Top Pickleball Events to Look Out for This Year

Mar 7, 2024 | News, Tips and Tricks

Pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has surged in popularity, leading to a proliferation of exciting events for both amateur and professional players. This year promises a calendar packed with tournaments that cater to a range of skill levels and offer unique experiences. From the prestigious pro battles to the inclusive amateur showdowns, and the festive events to the international competitions, there’s something for every pickleball enthusiast. Here’s a look at the top pickleball events to keep an eye on this year.

Key Takeaways

  • The MINTO US Open Pickleball Championships and Major League Pickleball Tour are premier events showcasing top professional talent.
  • Golden Ticket Tournaments and the USA Pickleball National Championships provide amateur players a competitive pathway to glory.
  • Events like the Pickleball Slam: Celebrity Showdown and Barstool Sports Pickleball Tournament Series combine competition with entertainment.
  • International events such as the USAP Global Challenge and Pickleball World Series highlight the sport’s growing global appeal.
  • Broadcasts on major networks like ESPN, CBS, and streaming platforms like PPA TV bring the excitement of pickleball to a wider audience.

Blockbuster Battles: The Must-See Pro Tournaments

Blockbuster Battles: The Must-See Pro Tournaments

MINTO US Open Pickleball Championships

The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships, held annually at East Naples Community Park in Naples, Florida, is a pinnacle event in the pickleball calendar. Since its inception in 2016, the tournament has grown exponentially, attracting the world’s top players and a vibrant community of fans. The 2024 championships are set to take place from April 12-20, with a lineup that promises intense competition across various skill and age categories.

The US Open not only showcases the elite in pickleball but also serves as a celebration of the sport’s community spirit and rapid growth.

Participants can expect to compete in five pro-level championships: mixed doubles, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, and women’s doubles. Additionally, amateur events offer a chance for non-professional players to shine, with entries determined by lottery to ensure a diverse and inclusive field.

The event’s significance is further amplified by its live broadcast on CBS Sports Network for the pro finals, making it a must-watch for pickleball enthusiasts. For those unable to attend in person, coverage is also available on the Pickleball Channel on YouTube, ensuring no one misses out on the action.

Pickleball Slam: Celebrity Showdown

The Pickleball Slam: Celebrity Showdown is a spectacle that combines the thrill of competition with the star power of celebrity athletes. This year’s event is set to take place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, on February 4, 2024. With ESPN providing exclusive coverage, fans won’t want to miss the high-stakes doubles matches featuring tennis legends and Grand Slam champions.

The tournament boasts a staggering $1 million cash prize, drawing in not only the big names in sports but also pickleball enthusiasts eager to see their favorite stars clash on the court. The doubles showdown will see John McEnroe and Maria Sharapova team up against the powerhouse duo of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, with a combined 42 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

In addition to the celebrity matches, the Pickleball Slam includes the Amateur Slam tournament challenge. This segment of the event gives DUPR-ranked amateur doubles teams the chance to compete for their own cash prize and the opportunity to play alongside the pros.

While the celebrity event will be broadcasted, the amateur competition unfortunately lacks planned television coverage. However, the excitement and level of play are expected to be just as intense, making it a must-attend for pickleball aficionados.

Major League Pickleball Tour: Team Showdowns

The Major League Pickleball Tour has redefined the professional pickleball landscape with its unique co-ed team competitions. The 2024 season promises an exhilarating series of events, with 24 teams battling across six divisions in a minimum of 40 regular season matches. Each team will face off against every other team at least once, ensuring a diverse and challenging tournament experience.

The MLP Tour’s innovative format includes divisional rivalries and multiple encounters, culminating in a high-stakes two-week Playoff Series.

Fans can look forward to intense matchups and strategic plays that highlight the sport’s rapid growth and the athletes’ exceptional skills. With celebrity ownership adding to the league’s allure, the MLP Tour is a spectacle that’s not just about the sport but also about the community and entertainment it fosters.

