The 2024 DUPR Collegiate Pickleball Schedule Is Here! A Guide to Everything New This Upcoming Year!

Jacob Smith
July 11, 2024

After an amazing 2023, DUPR Collegiate Pickleball is excited to announce everything new we have to offer for 2024! In the post below, we describe changes we’re making to the bids, regionals, and rankings, as well as introducing campus regionals, DUPR duals, and regions! To get in contact with us, use our email at college@mydupr.com.

Bid System

Here are how bids will work for 2024:

  • 4 bids given out at each of the 9 Super Regionals
  • 1 bid given out at each of the 16 Campus Regionals
  • 16 bids TBD

In total, there will be 64 bids given out to the 2024 Collegiate National Championship.

Super Regionals

Regionals run by DUPR have been upgraded into Super Regionals! These Super Regionals will have more bids, scholarship money, teams, and courts than our 2023 Regionals.

Spring Super Regionals

Fall Super Regionals

Scholarship Money - $6000 total

Team Bracket

  • 1st Place - $2500
  • 2nd Place - $1250
  • Lost in the Semifinals - $500
  • Lost in the Quarterfinals - $250

Challenger Bracket

  • 1st Place - $250

1st-4th place teams will receive a bid to Nationals. If any of these teams already possess a bid, the opportunity for a bid will extend to the next highest-ranking team that does not have one. In some cases, schools may need to engage in an additional match to determine which team will receive the extended bid opportunity.

The Team Bracket will consist of MLP teams from each school, where there are 2-3 men and 2-3 women players on each team. It will operate the same as our 2023 Regionals, where teams will play Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles, 2 Mixed Doubles, and potentially a Dreambreaker to determine a winner between teams. The Challenger Bracket will be an open doubles tournament, unless we have enough players sign up to split into Men’s Doubles/Mixed Doubles/Women’s Doubles. 

Schools may bring an unlimited number of teams and challenger players. Any school may attend any Super Regional.

Entry Requirements

  • Have a DUPR account with a doubles rating
  • Be taking at least 6 credit hours at the school you are representing
  • Be partnered with other players from your school (applies to both the team and challenger brackets)

Email college@mydupr.com to have a team bracket made for your school in the Regional you want to attend. Your team bracket players will register in that bracket we made for you, and all challenger bracket players will register in the bracket labeled “Challenger Bracket”

Campus Regionals

Campus Regionals are a way for DUPR Collegiate Pickleball to work with individual clubs running their own collegiate tournaments. If your club is running a collegiate tournament, and it meets certain requirements, the tournament can be a part of our Campus Regional series. Each Campus Regional will receive a Nationals bid to give out, as well as be featured on the DUPR Collegiate Pickleball website. Only 16 tournaments will be selected for the Campus Regional series in 2024. Here is the link for the application and more details.

2024 Collegiate Individual National Championships (CINC)

Date: June 1st-2nd

Location: The Pickle Lodge in Cincinnati, OH

Scholarship Money: $20,000 total

Individual Nationals is returning in 2024! This event will crown a champion for each of the Men’s & Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, and Men’s & Women’s Singles brackets. Any college student taking at least 6 credit hours can compete!

Sign up for the 2024 Collegiate Individual National Championships HERE!

2023 CINC Champions

  • Mixed Doubles: Collin Shick & Sarah Carpenter (UNC)
  • Men’s Singles: Collin Shick (UNC)
  • Women’s Singles: Dylan Ciampini (Utah Tech)
  • Men’s Doubles: Collin Shick & Hunter Boyd (UNC)
  • Women’s Doubles: Dyan Ciampini & Katelyn Nadauld (Utah Tech)

Entry Requirements

  • Be current students taking at least 6 credit hours at the college they are representing
  • Be partnered up with someone from your same college (if playing in a doubles bracket)

Schedule

  • Saturday morning - Mixed Doubles
  • Saturday afternoon - Men’s & Women’s Singles
  • Sunday morning - Men’s & Women’s Doubles
  • Sunday afternoon - Semifinals and Finals for all events

2024 Collegiate National Championship (CNC)

Date: November 1st-3rd

Location: Lapiplasty UPA World Championships in Dallas, TX

Scholarship Monday: $32,000 total

For Nationals, 64 schools from across the country will compete to be the champion! Schools will be split into 16 groups of 4, and every single team will advance to the single-elimination playoffs, March Madness style. MLP teams are still guaranteed 6 matches, no matter their performance. There will also be a challenger bracket at the 2024 CNC, which will operate similar to the 2023 CNC challenger bracket. 

