DUPR Predicts - APP Plantation Open

Kevin Brown
January 8, 2024

Hey Pickleball Fam,


The APP Tour's Florida swing continues this weekend from the city of Plantation. With last week's gold medalists Dekel Bar and Vivienne David sitting this one out, who will beat the top rated team, Dylan Frazier (6.568) and Simone Jardim (5.886). Could it be first time partners Zane Navratil (6.490) and Jackie Kawamoto (5.757)? We shall see! And don't forget about Florida residents JW Johnson (6.607) and Lee Whitwell (5.592). Two forehands in the middle makes a great pairing for pickle.


In the Senior Mixed Pro bracket, we see last week's gold medalist, Scott Crandall, opting out and thus, Kim Kesner (5.202) playing with Rick Witsken (5.568) as our 3rd seed. Just like in our Pro Mixed bracket, last week's Silver Medalists (Scott Moore (5.585) and Eva Welsher (5.281)) are taking the top spot on our list. Will Kesner have the golden paddle with a new partner? Mircea Morariu (5.567) and Julie Johnson (5.250) will have something to say about that.


Good luck to all our competitors and may there be many a third game tiebreak.


We'll be updating this list as the weekend progresses with winner predictions by bracket. Stay tuned and let us know who you're rooting for on social. @duprpb




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April 8, 2024

University of Florida Wins the Georgia Super Regional with Help From Their Spectacular Spectator Section

There is no limit to the number of teams a school can submit to a Regional, and the University of Florida (UF) used that to their advantage this past weekend by bringing five teams to compete. Never before had a school brought more than three teams to a DUPR Collegiate Pickleball event! By the time the finals rolled around, all of the players from the eliminated UF teams could be heard cheering on their last remaining team in hopes of securing their first Regional championship. 

In the finals, UF faced Clemson, who was both the winner of last year’s Georgia Regional and the winner of the last Super Regional in Virginia. Clemson taking the first game in Women’s Doubles didn’t phase UF, as UF rattled off 3 straight wins in Men’s Doubles, 1st Mixed Doubles, and 2nd Mixed Doubles to secure the title. Prior to the Georgia Super Regional, UF and Clemson had already secured spots at Nationals, so the remaining four bids went to University of Georgia, University of North Florida, Florida College, and Southeastern University (SEU). All school maintained a great team spirit throughout the tournament which made it even more exciting to be a part of!

The Georgia Super Regional also welcomed Charleston Southern University, Davidson College, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, and The University of Texas at Tyler to their first DUPR Collegiate Pickleball event! University of Kentucky almost pulled off a #14 seed vs. #3 seed upset against SEU in the Round of 16 by taking them to a Dreambreaker. In fact, the playoffs for this tournament saw an incredibly high number of Dreambreakers, as 7 out of the 15 elimination playoff matches went to a Dreambreaker, including both semifinals and 3/4 of the quarterfinals. Here is the link to view the full schedule and standings from the weekend.

A special thanks goes to our DUPR Collegiate Pickleball partners: JOOLA, HEAD, GAMMA, Rally Republic, Total Pickleball, and OOFOS. Another thanks goes to Pickle & Social in Buford, GA for hosting the 2nd annual Georgia Super Regional! 

Collegiate
Events
March 26, 2024

Clemson Tops the Virginia Super Regional to Become the Second School to Win Multiple Regionals

In the largest collegiate regional to date, Clemson rose as a formidable contender to claim victory and secure the crown for themselves. They went through both the #1 UVA and #2 UNC in the playoffs - both of the past National Champions. This win makes them undefeated in both of their attended Regionals (won the 2023 Georgia Regional), and the second school with multiple Regional wins (Utah Tech is first with 4).

In total, there were 177 players from 20 different schools from Maine to Miami at the Virginia Super Regional. Penn State University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Maine, and Robert Morris University all made their DUPR Collegiate Pickleball debut at the event. The 30-team challenger bracket was also the largest ever for a Regional, with Colter Cox and Luke Moretz from NC State winning it. On Sunday, there were back-to-back Dreambreakers on the livestream, with #1 UVA escaping #8 Miami in the Quarterfinals, and then #3 Clemson closing the door on #2 UNC in the Semifinals. 

