Resounding Victories and Team Spirit: Inside the Minor League Pickleball National Championship

Kevin Brown
January 8, 2024

The Minor League Pickleball (MiLP) National Championship took place Dec 16-17, 2023 at Los Cab Sports Village in Fountain Valley, California. The event hosted teams from 24 states across the US and several countries. With five divisions competing, the weekend was charged with competition and camaraderie, leaving everyone with lasting memories and anticipation of next year’s Nationals.


Saturday consisted of 68 teams battling for a spot in Sunday’s finals. Sunday featured intense quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals. It also included a unique uniform contest, drawing many great team submissions. Team Matrix from DUPR 16 was voted the winner with their fun, creative, and vibrant spirit.




Player Insights

Reflecting on the experience, participants praised the event organization and atmosphere. Brodie Smith from California in DUPR 18 with Team Don’s Pro Shop, deemed it as the "best pickleball event" he had attended, emphasizing the exceptional care given to athletes and the seamless event execution.


Ashley Koo from Washington in DUPR 20, representing team Mutant Ninja Pickles, highlighted the exceptional teamwork fostered by the MiLP format, describing it as an "EPIC weekend of pickleball."


Jordan DeGroote from New York in DUPR 18 with Team The Sky Guys/Life Time reinforced these shared sentiments stating, “When I think of a perfect pickleball tournament, I now and forever will think of MiLP Nationals. Thrilling format, gorgeous weather, ideal venue, exhilarating competition, and TONS of pickleball! The tournament was so well organized and executed - we will definitely do our best to be back next year.”





Partnership with Swish

Central to the tournament's success was the use of Swish, one of DUPR's latest API partners. Swish streamlined the event by automating the entire player experience, encompassing everything from inputting and validating match scores to updating court assignments and providing players access to view other teams' results.


At the end of each day, tournament results were uploaded into DUPR so that players could quickly see how their ratings changed. Swish contributed to a seamless tournament and made the players' lives easier, allowing them to focus on their matches.


Division Winners

MiLP Nationals showcased top-tier play across various divisions, highlighting the different levels of skill and the competitive spirit of pickleball players. Here's the list of divisional winners:


DUPR 14 Division:

First Place: Wild Monkeys - Oklahoma

Second Place: Hook’Em - Texas

Third Place: Team Angry Birds - California


DUPR 16 Division:

First Place: Tennis Sucks - California

Second Place: Wear a Smile - Oklahoma

Third Place: Zen Johns from New Jersey - Pennsylvania


DUPR 18 Division:

First Place: The Sky Guys/Life Time - New York

Second Place: Wild Monkeys - Oklahoma

Third Place: Cranky Big Red Bears - Texas


DUPR 20 Division:

First Place: Mutant Ninja Pickles - Washington

Second Place: Pickle Rock - California

Third Place: Coachella Pickleballers All Stars - California


DUPR 22 Division:

First Place: Team Florence - California

Second Place: Pickleball Lifers - California and the District of Columbia

Third Place: Cali Breeze 2.0 - California


Gratitude to Our Sponsors

The event's success owes a huge thanks to our sponsors: Anheuser Busch, Total Pickleball, OOFOS, and Oso. Anheuser Bush's refreshing drinks were a hit, Total Pickleball's "CHAMP" discount code still offers 30% off until the end of the year, OOFOS kept players comfortable as our official recovery footwear, and Oso kept the games going as the official ball of MiLP Nationals. Their support truly made a difference, enhancing the entire event experience.



The MiLP National Championship at Los Cab Sports Village represented more than just a competition; it embodied sportsmanship, teamwork, and a shared passion for pickleball. As the event wrapped up, the echoes of excitement and camaraderie remain, setting the stage for an eagerly anticipated return next year.



About Minor League Pickleball

Minor League Pickleball is a co-ed, amateur tournament where players compete in their respective divisions across the nation. The top teams earn the chance to advance and play at the Minor League Pickleball National Championship.


To learn more about Minor League Pickleball, visit the website.


Sign up today for a MiLP event or host your own MiLP event.

