National Pickleball League® and DUPR Announce Partnership, Joint Effort to Unify Global Pickleball Community Under One Common Language and Standard

DUPR
May 17, 2024
2 min

For the 2024 season, NPL Will Adopt DUPR as Official Rating and Support Efforts to Enhance the League With Level-Based Play, More Opportunities to Compete and Grow Participation 

The National Pickleball League® (NPL) www.nplpickleball.com is pleased to announce it has entered into a partnership with DUPR, (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) to develop the league and further enhance the competitive experience for players.  

DUPR offers organizers the ability to use its accurate, reliable rating to organize competitive, level-based matches, and use its community platform to reach hundreds of thousands of pickleball players to highlight their leagues and upcoming events. Most importantly, players  benefit from competing against others at their level for an even better experience.

“DUPR is the most accurate and reliable pickleball rating, and its team prioritizes collaboration and partnership to grow the game together. We are excited to bring DUPR’s rating and technology to our league, provide an even better experience for our players and partners, and showcase NPL to DUPR’s large community of pickleball players to bring more competitors into the league,” said Paul Bamundo, Chief Executive Officer of the National Pickleball League®. “Integrating DUPR also benefits our players beyond league play. DUPR provides connectivity to the entire global pickleball community, uniting all players across a common rating and standard. Now, our participants have the ability to know their level, find more opportunities to play wherever they are, and be a part of the global pickleball community.”

“We are honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with the National Pickleball League® and support their exciting formats for professional players ages 50 and up,” said Tito Machado, DUPR CEO. “NPL has built a dynamic and exciting professional league that showcases talented athletes and reminds everyone that age shouldn’t be a barrier. These players are the heart of the game and we hope that our rating and technology platform will help to make the experience even better, and offer more connections and opportunities to players to participate and achieve at the highest levels in pickleball.”

All results from NPL will be submitted to count for a player’s rating. Players can also follow the NPL league page on DUPR for updates on competition, scheduling and league standings. 

The 2024 season will consist of 12 teams representing cities from across the country. Each team will have a roster of 14-16 players, equally split between women and men, with more than 200 pickleball professionals playing in the NPL this season. 

The 2024 regular season kicks into high gear with competition event weekends taking place once per month beginning May 17-19 in Chicago, with $150,000 in prize money on the line, culminating in the season-ending Championships in October. The season opener will be livestreamed on the National Pickleball League® YouTube Channel @nationalpickleballleague with additional coverage of NPL events on CBS Sports this season. 

National Pickleball League® is among the many leagues worldwide adopting DUPR to enhance the experience for its players, and to support the growth and global unification of the game,  joining Honcho Pickleball League, National Team Pickleball League (NTPL), World Pickleball Tour (WPT) and La Cocina, and others. DUPR’s solution provides organizers with the ability to showcase their events to the most active and engaged community in pickleball, and enables players to find more opportunities to play at their level wherever they are. The platform is built on DUPR’s industry-leading rating, which looks at match results to provide an accurate, reliable evaluation of a players skill level across age, gender and location. 


About National Pickleball League®

The National Pickleball League® was founded in 2022 by Champions Pro players Rick Witsken, Beth Bellamy, and Michael “Hammer Mike” Chen. NPL Pickleball™ is a nationwide team competition for Champions Division (age 50+) professional pickleball players and made up of twelve teams in metropolitan locations in Indianapolis, Austin, Boca Raton, Naples, Denver, Oklahoma City, Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, Columbus, Coachella Valley and Princeton. National Pickleball League® is owned by National Pickleball League, LLC. The NPL is dedicated to expanding the reach of pickleball, fostering community engagement, physical and mental health, and elevating the sport to new heights. Companies interested in sponsorship opportunities with NPL Pickleball™ can email info@nplpickleball.com for more information or visit the league’s website at www.NPLpickleball.com.

For more information and to sign up for DUPR’s free platform, visit www.dupr.com

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June 18, 2024

u3a: The Bedrock of Pickleball Participation in the UK

  • Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing activities across national volunteer-led movement for older adults.
  • u3a pickleball groups are significant drivers of participation for the over-50s in UK.
  • With 3,000 players out of an overall membership of 400,000, there is huge scope for growth.

The average age of the pickleball-playing population in the UK is gradually reducing — but, for now, over-50s remain the bedrock of the sport's participation base. A significant percentage of these older players are discovering pickleball through u3a. 

The u3a is a huge volunteer-led movement that keeps retired people active and learning. It is made up of around 1000 u3as  across the UK who organize activities that keep older adults mentally, physically and socially active. These range from sport to learning a language, history, photography, walking, wine tasting and much more.

Three years ago, there were 15 pickleball groups across the u3a movement. Now (May 2024), there are 139. It is one of the fastest growing sports within u3a and now boasts over 3,000 players. For context, Pickleball England has 5,000 registered members over 50 years of age and there are an estimated 15,000 players of all ages (including non-members of the governing body) in the country.

David Pechey has been the u3a's National Subject Advisor for pickleball since 2021. Having started his own club in Bramhall, Manchester in 2018, he felt pickleball strongly aligned with u3a's objective of encouraging older adults to become and/or stay active.  

