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)

Pickleball – You Make the Call – 20161101 – The Answer

The Question:

A ball is hit onto your side of the court into the non-volley zone. It is a short shot so your partner goes to get it on a bounce and successfully returns the ball to the opponent’s side of the court.

In the act of hitting the ball back to your opponents, however, your partner’s foot goes under the net and touches the opposing team’s side of the court. The foot does not touch the net.

Is this a legal return or is it a fault? You make the call?

 

The Answer:

According to Mark Renneson of Third Shot Pickleball and Rule 12.J.2, which states:…The player is also allowed to go around the net post and cross the imaginary extension of the net so long as he or she does not touch the opponent’s court.

The shot above, therefore, is a fault!

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 – 20161101 – Q & A

The Question:

A ball is hit onto your side of the court into the non-volley zone. It is a short shot so your partner goes to get it on a bounce and successfully returns the ball to the opponent’s side of the court.

In the act of hitting the ball back to your opponents, however, your partner’s foot goes under the net and touches the opposing team’s side of the court. The foot does not, however, touch the net.

Is this a legal return or is it a fault? You make the call?

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 (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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

Pickleball Explosion at Dynamite Park, Phoenix

Dynamite Park Sign


Starts Wednesday, March 30th @ 7:30AM

Read further for more details!


As the sign says, welcome to Dynamite Park. As pickleball Ambassador in North Phoenix, I recently sent an email to the Phoenix-area pickleball players explaining that after March 25, 2016, pickleball will be allowed to be played on the two tennis courts at Dynamite Park.

For those who might want more information and location, you can read about the initial startup phase here:

Dynamite Park ( 4580 E Dynamite Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85331 ) is a very nice suburban park in a peaceful and natural setting.

There are two water fountains nearby. This fountain is only a short distance from the parking lot.

Dynamite Park Sign

The tennis courts (and soon-to-be pickleball courts) are a short walk down the main path, directly west of the playground area. In the picture below, you can see them behind the shaded benches.

Dynamite Park Sign

Here is a close up of the two benches under the shade structure.

Dynamite Park Sign

Just outside the tennis court gate, on the north side, is a large Ocotillo with a nice display of flowers on the day the picture was taken.

Dynamite Park Sign

As you can see the park has a number of exercise areas. There is a large field to the north of the tennis courts with a walking/running path. People and people with dogs can be seen throughout the day.

Dynamite Park Sign

Dynamite Park Sign

A nice children’s play area (just northeast of the tennis courts) has appropriate shade and the second water fountain nearby.

Dynamite Park Sign

Here are the tennis courts as I found them before we began the task of placing chalk lines for pickleball. We decided to use the east tennis court to outline the two pickleball courts; one on either side of the net so the net will serve as a backstop for each court.

Dynamite Park Sign

Somewhat surprisingly, I didn’t receive too friendly a reception from the two people who were having a tennis session on the other court. I heard some rumblings and bluster, but generally speaking, tennis players have been open to expanding pickleball opportunities in the Valley.

I was glad to learn that the courts have a practice wall with a tennis net line. Pickleballers will need to aim for the bottom of the line or bring some easy-to-remove painters tape to mark a practice line. Remember to remove the tape when leaving.

Dynamite Park Sign

My colleague and Phoenix Pickleball Ambassador, Mary Travis, arrived and taught me how to mark the courts using several tape measures, blue chalk, a chalk line and a straight edge. Thank you Mary! It was very time-consuming and hopefully it won’t rain for a long time so the lines will remain. Even after some of our rains, we are hopeful that the faint lines will be visible to guide the next outlining when necessary.

Dynamite Park Sign

Can you see those skinny, faint blue lines on the tennis court? That means PICKLEBALL!

Here is a picture of me after we spent more than two hours putting lines down so we can have access to two pickleball courts once we set up the nets. (The nets were set up just for the photo opportunity.)

Dynamite Park Sign

I am hoping to see some of my fellow Phoenix pickleball players at the park during structured playing times. You can read about our initial one-month trial schedule here:

NOTE: I want to thank the USAPA for their generous grant which went a long way to help us purchase the two pickleball nets. For those who may not know, the USAPA has established the Pickleball Ambassador program and fosters outreach activities like those going on in the Phoenix-area now. Please consider joining the USAPA and supporting them so they can help us to grow the sport we enjoy so much.

I also want to extend a sincere thank you to Pickle-Ball, Inc. for their kind donation of pickleball paddles and a supply of pickleballs which will help us get the program started. I think it is important to support those companies that support us.

I hope to see you on the courts!

Jeff Ross

USAPA Logo

Pickleball Magazine to be included* w/USAPA Membership

Interesting developments are underfoot in the pickleball world. The USAPA is working hard to promote the sport we enjoy and to provide even better value for USAPA members.