More Posts For You

April 15, 2024

Minor League Pickleball and The Dink Announce Joint Venture, Launch "The Dink Minor Leagues"

Minor League Pickleball (MiLP) and The Dink, pickleball’s leading media platform, today announced The Dink Minor Leagues, a new joint venture designed to grow local competitive opportunities for amateur players.

The Dink Minor Leagues will extend the reach of MiLP to create more events and opportunities for amateur players in the United States and worldwide. Since its inception in the fall of 2022, MiLP has hosted over 120 events involving over 8000 participants, gaining considerable traction and acceptance among competitive amateur players due to its exciting format, frequency of events, and electrifying atmosphere. With The Dink coming on board as a partner, The Dink Minor Leagues is aiming to host more than 200 events in the US this year alone, with plans to expand its footprint and format worldwide.

“Amateurs drive the sport; they're the reason we're all here. We've published thousands of pieces of content to help recreational players, from beginner to 5.0, improve their game. Through The Dink Minor Leagues, we're offering an environment to put those skills into practice, compete, and have an unforgettable experience. And oh yeah, they can also win some money,” said Thomas Shields, The Dink’s Founder & CEO. 

Minor League Pickleball, a subsidiary of DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating), is an innovative team competition where teams of four players (two women and two men) compete against each other in a novel and engaging format, with twists on traditional match-ups and scoring for games, matches, and tiebreakers. Under the joint venture, The Dink Minor Leagues will host over 200 events across the country, including seven new regional events and a national championship, to bring the country’s most competitive amateurs together in an unforgettable tournament weekend.

“We are excited to partner with The Dink, the premier media and news source in pickleball, to grow Minor League Pickleball into the largest amateur pickleball league worldwide by providing more and better playing opportunities and a unique ‘play like the pros’ experience,” said Tito Machado, DUPR CEO. “Combining the power of The Dink’s media platform with MiLP’s exciting format and engaged community offers new ways to spotlight the game, the players and the venues, and further develop the most exciting amateur league the world has seen.”  

The Dink Minor Leagues Key Events 

Northeast Regional – July 20th

Bounce Pickleball – Malvern, PA 

Hosted by All State Pickleball League, Stephen Conger

Midsouth Regional – July 27th - 28th

Pickleball Kingdom Plano, TX 

Hosted by OPC, Caroline Luelf 

Midwest Regional – August 10th

PickleCon (Kansas City Convention Center) – Kansas City, MO 

Hosted by iPickle Nation, Rick Fortuna 

West Coast Regional – August 31st

Willow Pass Community Park – Concord, CA 

Hosted by Carmen Sanz Pickleball Club, Carmen Sanz

Northwest Regional – September 7th - 8th 

Cavelero Courts – Lake Stevens, WA

Hosted by ZZ2 Pickleball, Pablo Granados 

Southwest Regional – October 5th - 6th

Picklemall – Tempe, AZ

Hosted by iPickle Nation, Rick Fortuna

Southeast Regional – November 9th -10th 

Lone Palm Country Club – Lakeland, FL

Hosted by All Florida Pickleball, David Tabb 

National Championship – December 13th - 15th 

Missouri Pickleball Club – Fenton, MO 

Hosted by DUPR 

The Dink Minor League Format: Teams compete against each other in Matches using the MLPlay™ format, featuring team matches that are composed of four 21-point games, one women’s doubles, one men’s doubles, and the final two games consisting of mixed doubles. Teams play in a round robin pool, with guaranteed matches and a playoff bracket to determine the winning team. All participating players must have a DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) account, and teams are formed by combining the DUPR ratings of all four players.

For a full list of events and to sign up to participate as a player or host, please visit dupr.com/minorleague.

For further information on partnership and sponsor inquiries, reach out to thedinkteam@heydink.com.

About Minor League Pickleball

Minor League Pickleball offers an innovative team competition format, bringing together teams consisting of four players (two women and two men). Spanning multiple days, our events feature a unique and engaging format with exciting variations on traditional match-ups and scoring systems for games, matches, and tiebreakers. With events hosted in 25 states across the nation, including 108 confirmed events and 7 Regionals, Minor League Pickleball has attracted over 8000 players since its inception in 2022, providing a dynamic and competitive platform for pickleball players of all skill levels For more information visit www.dupr.com/minorleague.

