MLP Presents Pickleball Night in America Powered by DUPR

Kevin Brown
January 8, 2024

Buckle up, because it's our tightest matchup yet!



We are excited to bring you the most #DUPRNeutral match of the year (23.744 vs 23.755), featuring six top 30 players by DUPR and newly ranked #2 in the world, Dekel Bar.


The women's doubles matches feature a DUPR differential of only .001, with the men not far behind with one team slightly favored at 51%.


Dekel Bar and Vivienne David are going into Championship Sunday at the APP tomorrow, but will find themselves on opposite ends of the court on Tuesday. As Major League Pickleball's fearless leader, Steve Kuhn, would say, "That's spicy!"


Tune in at the same time every Tuesday, at 7:00 CST, and join us on DUPR's livestream or in person at the one and only Dreamland in Dripping Springs, TX.



The Details:

  • Team 01 Blue (DUPR 23.744) vs. Team 02 Black (DUPR 23.755)
  • Women's Doubles, Men's Doubles, then two Mixed Doubles
  • Games to 21 - win by 2, Modified Rally Scoring until one team reaches game point (20)
  • Each game is worth 1 point
  • If the points are tied 2-2 after all four games, a singles Dreambreaker will ensue
  • One team first discloses its 4-person singles rotation order, and then the opposing team with that knowledge counter-designates its singles rotation order. Each player then rotates in for 4 singles points, until the tiebreaker has a winner. Modified Rally scoring, in a game to 15, win by 2.

Prize Pool:

$1000 appearance fee per player

+$250 per player for each game won

+$500 per player for winning team


Here's how Modified Rally Scoring works.


You'll be able to check out the full feed on the DUPR, MLP, APP Youtube & Facebook channels.



The Players:

Team One: 23.744

  • Thomas Wilson - 6.556 is no stranger to our PNIA Tuesdays, having won the Texas Hold 'Em with Dekel Bar. He also has made a name for himself in singles, known for his speed on the court. He often plays men's doubles with his cousin, AJ Koller (#13-6.498). He played college tennis at Purdue and majored in Psychology and Business.
  • DJ Young - 6.335 Holds down the #17 spot on our DUPR Doubles list. Originally from Spain, but residing in Dripping Springs, TX, DJ can be found on the Dreamland courts battling it out with Dekel, Vivienne and DJ on the reg and often partners with Thomas Wilson.
  • Vivienne David - 5.623 hails from Canada and went pro in tennis at age 15. Known for her steady play and her permanent smile, she's the 14th ranked female doubles player by DUPR with one of the highest percentage of points won on tour (60%).
  • Megan Fudge - 5.230 Is both German and English, but lives in Florida with her pro PB husband, Ryler DeHeart, who joined us for Texas Hold 'Em. Don't let her "sweet" last name fool you, Megan's college nickname, the Butcher, was inspired by her deadly slice forehand.

Team Two: 23.755

  • Dekel Bar - 6.751 Currently resides at the #2 spot in doubles. His DUPR is even greater than his 6' 3" stature, which he uses effectively to Erne and ATP his opponents seemingly with ease.
  • Daniel De La Rosa - 6.148 His PB skills are plenty, but he has even more gold medals in racquetball (7 IRT titles). He attributes his excellent hand speed at the net to his raquetball skills. He's not the only pickleball player in the house, though, his wife, Michelle (Key) De La Rosa (5.315) is his usual mixed doubles partner.
  • Parris Todd - 5.454 started playing pickleball 7 months ago and has been turning heads ever since with her forehand rolls and mid court resets. Also, a former pro tennis player, she could be deadly in a Dreambreaker, she's 12th on our DUPR Singles list.
  • Maggie Remynse - 5.402 has a full time job as a VP of Product at a startup, but that doesn't stop her from crushing those two handed backhands. Watch for her surprise attack: the one-handed backhand flick roll.


Who are you pulling for? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Tune in at 7pm Central.

More Posts For You

May 16, 2024

DINKING ON DECK: THE CRUISE INDUSTRY IS RIDING THE PICKLEBALL WAVE

Pickleball player demographics, tight court dimensions and easy accessibility is making it a popular

addition to cruise liners and riverboats

Pickleball's unique blend of fun, friendship, fitness and accessibility has attracted millions of older people to the court in the last few years. These players can now combine their new favorite hobby with another activity beloved by retirees - cruises.

As well as hitting the demographics bullseye, pickleball is an attractive proposition for the cruise industry because of the low price of installing courts and their compact 20mx44ft dimensions, far easier to accommodate compared to those of tennis, squash or padel.

 

Many cruise ships already contain pickleball courts either indoor or on deck, but Pickleball International is taking its offering several stages further. The company was founded by former professional basketball player Eric Dailey Sr, who is now applying his 15 years' experience in basketball training, competitions and tours to the sport he fell in love with almost as soon as he picked up a paddle.

