2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Televised

According to word from Pickleballtournaments.com, the 2017 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships held in Naples, FL will be broadcast on television as per the following…

On CBS Sports Channel (221 Direct TV)
May 19 8pm ET, 5/26 8pm ET (2 shows)
Repeat 5/26 7pm ET, 5/26 11pm ET

Check your local listings for CPS Sports

For those who want a “teaser,” here are a couple of videos including some of the venues and highlights from the tournament.



Highlights from the 2017 US Open Pickleball Championships

Look for an amazing between the legs shot somewhere between 1:06 – 1:07
[ Don’t try this at home! ]

2017 US Open Pickleball Championships Open Air Arena



It is gratifying to see our sport portrayed in such a professional manner.

Pickleballs: Condition Before Play

Onix Pure 2 Pickleball Package

Did you know that Pickleballs by various manufacturers MUST meet specific standards in order to be approved/sanctioned by the USAPA?

Here are some of the requirements for approved pickleballs:**

Size. The ball shall be 2.874 inches (73mm) to 2.972 inches (75.5mm) in diameter. The maximum out-of-round diameter variance shall not be greater than +/-0.020 inch (0.50mm). (revised Nov. 1, 2015)

Weight. The ball shall weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22 and 26.5 grams). (revised Nov. 1, 2015)

Bounce. The ball shall have a bounce of 30 to 34 inches (76.2 to 86.4 cm) when dropped from a height of 78 inches to the top of the ball onto a granite surface plate that is a minimum of 12” x 12” x 4”. The test is to be performed at an ambient temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C). (revised Nov. 1, 2015)

Hardness. The ball shall have a hardness of 40 to 50 on a Durometer D scale at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees F (24 to 27 degrees C). (revised Nov. 1, 2015)

Design. The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes, with spacing of holes and overall design of the ball conforming to straight flight characteristics. The ball must have a manufacturer’s or supplier’s name or logo printed or embossed on it. (revised Nov. 1, 2015)

** International Federation of Pickleball (USAPA) Official Tournament Rulebook, Section 2D Ball Specifications – pp. 5-6

WOW! Aren’t those very specific and precise? Naturally there is a good reason for all of these regulations. The governing bodies want to make the sport as consistent as possible. There has recently been a series of ball approvals and when playing indoors in the Phoenix, AZ area, I notice that many of the players now prefer the Orange, Onix Pure 2 ball because it is easy to see in many of the gymnasiums which have uneven lighting conditions.

I am not sure all of those who purchase the balls have noticed the recommended conditioning on the side of the package. It is my guess that the manufacturer is recommending the procedure so the ball will behave in a manner consistent with the rules and regulations and provide uniform play. Without the conditioning noted above, the ball may bounce too high until it is used for several games, etc.

If you use the new Onix Pure 2 balls, it might be advisable to read the side of the packaging to make sure you are playing under optimal conditions. Here is what it says [Yellow outline supplied by me – not on the package ]:

Onix Pure 2 Conditioning Instructions

NOTE: You might want to check with other manufacturers if you use different pickleballs and this is important to you.!

DISCLAIMER: If you are a club player, and this doesn’t make a difference to you, then have fun and play on!

JBRish.com originally published this post

To See additional Pickleball Articles and Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Jeff Shank – Poaching, Drop Shot and Position Adjustments

** NOTE ** – This is the last of our Series Of Pickleball Tips from Jeff Shank. I want to thank Jeff for taking the time in preparing this video and for allowing me to share it in segmented form. I hope all of the pickleballers who visit JBRish.com have learned as much from Jeff’s tips as I have.

Things to watch for in this video (below)

  • What characteristics would make a ball a good candidate for a touch drop shot?
  • Why would you want to hit a serve return to the better poacher?
  • What responsibilities do partners have once a ball is “called” by one of the players?
  • If players are in a position where one is back and one is closer to the net (i.e. the non-volley zone), what protocol should be followed, according to Jeff Shank, with a ball hit down the middle?
  • Why is it necessary to get an overhead deep rather than shallow? (In the demo, the last shot is really the deepest and probably represents the “best” example).
  • When your opponents are in a position where one is back and one is deep, what is the best procedure to follow when returning a shot?
  • How do you respond if your team has “a gap” that creates a tempting target?
  • What adjustments does Jeff recommend for teams composed of right-handed and left-handed players who don’t play together often?