To participate in the team brackets at CNC, a school must:

  • Have obtained a bid
  • Participated in a Regional (either a Super Regional or a Campus Regional)
  • Have all of their players be current students at the college they are representing and taking at least 6 credit hours

To participate in the challenger bracket at CNC, players must:

  • Be partnered up with someone from their same college
  • Be current students taking at least 6 credit hours at the college they are representing
  • A bid is NOT required to have players from your school compete in the challenger bracket

Dual Matches

Ready to challenge your local rivals? Got a free weekend and craving some Collegiate Pickleball? We have just the solution - introducing DUPR Duals. This new initiative will allow teams to organize matches against each other that count towards their team record and ranking. All dual matches following this format will be featured on the DUPR Collegiate Pickleball website. Here is the link to our doc explaining how to conduct a dual match with another school. 

DUPR Collegiate Council

DUPR is the home of collegiate pickleball, and we want to make sure that we continue to foster open communication and collaboration with our player base. In 2024, we will organize a DUPR Collegiate Council that will be made up of leaders and players from each region of collegiate pickleball. The DUPR Collegiate Council and DUPR’s Collegiate Team will meet regularly to discuss feedback on previous events, the steps that DUPR is taking to grow the sport, and your input on what we can do to increase each player’s experience. Participation in the DUPR Collegiate Council will be by invitation only. If you are interested in lending your experience to help us grow collegiate pickleball, you may apply here.

Power Rankings and Leaderboard

Power Rankings are back for 2024! The goal of our Power Rankings is to answer the question: "Which school would win the Collegiate National Championship if it were held today?". Power Rankings are calculated by aggregating the highest doubles DUPRs from the top 2 men and top 2 women from a school. In order for a school to be on the Power Rankings, they must have brought a MLP team to any Super Regional, Campus Regional, Dual Match, or event from 2022 & 2023. To be eligible to count towards their college's power ranking, a player 1) must still be a current student at that college, 2) must have played in any DUPR event, and 3) must have a doubles DUPR. Spring, summer, and fall graduates have until July 31st, August 31st, and December 31st, respectively, before their student status is removed.

Power Rankings will be released on the first Friday of every month. The full list is available at our website here.

We have added the Leaderboard to our website, which tracks all of the matches, games, and points from every Super Regional, Campus Regional, and Dual Match. The goal of the Leaderboard is to provide a way to compare the stats of each school to each other, and to provide insight into which schools are winning the highest % of their matches, games, and points. The Leaderboard has no effect on bids or tournament seeding.

DUPR Regions

Introducing DUPR Regions - Teams are split up into different regions based on geographic location. These regions were decided based on a variety of factors, and with the ever-growing collegiate pickleball landscape, we shall review regional splits on an annual basis. DUPR Regions will allow players to be eligible for regional awards, experience heightened rivalries, and access more competitive opportunities.

Please note - Due to the current distribution of Collegiate Pickleball teams, not all regions will have the same amount of Super/Campus Regionals for 2024. Teams can compete in any regional tournament they wish, regardless of their assigned region.

See below to see what region your team belongs to - 

DUPR Awards

Starting in 2024, DUPR shall implement the inaugural DUPR Collegiate Pickleball Awards! This initiative aims to reward players, coaches, and programs for their contributions to the success of DUPR Collegiate Pickleball on and off the court. These awards will be decided by the DUPR Collegiate Council and will be given out at the 2024 Collegiate National Championship during the awards banquet. 

DUPR All-American 

  • Honors the top 4 male and top 4 female players based on multiple performance criteria as judged by the DUPR Collegiate Council.

DUPR Scholar-Athlete

  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.7
  • Be a full-time student
  • Competed in a DUPR Super Regional 

DUPR Rookie of the Year

  • Honors a first-year student who made significant contributions to his/her team in the areas of leadership, sportsmanship, and performance.

DUPR Senior Player of the Year

  • Honors the senior student who had the best year among all players in his/her class in areas of leadership, sportsmanship, and performance.

DUPR Coach of the Year

  • Honors a coach who has exhibited outstanding leadership in ways that contribute to on and off-court team performance.

DUPR Community Service Award (Team)

  • Honors a team that gives back to their campus and their community through pickleball and non-pickleball pathways.

DUPR Ambassador of the Year

  • DUPR will recognize two students (1 male, 1 female) who advance the mission of DUPR by devoting consistent time and effort to promotional activities, and by supporting and bringing awareness to their school program and collegiate pickleball in general.

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July 10, 2024

Can Pickleball Earn Its Place in the Olympics?

As anticipation builds for the upcoming Summer Olympics, pickleball enthusiasts find themselves asking a familiar question: why hasn't pickleball earned its place in the Olympic Games? 

The answer lies in the intricate process of gaining recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC), a journey fraught with challenges and complexities.

At the heart of pickleball's Olympic aspirations lies the need for recognition from the IOC, which meticulously evaluates several key factors before considering a sport for inclusion in the Olympics. These factors include popularity and participation, international federation recognition, global reach, and alignment with Olympic values.