About DUPR

DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) is the premier global pickleball rating system and technology platform, trusted by the world's leading clubs, tournaments, leagues and players. DUPR's dynamic rating system unifies pickleball across age, gender and location by analyzing match results to accurately evaluate all players across a 2.000 - 8.000 scale. Players and operators can visit www.dupr.com to sign up and learn more.

About The Dink

The Dink is pickleball’s #1 media and news source, offering a range of content via its newsletters, website, podcast network and social media channels. The Dink publishes daily to over 1 million pickleball players of all levels, covering news, stories, tips & strategy, product reviews, pro analysis and basic information about the sport. The Dink is also the creator of The Pickleball Box, a pickleball subscription box, and hosts a number of pro, amateur and celebrity events throughout the year. Visit thedinkpickleball.com to learn more.

Minor League
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
April 2, 2024

Cliff Drysdale Tennis and Peter Burwash International Have Joined Forces with Minor League Pickleball!

Cliff Drysdale Tennis and Peter Burwash International have joined forces with Minor League Pickleball to bring a new and exciting experience to racquet sports enthusiasts across the nation. This strategic partnership will see a series of innovative events and competitions hosted at various CDT and PBI managed properties starting this 2024!

Minor League Pickleball is an innovative team competition where teams of four players (2 women and 2 men) compete against each other in a novel and engaging format, with twists on traditional match-ups and scoring for games, matches, and tiebreakers. Teams compete against each other in Matches using the MLPlay™ format, featuring team matches that are composed of four 21-point games, one women’s doubles, one men’s doubles, and the final two games consisting of mixed doubles. Teams play in a round robin pool, with guaranteed matches and a playoff bracket to determine the winning team. All participating players must have a DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) account, and teams are formed by combining the DUPR ratings of all four players.

“We are thrilled to partner with Minor League Pickleball, a fantastic event concept that highlights many of sport’s most appealing qualities,” said Scott McCulloch, President and COO for Cliff Drysdale Tennis and Peter Burwash International. “Providing our members, guests and loyal community of pickleball players with engaging play options and competitive offerings is one of our top priorities, and Minor League Pickleball events will help strengthen our programs across the nation.”


“Minor League Pickleball is focused on providing amateur players with the most dynamic and exciting opportunities to compete. By partnering with Cliff Drysdale Tennis and Peter Burwash International, we’re able to reach even more players and host MiLP events at some of the most renowned racquet sports facilities in the world. We’re excited to work together to bring more people into this exciting game and create more engaging opportunities to play,” said Caroline Luelf, Director of Minor League Pickleball. 

Caroline Luelf, Director of Minor League Pickleball, expressed her excitement about working with CDT and PBI to expand the reach of the sport and create more opportunities for players to enjoy the game. The events will be held at select locations across the U.S., including private clubs, public facilities, and resorts, with a special travel experience planned for July at Omni Amelia Island Resort.

All players who compete in MiLP events will accumulate points to earn an opportunity to compete in the Minor League Pickleball National Championship, scheduled for December 13-15 and featuring a $50,000 prize purse.

Upcoming Minor League Pickleball events at CDT and PBI managed facilities:

April 13-14: JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa (Palm Desert, CA)
April 20-21: Esplanade Naples Golf and Country Club (Naples, FL)
May 4-5: Weston Racquet Club (Weston, FL)
May 18-19: Tyler Athletic and Swim Club (Tyler, TX)
June 22-23: John Newcombe Country Club  (New Braunfels, TX)
July 19-21: Omni Amelia Island Resort, Travel Package  (Amelia Island, FL)

To register for events and learn more about Minor League Pickleball, visit: www.dupr.com/minorleague

To learn more about Cliff Drysdale Tennis, visit: www.cliffdrysdale.com 

To learn more about Peter Burwash International, visit: www.pbitennis.com

Partners
Updates
Minor League