** NOTE ** – Everyone will recognize that there are two parts to developing new skills. The first is knowing what to do, but the second, and just as important, is being able to do it. I have read a great deal about pickleball over the last two and a half years and I have spoken to excellent players and the one thing they all have in common is to remark that to really improve, a player needs deliberate practice not just just playing. AND…if you can have expert guidance during the practice.

NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

 

To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Pickleball – Lose Time, Lose the Point!

Sarah Ansboury has won many pickleball championships. She is a coach and player who shares her hard-earned knowledge of pickleball via her blog. You can read more about her HERE.

Sarah recently wrote an article, The Most Common and Most Deadly Pickleball Mistake , in which she explains how in our fast sport of pickleball seconds and fractions of seconds can make a difference.

As she explains, one way we lose time is by not returning to the ready position. This is often seen during a dinking sequence. Most players, and I am one of them, tend to keep their paddle down when dinking begins. What happens if the ball is returned as a forehand or an intended lob and our paddles are down? We now have to move the paddle farther to attempt a return.

You can read the entire article at the link above to see how Sarah Ansboury recommends you improve your game by eliminating this bad habit.

A companion article which continues the theme is Returning a Lob Serve…Take Time Away from Your Opponent.

 

More Pickleball Videos

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Pickleball – You Make the Call – Answer– Take It for a Spin!

Original Scenario Posted on 20170323

The Scenario:

Team X and Team Y are engaged in a back-and-forth rally when at one point, a player from team Y hits a ball with much backspin over the net onto team X’s side of the court. A player from team X runs toward the ball, which is close to the net, but cannot quite get to it before the ball bounces back over the net onto team Y’s side.

Recap of essential points: – A player from team Y originally hit the ball with backspin and it was not touched by any player on team X before the ball bounced back over the net.

According to the official pickleball rules, what happens in the above scenario? Is there a fault? Is it a do-over? Does any team score a point?

The Answer according to USAPA Rules:

Here is the ruling from the official rule book of the International Federation of Pickleball which is also the governing document for the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association).

“12.J.4. If a player hits the ball over the net into the opponent’s court, and then the ball bounces back over the net without being touched by the opponent, the striking player wins the rally.” p. 39

In the case scenario above, the last player to touch the ball with the paddle wins the point.

**********

 

To See Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

Pickleball – You Make the Call – 20170323 – Take It for a Spin!

Team X and Team Y are engaged in a back-and-forth rally when at one point, a player from team Y hits a ball with much backspin over the net onto team X’s side of the court. A player from team X runs toward the ball, which is close to the net, but cannot quite get to it before the ball bounces back over the net onto team Y’s side.

Recap of essential points: – A player from team Y originally hit the ball with backspin and it was not touched by any player on team X before the ball bounced back over the net.

According to the official pickleball rules, what happens in the above scenario? Is there a fault? Is it a do-over? Does any team score a point?

Leave your answer in the comment section! The answer will be presented next week (+/-) in a follow-up post.

 

To See Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here

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Pickleball – A Ball Well Served

A recurring discussion in several of my pickleball groups is wether the serve of certain players is legal or not legal. Of course nobody is lifting up shirts to see where waistlines, belly buttons, etc. are located and some players toss the ball and hit it so quickly that it is hard to see if the paddle is below the required mark prior to the ball being hit. Short of getting a high speed camera, most of us just watch and conjecture.

In a clubhouse, i.e. non-tournament, setting not too many of us worry about this particular aspect of the game. We generally have a play and let-play attitude. It is the same philosophy that we adopt when we don’t question a line call on the opponent’s side of the court. They are generally closer to the ball and players almost always let the call stand.

It is nice to know, however if a serve is legal or not. Especially if there is any expectation that one day you might want to head to tournament land!

Mark Renneson of Third Shot Sports has provided us with a video quiz to see if we can determine which serves are legal and which serves are not.