David, 73, has published guidance and a package of resources on the u3a website for anyone wanting to set up their own group. He has also undertaken a Pickleball Leaders Certification to teach people the basic techniques and tactics. Some are happy with a regular hit and chat; others have progressed to competing and registering with DUPR. 

"You get great satisfaction from helping people learn to play and seeing them grow in confidence on court," said David. "But some u3a groups have started without any help from me. I am just a sounding board if people need one, but pickleball is increasingly creating its own momentum."

David also adds,

"Pickleball is so accessible for people of my age. They don't want hours of training with a coach. As long as there is someone to teach you the rules and basic tactics, you can start playing pickleball to a reasonable level pretty quickly. That's why it has struck a chord. People have been able to get a bit of physical activity and social interaction while feeling they are having a good, competitive game." 

As pickleball groups have popped up and grown throughout the u3a movement, the organization has organically become a key participation driver for the sport in the UK – all led by the enthusiasm and passion of volunteers. 

David stated,

"A huge debt of gratitude is owed to the local champions in every active u3a group: the group conveners, coordinators and leaders. These are local heroes with enthusiasm, initiative, perseverance and patience. A debt to them is owed by me and by every u3a player that enjoys exercise, fun, gentle competition and social interaction as a result of their efforts.”

With just under 100 u3a pickleball groups across the UK, there is obvious potential for it to spread much further.

"We haven't reached 10% yet, so I want to continue to help grow it throughout all the u3as  in the UK," states David. 

With players’ ages ranging from 50 to early 90s, thousands of people in the autumn of their years are being given a new lease of life through u3a and pickleball.

Community
Data
June 16, 2024

Father's Day special - The Brascia's

Mary Brascia, a professional pickleball player on the PPA tour, currently ranked number 4 on the PPA leaderboards for women's singles with an impressive DUPR rating of 5.666 in doubles and 5.871 in singles, is among the top-ranked female players in the sport. Hailing from Southern California, Mary finds the greatest joy in playing pickleball with her family, and especially enjoys being coached by her father Vinnie Brascia.

“Our whole family is a pickleball family. We all play all the time and our family is super close. We enjoy spending time together so it’s really nice that we found a sport that we can all play together as a family”, Mary says.

Mary’s dad, Vinnie still coaches her and her sister to this day. Mary says,

"He knows me better than anyone, and he helps my sister and I play our best on the court because he knows the game really well.” Mary mentions she plays her best with her dad as her coach because it keeps her in a “positive headspace”.

Vinnie has always taken pride in both Mary’s and her sister Maggie’s passion for pickleball. He remains focused on their goals and maintaining a good relationship to the sport.

“My goal is for them to have fun and to achieve their potential as best as they can”, Vinnie says. As any good father would, he remains dad first, “I’m dad first and foremost, and always, and no matter what happens in a match I’m just going to give Mary a big hug and just say how proud I am for trying their best out there, cause this sport is hard.”



As we celebrate Father's Day this year, let's not forget the role that fathers play in shaping our lives and helping us reach our full potential. Mary Brascia's story is a reminder of the impact that a father's love, guidance, and support can have on their child's journey to success.

To hear more about Mary and her dad, watch the video here. Follow Mary's journey in climbing the pro pickleball rankings on her Instagram.

To all the fathers out there, Happy Father's Day!


Community
June 14, 2024

DUPR Juniors - Meet Jack Pickleball!

At DUPR, we aspire to have level-based play options for all ages and genders. Our commitment to this is reinforced through the partnership with National Junior Pickleball (NJP). Jack Loughridge, a junior player from Las Vegas, Nevada, has been playing NJP tournaments all across the U.S.

Learn more about Jack's pickleball journey in this Q&A!



How many times a week do you play pickleball?

I play pickleball about 4 times a week. Usually I will drill 2 days, have a lesson one day and then play games on the days I don’t have soccer practice.

Why did you start playing pickleball?

I saw one of my friends playing it and it looked fun. I like that I got to play a lot with my Dad when I was learning.

What is the best part about playing pickleball?

The best part of playing pickleball is getting to travel to different places and meet lots of new people. 

What is the best part of participating in the Junior Tournaments?

In Junior tournaments I get to play with and against my friends, and it’s a lot of fun. We also get to hang out afterward and do fun stuff or just play more pickleball.

What is your favorite memory of pickleball?

I liked when I first got sponsored by Joola and getting to know all of their team and the pros. I also remember when I was 8 and won Gold in a tournament and we got to hold a big check for $200.

Did the Junior tournaments help you improve your pickleball skills? How?

I would say yes because kids don’t go easy on each other and everyone plays their best, so I have to play my best too. I also want to beat them.
Jack watching professional pickleball

Who is your favorite pickleball player/someone you look up to?

I don’t really have a favorite player because a lot of them are my friends like AJ, Ben, Allyce, Etta, Anna, Chuck, Tyson, Brooke, and Rachel. It’s hard to know who to cheer for when they play each other. 

What is your biggest pickleball dream?

I want to be a pro pickleball player and play all over the world. 

We can't wait to help young players ride the pickeball wave, and help their game progress throughout their pickleball journey!

Don't miss Jack's pickleball journey on his Instagram.

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