In a monumental stride for pickleball enthusiasts across Europe, the recent English Open witnessed the remarkable influence of DUPR. The event unfolded as a pivotal platform for pickleball's growth on the continent, and DUPR couldn't be prouder to be a part of it.
DUPR's presence at the English Open was a testament to its status as the world's most accurate rating system. With an unwavering commitment to user input, transparency and precision, DUPR showcased its undeniable role in shaping the global future of the sport.
Not only did it educate existing players and clubs about the nuances of its rating system, but it also warmly embraced newcomers to the pickleball community, introducing them to the intricacies of accurate player ratings.
Alvaro Menendez, Senior Product Manager of DUPR, describes the event as the "Best European pickleball event so far!"
The English Open brought into focus the pivotal role that rating systems play in fostering fair competition and enhancing player experience. The event marked a watershed moment for both the sport and DUPR, by highlighting the importance of relying on an accurate rating system for the broader growth of pickleball on a worldwide scale.
"I was thrilled to see the massive number of athletes playing at such an elevated level at the English Open in Telford. Even more exciting was confirming that what we largely consider 4.5 DUPR level of play in The United States was right on par with 4.5 level play in Britain," said Dave McCune, Director of Activation.
As the crowd's cheers during the English Open continue to reverberate, it is abundantly clear that DUPR's positive influence has left its mark on the pickleball landscape in Europe. The event represents a gateway to an exciting future - one where precision, transparency, and the passion for pickleball converge to elevate the sport to new heights.
Recap provided by: Ryan Maher, Head of Commercial at DUPR
For most kids, gym class is the highlight of the school week. It’s a much-needed break from serious class work and a chance to run around, play with friends, and expend energy playing basketball, soccer, volleyball, and floor hockey. Today, an increasing number of schools are adding pickleball to the menu as a way to provide students with a fun, easy way to increase physical activity and combat childhood obesity while addressing their ever-shrinking budgets.
Tailor-Made For Schools
Many aspects that have made pickleball so popular with adults – it’s easy to learn, it’s a fun workout, games are quick, and it allows people of various abilities and fitness levels to play together – also make it a great fit for school gym classes. Students can progress very quickly, which builds up their self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment and can lead to improvements in their overall academic achievement.
Pickleball is also ideal for schools because it solves the problem of how to provide students with a fun physical activity while adhering to tight budgets. According to The Society of Health and Physical Educators, (SHAPE America), the average elementary school spends only $462 per year on physical education. That’s not per child —that’s for the entire school. Given these constraints, pickleball provides a cost-effective activity that many students can play while meeting government mandates for physical education.
DUPR Fuels the Growth of Pickleball Among Younger Players
The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) estimates that 8.9 million people played pickleball in 2023. As the average age of pickleball participants continues to trend downward – it’s currently at 35 – DUPR is working with organizations across the country to expand the sport further among younger players. For example, the most recent National Junior Pickleball Championships powered by DUPR was held in October in Las Vegas and featured 113 boys and girls ranging in age from 9-18 competing in singles, doubles, and team tournaments.
Bringing Pickleball to Schools
In addition to DUPR’s efforts, the nonprofit organization PHIT America is making it easy for schools to add pickleball to their physical education curriculum. PHIT America’s Play Pickleball initiative donates everything a school needs – paddles, nets, balls, training aids -- to introduce pickleball to students. Launched in Spring 2023 with the ambitious goal of delivering more than 100 kits to elementary schools throughout the US, PHIT America is partnering with pickleball pro KaSandra Gerke to spread the word about the fun and health benefits kids can enjoy from playing pickleball.
Pickleball is all about teamwork and good sportsmanship and therefore fits nicely with the values schools teach every day. The sport’s explosive growth over the past few years is poised to continue, and anyone who has watched an MLP or PPA match is witnessing the success younger players are having on tour. Seventeen-year-old Anna Leigh Waters continues to dominate and teen phenoms Hayden Patriquin and Quang Duong consistently compete at the highest levels. You never know, somewhere in America a student could be picking up a paddle in gym class for the first time, get hooked on the sport and soon play in a few pickleball tournaments, get their DUPR rating, and maybe become tomorrow’s next great pickleball champion.
Tyson McGuffin is one of the most well-known names in pickleball. As one of the top players in the sport, he has made a significant impact with his skills and dedication to the game. In this Q&A session, we get to know Tyson, who is a DUPR athlete and active member of our community, a little bit better. We discuss his favorite hobbies, goals, and his thoughts on the DUPR Rating System.
What is your favorite hobby (jokingly outside of pickleball of course)?
“ I just picked up golf and am really loving that. Also cooking. I love my wife, but I do all the cooking.”
What is your favorite destination that you have played pickleball in?
“I love Palm Springs. Weather is nice, golf is great, and the vibes are good.”
What are some goals you have set for yourself in 2024 - whether personally or professionally in pickleball?
“I am determined to keep working on my craft, always stay grounded and be the people's champ. No matter what category - husband, father, player, coach, content creator - I want to shoot for 100%.”
How do you think the DUPR Rating System has enhanced the overall pickleball experience? Do you often or ever compare your DUPR to other players that you are playing, is it a factor going into a match that you play?
“Having an accurate rating system helps the level of play. It creates consistency and sustainability in the sport. It ensures equal play in a competitive setting. The algorithm helps determine how to organize play when you have a range of ratings. Knowing everyone’s DUPR helps keep matches competitive when levels are all over the place.
What inspired you to go pro?
“I was done playing tennis, but still wanted to compete. I was turned on to this silly sport by a member at the club where I was teaching. I have zero moderation in most things in life so dove fully into going pro quickly.”
We are proud to call Tyson McGuffin a DUPR Athlete. His dedication and love for the sport is obvious. With his goals set for continual growth and providing an inclusive playing environment through DUPR, Tyson is making his mark on the pickleball world and inspiring others to do the same.
Follow Tyson and all your favorite DUPR Athlete's on the DUPR app - Download now!
Fifteen schools and 113 players competed at Pickle Haus this past weekend to be crowned the Illinois Super Regional champions. By player count, it's the largest Regional that DUPR has ever run and the 3rd largest collegiate pickleball tournament ever! Multiple news stations were there to cover the action, as well as plenty of spectators from the surrounding Chicago area.
This tournament was the competitive debut for the UW-Madison, SIUE, Carnegie Mellon, Cornerstone, and Concordia pickleball teams. At the top, we saw the familiar faces of Ohio State, TCU, Indiana, and Michigan reach the semifinals and claim a bid to Nationals in November.
At our Michigan Regional last year, we saw Indiana beat the Ohio State 1st team in a Dreambreaker to advance to the finals and win the whole tournament. However the tables turned at the Illinois Super Regional, and it was instead the Ohio State 1st team getting their revenge and beating Indiana in the Dreambreaker to advance to the finals and winning the whole tournament.
The Illinois Super Regional was the first of eight Super Regionals DUPR is running this year, with the next one being the Utah Super Regional in Kaysville, Utah on March 2nd-3rd.
A big thank you goes to our sponsors: HEAD, GAMMA, OOFOS, Michelob Ultra, and Total Pickleball.