Here’s a snapshot of what to expect:

  • Regular Season: 15 events, 40+ matches
  • Playoffs: Two-week series to crown the champions
  • Celebrity Involvement: High-profile team owners
  • Divisional Rivalries: Teams meet multiple times

The MLP Tour is a testament to pickleball’s evolution, offering fans a unique and engaging way to follow the sport. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or new to the game, the MLP Tour’s team showdowns are a must-watch this season.

Amateur Hour: Where the Underdogs Shine

Amateur Hour: Where the Underdogs Shine

USA Pickleball National Championships

The 2024 Biofreeze USA Pickleball National Championships are a beacon for amateur players aiming to make their mark in the sport. Scheduled to take place at the Arizona Athletic Grounds in Mesa, Arizona from November 10 to 17, this event is not just a tournament; it’s a celebration of pickleball’s inclusive spirit and competitive fire.

Competitors from across the nation will converge to vie for titles in various categories, including mixed doubles, men’s and women’s singles, and men’s and women’s doubles. The event is structured to cater to different age and skill levels, ensuring a fair and exciting competition for all involved. Participants are selected through a lottery system, highlighting the open and accessible nature of the tournament.

With five pro-level championships on the line, the stakes are high, but the atmosphere is electric with the camaraderie and passion that define the pickleball community.

As the largest pickleball tournament, the USA Pickleball National Championships set the stage for underdogs to emerge as champions, and for all players to share in the joy of the game. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a newcomer to the sport, this event promises an unforgettable experience.

Golden Ticket Tournaments: Your Path to Glory

The Golden Ticket Tournaments are the gateway for amateur pickleball enthusiasts to make their mark on the national stage. Winning a bracket at one of these events grants you a coveted Golden Ticket, ensuring pre-registration access to the prestigious USA Pickleball National Championships. With 11 tournaments hosted across the country, these events are not just about competition; they offer an unparalleled player experience, complete with exclusive gift bags and the chance to play at top-notch facilities.

The Golden Ticket Tournaments embody the spirit of pickleball by providing a platform for amateurs to shine and secure their spot at Nationals.

Participants can expect a well-organized affair, thanks to the collaborative efforts of USA Pickleball, the Association of Pickleball Players (APP), and UTR Sports. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the sport, these tournaments are a fantastic opportunity to engage with the vibrant pickleball community, showcase your skills, and perhaps even take a step towards national glory.

Pickleball Central Indoor USA Championships

The Pickleball Central Indoor USA Championships, held at Lifetime in Lakeville, MN, is a premier event that showcases the sport’s top talent in a climate-controlled environment. Scheduled for March 6-10, 2024, this tournament is a highlight for players and fans alike, offering a unique indoor setting that eliminates weather-related variables, ensuring consistent play conditions.

Expect to witness intense competition as the nation’s best players battle for supremacy on the courts. The event is structured to provide a thrilling spectator experience, with top-ranked players and rising stars vying for the title in various categories, including singles and doubles.

The indoor championships are not just about the matches; they’re a celebration of the pickleball community, with opportunities to participate in camps, meet fellow enthusiasts, and learn from the pros.

For those looking to attend, tickets are available for purchase, and participants can register to compete. The event promises to be a pickleball extravaganza, with storylines and rivalries unfolding in real-time. Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of the action!

Pickleball Party Time: Events with a Twist

Pickleball Party Time: Events with a Twist

Barstool Sports Pickleball Tournament Series

Barstool Sports is making a splash in the pickleball world with its announcement of a series of tournaments throughout 2024. These events are set to bring a fresh and energetic vibe to the sport, attracting both seasoned players and newcomers alike. Expect high-intensity matches and a festival-like atmosphere, as Barstool is known for its dynamic approach to sports events.

The tournaments will adopt a pool play format, ensuring that each team gets a minimum of five games, with the top performers advancing to the playoffs. This structure not only guarantees plenty of action but also offers teams a fair shot at proving their mettle. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Pool play format with a minimum of five games per team
  • Top teams from each pool advance to the playoffs
  • Events held in various locations across the eastern United States

With a focus on accessibility and entertainment, the Barstool Sports Pickleball Tournament Series is poised to become a fan favorite, offering a unique blend of competitive play and social fun.