Ryan Maher, Vice President of Commercial Operations at DUPR, acknowledges the hurdles facing pickleball's Olympic journey. 

Despite the sport's surging popularity, Maher emphasizes that the path to Olympic recognition is far from straightforward. "There's a lot more politics and money that goes into it," Maher explains, dispelling the common misconception that popularity alone guarantees Olympic inclusion.

One significant obstacle hindering pickleball's Olympic aspirations is the absence of a unified international governing body. 

On May 15, 2024, United Pickleball Association (UPA), which owns Major League Pickleball (MLP) and the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), announced the launch of United Pickleball Association of America (UPA-A) as the new National Governing Body (NGB) of the sport. 

Although USA Pickleball (USAP) has historically been the self-appointed NGB since 1984, the emergence of UPA-A challenges this status, particularly because pickleball is not yet recognized as an Olympic sport. The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) would designate an official NGB if pickleball became Olympic-recognized, providing funding and legislative support while establishing a monopoly over the sport's management.

Both UPA-A and USAP aim to become the definitive authority, offering various solutions and improvements. However, this rivalry might lead to issues such as differing rating systems, paddle approval lists, and rule sets, which could create chaos and hinder the sport's unified development. 

Maher elaborates, "A sport is not going to make it into the Olympics when you have so much political tension within the sport around who is the governing body internationally."

“The reality of it is that we're so early in the sport’s growth - not early in the sport, it's been around for a while - but so early on in this massive boom. We're not done seeing people coming in and trying to kind of take hold of the space. And it's just going to take a while for that all to tease out.”

DUPR, while not directly involved in federation politics, plays a pivotal role in standardizing player ratings globally, a critical aspect for Olympic consideration. Maher elucidates, "What DUPR is creating is a pathway from the amateur side all the way up to the pro side, which leads into the Olympic side." 

“If a country is sending their delegation of users to the Olympics, how do they know who those people are? Those players play in local events, earn their way to regional or national events, and that is all facilitated by the programming around a rating. With DUPR being aligned with the PPA and MLP, the two largest pro organizations in the sport. That's just where the rating side of the sport is going. That is a big piece of countries around the world, all filtering into these pathways for the sport to be entered in the Olympics as well.”

Financial considerations also loom large in pickleball's quest for Olympic recognition. Maher draws parallels with squash, another sport that faced a prolonged journey to Olympic inclusion. He notes, "It wasn't until the billionaires got involved that squash made its way." 

Another significant challenge highlighted by Maher is the standardization of equipment regulations, particularly paddle standards. As paddle technology advances, ensuring uniform standards becomes imperative to maintain fairness and integrity in the sport. 

“We need to standardize internationally. If we don't have someone who's governing standards internationally, that could be an issue," Maher says.

Despite the obstacles, Maher remains cautiously optimistic about pickleball's Olympic prospects. He suggests a realistic timeline, indicating that Olympic inclusion might not occur before 2036 but says, "There's no doubt in my mind that it will be someday."

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July 8, 2024

A Step-By-Step Guide for Staying Hydrated & Preventing Pickleball Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps can ruin your pickleball game. They strike without warning, leaving you sidelined and frustrated. But there's good news: you can prevent them with the right approach.

Pickleball players face unique challenges inthe summer heat. Long matches, intense rallies, and scorching temperatures create a perfect storm for dehydration and cramping. We'll explore why this happens and how to stop it.

By the end, you'll have a clear plan to stay hydrated and cramp-free. Let's dive in and keep you on the court all summer long.

Understanding the Cramp Culprits

Many players instinctively blame dehydration for their muscle cramps, but the reality is more nuanced. While hydration certainly plays a crucial role, muscle fatigue is an equally important factor often overlooked. 

Dehydration can indeed trigger cramps, but simply drinking water isn't always the solution. 

Electrolyte imbalance can cause cramping even if you're well-hydrated, which is why smart replenishment strategies are essential. Moreover, as muscles fatigue during intense play, the nerve signals controlling contractions can become disrupted, leading to involuntary spasms.

Research has shown that cramp-prone athletes tend to lose more sodium through sweat, making thoughtful hydration particularly crucial for pickleball players battling the summer heat. Studies have also demonstrated that electrolyte-rich sports drinks fortified with carbohydrates are significantly more effective than water alone in delaying the onset of cramps. 

By addressing both hydration and muscle fatigue, you'll dramatically reduce your risk of cramps. Let's dive into practical steps to keep you playing at your best.

Hydration: More Than Just Water

While chugging plain water before a match might seem like a smart move, it can sometimes backfire. Excessive water intake without proper electrolyte balance can actually dilute your body's mineral concentrations, potentially increasing your cramp risk.