Clemson, UVA, and UF obtained 3 out of the 4 bids to the 2024 Collegiate National Championship by advancing to the semifinals. UNC, who also made the semifinals, already secured a bid at the Townebank College Cup in February.

Photo By: Joseph Hutzler

There was a Battle for the Bid between Miami and JMU to decide the owner of the last bid, as they were the only two eligible Quarterfinalists. JMU claimed the bid with a 3-0 performance, and have locked in their spot for Nationals in November. 

A special thanks to Performance Pickleball in Richmond, VA for hosting the first ever Virginia Super Regional! Another thanks goes to our DUPR Collegiate Pickleball partners: JOOLA, HEAD, GAMMA, Rally Republic, Total Pickleball, and OOFOS.

Collegiate
Events
March 21, 2024

How the AI Boom Is Making Pickleball a Success

AI’s Pickleball Potential

Sports aren’t typically the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. However, AI in sports is now synonymous with big business. Estimates value the sports AI market at more than $2 billion, and research suggests that it may reach more than $7 billion by 2027. Currently, AI is being used for everything from training NFL players to shaving time off their 40-yard dash to predicting and preventing injuries on the basketball court. And it’s poised to have a significant impact on the sport of pickleball.

Harnessing the Power of AI for Pickleball

AI systems use mathematical algorithms that generate highly accurate analysis in real time. For pickleball, data can be collected via wearable sensors and high-definition motion capture cameras to record players' footwork, paddle angles, and shot choices. This data can be transformed into a format processed by an algorithm and can be used to train the AI model, allowing it to learn patterns and relationships. The model is then integrated into an application or program and is the basis for making predictions on new data that is collected. The more data it acquires, the more the algorithm adapts and the better its ability to simulate human intelligent processes. Coaches can then reference the data and immediately adjust a player’s mechanics and techniques, repeat the drill or session, and compare results.

But AI isn’t just for pickleball pros. Recreational players are already enjoying the benefits of AI. Training tools like SwingVision and PB Vision bring the power of AI to local courts without the need for high-end equipment or professional-grade video. By uploading footage shot on a smartphone, these systems can analyze player movements, pinpoint problems in swing speed and follow through, and provide suggestions for improvement. In addition, AI is becoming an integral part of emerging pickleball virtual reality (VR) simulations that produce engaging immersive, customized training programs.

In addition, the recent partnership between leading global pickleball rating system DUPR and sport and AI analytics technology pioneers Playsight has opened up new possibilities. PlaySight’s AI automated highlights also allow players to relive their best moments in a match instantly. The collaboration promises to redefine how players experience and interact with the sport.

Preventing Injury and Speeding Recovery

Off the court, AI is showing great benefits in improving player health and conditioning. Systems can evaluate heart rate and joint stress and alert players to potential injury. Next-generation pulse oximeters incorporate AI into handheld devices that measure respiratory rate, temperature, and blood saturation levels. 

AI can also help accelerate recovery times from injuries. Trainers and physical therapists are increasingly relying on AI-generated results to create personalized rehab programs to get players back on the court faster and prevent re-injury.

In addition, manufacturers of pickleball equipment, especially paddle companies, are using AI-powered systems to determine material specifications and performance metrics for the design of their newest products. Because of its ability to perform analysis on a microscopic level, AI can identify the optimal materials for improved power, control, and durability and give manufacturers next-level customization options to develop paddles suited for a variety of playing styles. These advancements are poised to propel paddle sales, which are projected to reach $253.8 million by 2028 and are currently more than $125 million in the US alone.

It's an exciting time for pickleball and AI will continue to play an ever-expanding role in the sport’s future. As more players tap into AI’s ability to achieve better results on the court, it’s likely there’ll be a corresponding increase in their DUPR ratings.

Educational
Data