For those looking to mark their calendars, stay tuned to Barstool’s official channels for the latest updates on event dates and locations. This series is not just about the sport; it’s about creating memorable experiences both on and off the court.

The Pickleball Slam After-Party

The Pickleball Slam After-Party is not just a celebration of the sport’s competitive spirit, but a testament to its ability to bring people together in a vibrant social setting. After the intensity of the day’s matches, this event offers a chance for players, fans, and celebrities to mingle and unwind. It’s a unique blend of sportsmanship and festivity that captures the essence of pickleball culture.

The after-party is an integral part of the event, emphasizing the sport’s focus on community and enjoyment beyond the court.

Attendees can expect a variety of entertainment options, from live music to gourmet food stations, ensuring that the evening is as memorable as the tournament itself. The event also serves as a networking opportunity, where enthusiasts can connect with industry influencers and perhaps even strike up a game with a pro player in a more relaxed environment.

For those looking to make the most of their Pickleball Slam experience, here’s a quick checklist:

  • Secure your after-party tickets early, as they tend to sell out quickly.
  • Dress comfortably but don’t forget to bring a touch of flair – it’s a party, after all!
  • Be ready to capture the moments; you never know who you might bump into.
  • Most importantly, bring your love for the game and a spirit of camaraderie.

MLP Mid-Season Tournament: Grand Rapids Gala

The Grand Rapids Gala, a highlight of the Major League Pickleball (MLP) mid-season, is a much-anticipated event that combines competitive spirit with a festive atmosphere. This tournament is not just about the matches; it’s a celebration of the sport’s community and culture. With the merger of MLP and PPA, the event promises to showcase some of the best talents in the sport.

The Grand Rapids Gala stands out as a unique blend of high-stakes competition and social festivities, making it a standout event in the pickleball calendar.

The event features co-ed team competitions, a format that brings an exciting dynamic to the game. Fans can expect to see top-ranked players and rising stars teaming up to deliver some of the most thrilling matches of the season. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Co-ed team matchups with a mix of singles and doubles play
  • A minimum of 40 regular season matches across the league
  • Divisional rivals facing off multiple times
  • A festive environment with social events surrounding the tournament

For those looking to attend or follow the action, the Grand Rapids Gala is scheduled for mid-July, with exact dates to be confirmed. Keep an eye on the official MLP schedule for updates and ticket information.

International Flair: Global Events Heating Up

International Flair: Global Events Heating Up

USAP Global Challenge: The International Showdown

The USAP Global Challenge stands as a pinnacle event for pickleball enthusiasts around the globe. With five pro-level championships on the line, including mixed doubles, men’s and women’s singles, and men’s and women’s doubles, the stakes are high and the competition fierce. Participants in non-professional categories get their chance to shine too, with events divided by age and skill level, and entry determined by lottery.

This tournament is not just about the sport; it’s a celebration of the pickleball community, bringing together players from all walks of life to share in the joy of the game.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or an aspiring amateur, the USAP Global Challenge offers a unique opportunity to test your skills against some of the best in the sport. Keep an eye on the tournament schedule and make sure to mark your calendars for this must-attend event.

Pickleball World Series: A New Era

The Pickleball World Series ushers in a new chapter for the sport, showcasing top talent and international competition. This event is a testament to pickleball’s explosive growth and its burgeoning global appeal. Expect fierce rallies and strategic gameplay as the world’s best converge to compete for the coveted title.

The series not only highlights the athletic prowess of the players but also emphasizes the importance of community and sportsmanship within the sport.

With the Times Group’s collaboration with Pickleball Asia, the stage is set for an unprecedented level of competition. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:

  • Elite players from around the globe
  • Innovative match formats
  • Cultural exchanges and international camaraderie
  • Opportunities for emerging talents to make their mark

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the pickleball scene, the World Series is an event that promises excitement and inspiration for all. Keep an eye on your favorite pickleball website for expert techniques, kids’ introduction, singles play strategies, stretching exercises, tournament guide, and training drills for all levels.