 

His sports travel enterprise included a partnership with cruise industry giants Caribbean International, which he is now expanding. Pickleball International offer cruises which include pickleball tuition from top pros, competitions and off-court physical preparation including yoga, spin classes, strength and agility training in top-of-the-range gyms and aqua training in the ship's swimming pools - in addition to all the usual cruise attractions: dinners, parties, casino nights and much more. 

 

AmaWaterWays Co-Founder

Eric says: "The training is an important part of the offer for this demographic of pickleball players. We can't play like we're 17 any more! We have a world-class yoga instructor and facilities to prepare our players' muscles for four hours of fun on court each day."

 

Caribbean International's ship, The Odyssey of the Seas, has three indoor pickleball courts. Five-day cruises set sail from the UK, Greece and the USA (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to the Caribbean, Australia, Hong Kong and Alaska. A maximum of 24 players go on a single trip and all standards are catered for by Pickleball International's roster of highly qualified pro coaches ('Z' Orano, Pedro Penteado, Jay Jaudon and Fiona Edwards).

 

"These cruises are for guys who want to improve," says Eric. "If you're a DUPR 3.0, that's fine, go have fun and learn. If you're a 5.0, there will be plenty of competitions to get your teeth into. It's a great opportunity for anyone who loves pickleball and loves to travel."

 

UK-based Amadeus River Cruises have pickleball courts on their Amadeus Cara and Amadeus Silver III and offer pickleball-themed cruises on which you can take on locals at clubs along the way.

 

Janine and Damian on board

AmaWaterways, headquartered in Calabasas, California, has also spotted pickleball's potential. Last year, they added a full-size pickleball court on the 21m-wide deck of the AmaMagna riverboat which cruises along the Danube through Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey.

 

Pickleball activity led by on-board coach Damian fuses perfectly with the ship's large gym and Zen Wellness Studio (offering circuit training, resistance bands and core training, yoga and Pilates). “More people want to stay active when they’re on holiday. Pickleball is really easy to pick up and you can quickly start playing a game,” says Damian.

 

As more cruise companies capitalize on pickleball's popularity, we are sure to see the trend for dinking on deck spread across the globe.

Community
Events
April 10, 2024

The Power of Sibling Partnerships in Pickleball

On April 3rd, at the Major League Pickleball Premier Level Draft, the New York Hustlers selected Jackie Kawamoto with the 16th pick of the 2024 draft.

Shortly after, the Los Angeles Mad Dogs used the 26th pick to select Jackie’s twin sister, Jade Kawamoto.

The final rosters for the MLP Premier teams are comprised of the 48 most in-demand players in professional pickleball. Six of those coveted spots went to three pairs of siblings: the Kawamoto sisters, Ben and Collin Johns, and Jorja and JW Johnson.

Whether as practice partners, doubles teammates, or competitors, sibling teams have a unique chemistry that is difficult to replicate. Their shared history, communication skills, trust, competitive edge, and motivation all contribute to their success on the court.

For Jackie and Jade, the sibling advantage has helped them rise rapidly through the ranks of professional pickleball.

“Just having that person to always practice with was definitely an advantage for us,” says Jackie. “I'm a righty and Jade is a lefty, and we move together very well. I think that's our biggest strength. I know where I need to be when she gets pulled wide, and vice versa. I know all of her shots. We just know each other's game so well.”


“We've practiced with each other our whole lives, so it comes naturally,” adds Jade.

Like many professional pickleball players, the Kawamoto sisters have a background in competitive tennis, playing throughout their childhood and into college. 

Their journey with pickleball began in 2019.

“At first it was just fun, something to do with the family,” says Jade. 


“It didn't take long for all of us to get hooked and pretty much play nonstop,” adds Jackie.

They started competing in 2021, and in less than 3 years, they’ve become top rated pros. The Dink recently rated Jackie and Jade the number five women’s doubles team in the world for 2024, and their 5.9+ DUPR ratings demonstrate how far they’ve progressed in their short time since finding the sport.

“Chemistry is such an important part of this game because of the nature of the game and how quickly it goes,” Jackie explains.

Jade adds that the emotional support is just as important as the training.

“When you grow up with each other, and you're the same age and have gone through similar experiences… I know it's a cliche or whatever, but it does help you on the court to have someone that knows your emotions and knows how to bring you up when you're down,” she says.


This season, that bond faces a new challenge. Where the Kawamoto sisters played together for the ATX Pickleballers in 2023, this year they’ll meet as rivals.

It’s fitting, perhaps, that their new teams represent the sister-cities of New York and Los Angeles, two American metropolises that share similarities and a healthy rivalry.

For Jade and Jackie, meeting head-to-head is an opportunity to keep improving their game.

“We were pretty competitive with each other when we were younger,” Jackie recalls. “It always pushed us to be a little bit better.”

“We still like to be competitive with each other,” Jade says, “but mostly in a fun-spirited way, not like ‘I have to be better than you at this’. It helps us get better if we're trying to have that competitive mindset, but also keeps it fun.”

Community
MLP
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