As a refresher, here are the rules according to the the International Federation of Pickleball (USAPA):

“Serve Motion. The serve must be made with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below waist level (waist is defined as the navel level). (revised Feb. 1, 2013)

4.A.1. Underhand Defined. The arm must be moving in an upward arc and the paddle head shall be below the wrist when it strikes the ball (paddle head is that part of the paddle excluding handle. The highest point of the paddle head cannot be above any part of line formed where the wrist joint bends). (revised Feb. 1, 2013)”

To me, this is the tricky part for some of the questionable serves: “The highest point of the paddle head cannot be above any part of line formed where the wrist joint bends)”

Here’s the video; see what you think:

Pickleball Video – Defend the Wide, Angled Dink

According to official pickleball rules, the middle of the pickleball net is lower than at the ends:

  • 2.C.4. Height. The net shall be suspended over the center of the court and shall be 36 inches (0.914 m) high at the sidelines and 34 inches (0.86 m) high at the center of the court.
  • Inernational Federation of Pickleball – Official Tournament Rulebook

    The lowered portion of the net often provides a “safety factor” during the dink game where players try to dink at an angle across the center section of the net. During an exchange, a ball may pull a player very wide of the court because of the angle of the shot and leave that player with either a weak return or a very difficult return.

    In the video below Mark Renneson, pickleball player and coach, demonstrates the technique of hitting the ball around the post.

    Is this something you think you would like to try?

     

    About Third Shot Sports

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    Click the link to see Third Shot Pickleball Past Newsletters.

    Click the link to visit the Third Shot Sports Pickleball website.

    Thanks to Mark and Third Shot Sports for allowing this to be presented on JBRish.com

     

    More Pickleball Videos

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

    More Pickleball Strategy & Tips from Jeff Shank – Video

    Things to watch for in this video

  • Why would Jeff want to “fake” poach a ball?
  • What is a good ready position? Where should the paddle be?
  • What paddle adjustment needs to be made when a ball is hit at your feet?
  • What adjustment to your stroke do you need to make if you are back-peddling?
  • Listen to Jeff’s explanation regarding how to defend a shot going around the post. (see the note below)
  • NOTE – Some players may not realize that a ball does not have to go over the net to be a valid shot in pickleball. If your team hits a ball wide so that it pulls the player to the side of the court and your opponent is able to hit the ball around the post (i.e. without it going over the net) and it lands on your team’s side of the court in bounds, it is a legitimate shot.

  • What does Jeff suggest is a key to getting a shot to go deeper, especially the serve?
  • Watch and listen to how Jeff suggests a player can avoid hitting the ball into the net on an easy, high ball when you are moving forward to the net.
  •  

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)

    Jeff Shank’s Pickleball Strategy – Opponent Weaknesses, Soft Game Necessities & More

    One of the topics in this segment of Jeff Shank’s tips is how to find the weaknesses in your opponent’s pickleball game and what to do once you have that information.

    NOTE – When playing in a non-competitive environment, if I find that our team is much better than the other team or only one person on the other team, I work with my partner to alter our strategy:

    1 – Don’t try to overwhelm a weaker player with the serve. Give them a chance to return the ball otherwise nobody is going to have any fun.

    2 – Don’t hit every shot to the weaker player. Include the stronger opponent as well. I often go out of my way to hit to a stronger player especially when I know they are better than me. I feel really good if I can score a point off of a very strong player. Keep pickleball a fun game by hitting to both opposing players. One way to do that is to always hit to the person on the other team serving the ball.

    3 – When I hit a ball to a weaker player, I will often hit a shot I think they can handle, i.e. less pace, etc. This gives me practice in learning to control my shot and it provides practice for the receiving player in returning the ball.

    CAUTION: I have found myself in the following situation, but I don’t worry about it:

    I have been on a team and we discovered that we are potentially much stronger than the opposing team. We may find ourselves ahead by five or six points so we begin to lighten up. At times, the opposing team is then able to muster enough good shots to make it a close game or even win. To me that’s OK. If it is a clubhouse game for fun, it doesn’t really matter.

    NOTE: This is my personal philosophy and I am not suggesting it has to be yours.

    4 – I sometimes use a game with less skilled players to practice shots I need to work on such as the third shot drop shot.

    What does Jeff Shank say about the soft game? I know many players who will try very hard to avoid dinking and playing the soft game. Why does Jeff suggest the soft game is so important to learn?

    What does he suggest when you mishit a ball?

    What does Jeff say is “more important than just about anything else?”

    Other topics include the importance of drills, how to anticipate your opponent’s shot so you can be ready and what to do when a high ball is headed to the non-volley zone on your side of the net.

    NOTE – To find out about this series of posts, i.e. 100 Pickleball Strategies by Jeff Shank, read the first post HERE

     

    To See additional Pickleball Videos Covering Many Aspects of the Game Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

    Check out Additional Pickleball Info and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)