third party render all testing. There should be term limits for all board members.
  • I hate politics and it seems that there are a lot of it going on the USAPA board. Pickleball is fun and competitive to all, so rules and regulations should match the characteristics and spirit of what Pickleball is about.
  • USAPA should not become a Dynasty, term limits are in order and a democratic process including all members should be applied to new Board Member Elections. There should be no favoritism shown to any "special interest groups".
  • Keep at them!
  • Too much bureaucracy on the board. Need more than I person determining rules. 3 year board limits Members vote on board members just like shareholders
  • Q8 - there should be a USAPA member on IFP but a majority of IFP members also USAPA board probably not a good idea Q6 - the rules chair should be able to use whatever paddle s/he chooses but they should recuse themselves from any decisions regarding said paddle and manufacturer
  • USAPA needs to make major changes to "professionalize" the sport. Equipment specifications and testing, but also tournament referee requirements to only have referees for medal matches or if requested. Also work with tournament directors not prohibit them. Other parts of the country are being penalized for not being Arizona or other concentrated areas of devotees.
  • Question #7 - tough one. If nothing has changed, why disapprove a product? I can see if variations were made to the product that were not in the approved version, changing the rules governing said product, that I do not understand.
  • Thank you
  • USAPA has now responded, as to voting the membership is not informed enough to vote. Open positions are always published and anyone is free to step forward.
  • Also limit how long a person should serve on the board!
  • So, what paddle would the chair get to play with? a wooden one?
  • IFP should have max one rep from each country association (like USAPA) and an equal number of "at large" reps including representatives from a vendor association. New equipment needs a process to keep technology from ruining the sport. I love the new Onix balls but they are so different in spin and smash situations than TNT and other old school plastic balls they change the game. Some of the new paddles hold debris from balls and the court more than older designs and allow for a sticky type surface to develop that allows more aggressive spins, etc. We don't want this to be like golf where anyone can hit a 250 yard drive thanks to the equipment and the technological gains to it
  • I am very interested in getting involved in changing Pickleball for the better. I have been involved with the US Racquetball association for 20+ years and I know how a sport that was so big can lose it's steam if run by an inept organization.
  • The usapa shouldn't be able to tell manufacturers what to name paddles. It has nothing to do with specifications.
  • There should be a period of time to phase out un-approved paddles.
  • Concerning #7, if a paddle or ball is banned for good reason, then I believe it should not be used. There seems to be no good reason for all this flip flopping. Thanks for starting this conversation!
  • As the sport grows and more people become members, the USAPA needs to be transparent as possible and more members should have a voice in this great game.
  • The board should be transparent and the membership should have voting rights.
  • I believe all USAPA members should vote for district/sectional board members, which in turn vote for national USAPA board members. I also feel the IFB board could have some USAPA members but a quota system should be fairly made guaranteeing representation from all national organizations. Voting by members on items like legal paddles, balls and rules would be difficult and expensive to do and not needed if members were fairly represented by those board members they voted for at the district/sectional level. This discussion is good...all national sports organizations have gone thru this learning/growing process!
  • Have voluntary board members that represent Pickleball players.
  • The playing field for all pickleball manufacturers has to be the same an no preference to certain ones. Information has to flow between all players, manufactures, and the USAPA so feedback on issues are resolved.
  • I love pickleball, but the USAPA is rapidly losing its credibility. More and more it appears to be the private property of a select few who care more about their own interests than in promoting the game.
  • 90% of the 55+ people don't know the USAPA board exists and they don't care what they have to say.
  • Pickleball is growing so rapidly that the USAPA must enlarge their capacity to handle new members, equipment needs, and rules with uniformity, fairness, and real science. Equal justice makes for happy players and good governance. The good old boys club is no longer adequate. -- from two dues paying USAPA members.
  • The USAPA has been a joke for years. I quit being an ambassador when I realized I could do more for the sport by not being a part of the USAPA
  • The ambassador program is also corrupt!!
  • Very education for me. Thank you.
  • The USAPA has established itself, as prosecutor, judge and jury in all matters regarding Pickle Ball. They're no better than a dictator who's running a country and enslaving it's people. I don't like the fact that they run everything, and deem whatever they like or don't like as acceptable or unacceptable. We need an impartial group to do testing, etc. Why they change their minds after years of one ball (Juggs) being acceptable and now it's not, well that smacks payoff to me.
  • We need change
  • Question 1: I believe a proposed rule change should be published as such and membership should be permitted to comment. Question 3: Testing should be performed by independent bodies and results should be given to the USAPA and to the manufacturer simultaneously. A representative of both should be permitted to be present during all testing. Question 5: All tested specifications for paddles and balls should be published. The methods by which manufacturers should be left to the discretion of the manufacturer. Question 7: Implementation of rules impacting previously approved products should be delayed following publication for a sufficient period of time to permit manufacturers to retool. Note the "square groove" issues with golf. Question 8: Perhaps non-overlapping boards should be considered when pickleball has grown sufficiently internationally for there to be any conflict with rules from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Question 9: There is a response. I read it today.
  • For question 1. I think a general membership survey would work better than have all members vote. The USAPA has made some terrible stumbles: Brian Jensen's Q1 paddle; the new specifications for balls which banned the brand new Pure 1 and Wilson ball leaving unsalable inventory, not to mention banning the most popular indoor ball and now the mess with the APEX. More openness, scientific rigor, communication and forethought are sorely required.

Contact the Board and let them know your thoughts:

David Jordan (President USAPA)

Justin Maloof (Executive Director)

Jack Thomas (USAPA Vice President and Ambassador Chair)

Phillip Mortenson (Legal Counsel and Grievances)