Screen Time: Catch the Action Live

Screen Time: Catch the Action Live

Where to Watch Pickleball Live

As the popularity of pickleball surges, fans are eager to catch every serve, volley, and smash from the comfort of their homes. The good news is that watching live pickleball has never been easier. With a variety of platforms offering coverage, you can tune in to the action across multiple networks and streaming services.

For those who prefer traditional television, major networks like ESPN, CBS, and ABC have embraced the sport, providing live broadcasts of premier tournaments. Meanwhile, dedicated apps such as Selkirk TV cater to the pickleball aficionado, offering live streaming, pro lessons, and a wealth of on-demand content.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the world of pickleball, here’s a quick rundown of where to find live coverage:

  • ESPN: Home to the Pickleball Slam and other marquee events.
  • CBS Sports Network: Broadcasts the MINTO US Open Pickleball Championships.
  • ABC: Features coverage of select tournaments throughout the year.
  • Selkirk TV: A comprehensive app for all things pickleball, including live streams and instructional content.

Remember, with the sport’s growing fanbase, more events are being added to the broadcast schedule each year. So, keep an eye on your favorite networks and streaming platforms for the latest updates on where to watch the matches live.

Pickleball on the Big Networks: ESPN, CBS, and ABC

The visibility of pickleball has skyrocketed with major networks like ESPN, CBS, and ABC serving up live coverage to a rapidly growing fan base. Broadcast deals have been a game-changer, ensuring that the sport’s most thrilling moments reach millions of viewers across the nation. With the APP’s historic agreements, the stage is set for pickleball to captivate audiences like never before.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from the big networks:

  • ESPN: A mix of live events and highlights, including the Pickleball Slam and the APP Tour.
  • CBS Sports Network: Exclusive broadcasts of the MINTO US Open Pickleball Championships and other marquee events.
  • ABC: Coverage of the PPA Tour, featuring top-tier pickleball action.

The synergy between pickleball and these networks is not just about sports; it’s a cultural phenomenon. As the sport continues to weave its way into the fabric of American entertainment, expect to see more pickleball-related content, from celebrity tournaments to in-depth analysis.

For those who prefer streaming, options abound with platforms like ESPN+, part of the Disney+ bundle, and the Court Sports Network, a Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television channel. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a curious newcomer, the accessibility of pickleball on television and online platforms means you won’t miss a single serve or smash.

Streaming the Best: APP Tour and PPA TV

In the fast-growing world of pickleball, staying updated with the latest matches and tournaments is crucial for fans and players alike. The Association of Pickleball Players (APP) Tour and PPA TV have emerged as premier destinations for live and on-demand pickleball content. With a comprehensive schedule of events, these platforms offer an unparalleled viewing experience for enthusiasts around the globe.

For those looking to dive deeper into the sport, the APP Tour’s website is a treasure trove of resources. It not only streams high-stakes matches but also provides a platform for learning and improvement. Here, you can find expert pickleball techniques, tips for players of all skill levels, and even reviews of the latest paddles. The site also takes a step further by introducing the game to kids, ensuring the next generation of players is well-equipped.

The beauty of these streaming services lies in their accessibility. Whether you’re at home or on the go, catching the action live is just a few clicks away. With the merger of PPA and Major League Pickleball, the reach and quality of broadcasts are set to reach new heights, offering fans more content than ever before.

Below is a snapshot of what to expect from the APP Tour and PPA TV in terms of live coverage:

  • APP Tour events broadcasted on CBS Sports Network and ESPN2
  • PPA’s live broadcast partnerships with FOX, CBS, Tennis Channel, ABC, ESPN, Prime Video, YouTube, and Fanduel
  • Over 1,500 hours of pickleball content across PPA platforms
  • Exclusive access to on-demand matches and pro lessons on Selkirk TV

As the sport continues to surge in popularity, these streaming services are not just platforms for viewing; they’re catalysts for the growth of pickleball, bringing the community closer and making the game more accessible to a wider audience.