Instead, focus on a more strategic approach:

  • Consume a sports drink containing electrolytes 2-4 hours before play to prime your system.
  • During activity, aim to replace 16-20 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost through sweat.
  • Consider using a hydration tracking app or smart water bottle to ensure you're hitting your targets.

Grab the Ultimate Pickleball Hydration guide for more information on pre-, during, and post-match hydration. It includes a special formula for determining exactly how much fluid you need to consume every 15-20 minutes to stay in peak form on the court.

[I WANT THE HYDRATION GUIDE]

Proper hydration not only prevents cramps but also enhances overall performance and speeds up recovery between games. By fine-tuning your hydration strategy, you'll gain a significant advantage on the court. 

However, hydration is just one piece of the puzzle – let's explore another crucial factor in cramp prevention.

Fueling for Success

The role of nutrition in preventing muscle cramps is often underestimated, but it's a critical component, especially during grueling tournament play. Proper fueling keeps your muscles energized and less prone to fatigue-induced cramping.

To optimize your nutritional strategy:

  • Consume a balanced meal rich in complex carbohydrates 3-4 hours before play to build up your energy reserves.
  • During tournaments, snack on easily digestible carbs every 60-90 minutes to maintain steady energy levels.
  • Consider using carb-electrolyte gels between games for a quick boost when time is limited.

These tactics help keep your glycogen stores topped up, delaying the onset of muscle fatigue that can lead to cramping. While pickleball may not be as intense as ultra-endurance sports, the principle of consistent fueling still applies. Research on team sport athletes suggests consuming 30 - 60g of carbs per hour during prolonged activity – adapt this to your specific needs and playing duration. 

By fueling smartly, you're helping your muscles function optimally and resist fatigue. This translates directly to fewer cramps and improved performance, especially in those crucial late-game moments. But there's one more vital element we need to address to complete your cramp-prevention arsenal.

Training for Resilience

Your overall fitness level plays a significant role in how susceptible you are to cramping. The less conditioned you are, the faster fatigue sets in, increasing your risk of muscle spasms. This is especially true when you push beyond your usual intensity or duration of play.

To build cramp-resistant muscles:

  • Gradually increase your pickleball training volume and intensity over time to improve your stamina.
  • Incorporate resistance training into your overall fitness routine to improve strength, power, and stamina on the court.
  • Don't neglect overall cardiovascular fitness – it's the foundation of your on-court endurance.

A well-rounded training program complements your hydration and nutrition efforts, creating a powerful trifecta of cramp prevention. Together, these strategies form a comprehensive approach to keeping you on the court and off the sidelines.

The Takeaway

Preventing muscle cramps requires a holistic approach that addresses hydration, nutrition, and fitness. By implementing the strategies we've discussed, you'll significantly reduce your risk of cramping and elevate your game, even in the most challenging summer conditions.

Authors

Pratik Patel

Erik Korem, PhD

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July 5, 2024

Paths to Reliability: How to Achieve a 60% Reliability Score…and Progress to 100%

The DUPR Reliability Score gives players more insight into how close they are to achieving a reliable rating. If your Reliability Score is above 60%, your rating is reliable, and you can be confident that you’ll have a competitive experience playing with others at a similar level. If you’re under 60%, whether that’s because you’re a new player, or you haven’t played in a while, it means you have more playing to do! But don’t worry, there are a variety of ways to reach a 60% Reliability Score, and, for overachievers, progress from 60% to 100%. 

Here are some paths you can take to get a good reliability score. Each match represents one game. Matches with more games will count more and progress you to reliability faster because there will be more information input into the rating system. 

Remember, the biggest takeaways are playing frequently (and inputting your results!) and playing with a variety of players. 

Reliability Progression Paths 

Just starting out or have less than 10 games under your belt? Here’s how to get to a reliable rating (60% Reliability Score). 

These paths assume the following: 

  • Opposing player or team ratings are all within 0.5 of your player or team rating. 
  • Teammates and Opponents are reliable (ie have a 60% Reliability Score).
  • Matches are with 2 or more unique partners (Doubles only) and against 6 or more unique teams.
  • Matches are each one game.

Note - There are many ways to achieve a Reliability Score of 60% or higher. The biggest takeaway is more is better! Play more games, play more with similarly rated players, play more with players who are more reliable than you and play with a wide variety of players. Those are the key factors in improving your Reliability Score. 

Already have a reliable rating? Here’s how to achieve a 100% Reliability Score

These pathways assume:

  • Players and opposing teams are all a similar level (ie within a 0.5 range)
  • Teammates and Opponents have a 60% Reliability Score (or higher) 
  • Doubles matches are with 4 or more unique partners 
  • All matches are against 12 or more unique teams 
  • Matches are each 1 game 

Note - The biggest takeaway is more is better! Play more games, play more with similarly rated players, play more with players who are more reliable than you and play with a wide variety of players. Again, these are the key factors in increasing your Reliability Score. 

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