It has recently come to my attention that a new pickleball magazine is going to be published by Dollard Publishing, Canonsburg, PA (6 times per year). The plan is for all USAPA members to receive an *emailed PDF (digital) copy of the magazine as part of their membership dues.

This is yet another reason to become a USAPA member ASAP. The first issue is slated for January.

If you would like the print copy there are a couple of ways to order:

1. Call 724-942-0940 and give mailing address, credit card information, etc. As a USAPA member, your PRINT subscription will cost you $12.00/year BUT YOU MUST GIVE YOUR USAPA MEMBERSHIP NUMBER. Otherwise, you will be charged $20.00 per year.

2. Mail a check payable to Dollard Publishing, 11 Mayview Road, McMurray, PA 15317. Be sure to give mailing address for delivery AND INCLUDE YOUR USAPA MEMBER NUMBER.

Wouldn’t a USAPA membership, which carries the digital subscription and an official USAPA T-Shirt, be a good holiday gift?

See USAPA membership details here:
http://www.usapa.org/usapa-membership/

Pickleball – Apparently Balls Are a Juggling Act

I have worked with quite a few beginning pickleball players and they usually find it interesting that there are different indoor pickleballs and outdoor pickleballs. Generally speaking, indoor pickleballs are made of a softer plastic and have somewhat larger holes. The design was developed to enhance play on gymnasium floors in an atmosphere basically free of nature’s elements.

An outdoor ball is made of somewhat harder plastic to work well on cement/concrete or composite outdoor courts. They have smaller holes which will not catch as much wind and ostensibly provide a better game in the elements because of those modifications.

According to the USAPA, any approved ball can be used on any surface. Players, however, do prefer certain balls over others.

I play in one location that has a very light wooden floor and the light greenish-yellow balls are hard for me to follow. While the white balls are a bit better on that court, they too get lost in the reflection of the lights from time-to-time.

Pickleball has grown so much in recent years that enterprises are now creating new styles and colors of pickleballs. Of course these need to be “approved” by the IFPA/USAPA for sanctioned play.

The USAPA defers to the IFP (International Federation of Pickleball) regarding balls that qualify and this is what the IFP has to say about Pickleballs:

“All balls are approved in any color at the discretion of the tournament director. The large-hole balls are customarily used for indoor play and the small-hole balls are customarily used for outdoor play. However, all balls are acceptable for indoor or outdoor play.”

Here are the current Pickleball options taken from the IFP website:

While those pictured and listed above seem to offer many options, there are other contenders waiting in the wings…

The three pictures (above) of colorful JUGS balls are courtesy of Pickleball Central

There are a lot of balls in the air here and who knows where they will land? Of course we await their approval so we can play with those colors and materials we feel will deliver the best game under the conditions we wish to compete.

Pickleball Paddle Approval Process

Jennifer Lucore is a Pickleball champion and in a recent post on her blog, she explains the process paddles must go through to be sanctioned by the USAPA. There are a few points I think you might find interesting.

  • Not only do paddles need to pass inspection by USAPA officials, but they also go through third party testing.
  • Once a paddle is approved, it is listed on the USAPA website.
  • The sport is really maturing because PB is approaching a milestone of 50 paddle manufacturers.

To read the entire story and see some photos, visit Jennifer Lucore’s website

Pickleballers – Why you should join the USAPA

There are certain entities that people tend to love or hate with little middle ground. I think Pickleball may be one of those things. Whenever I speak to people about the sport for which I have become an enthusiastic supporter, they are either motivated to try it or pooh, pooh the idea. Once I overheard a passerby say to another: “It’s tennis for old people.” It may be true that many older people play Pickleball, but for those who make such comments, the real beauty of the sport has eluded them. Pickleball is a sport that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and all abilities as long as they are relatively evenly matched.

For those who have played tennis, racquetball or any other “paddle/racket” sport, I would encourage you to get involved with Pickleball players on your ability level to see how challenging the sport is physically. And of course don’t get me started about the scoring ; ) (wink)!

Oh, one other thing. Those with modest infirmities such as bad knees, CAN play this sport. Many of my Pickleball cohorts have had knee replacements, hip replacements, etc. and now enjoy a sport that gets them moving and challenges them.

This brings me to my next point. After playing Pickleball for a little less than a year, I decided to become a member of the USA Pickleball Association and I would like to encourage all players to join the USAPA because it is the main organization working to provide more courts and gain more acceptance for a sport that is quickly growing in popularity. They have training programs, marketing plans and assistance in a variety of areas for those who want to become Pickleball players and advocates.

Here are the benefits of becoming a member of the USAPA:

  • USAPA T-Shirt (New Members & Multi-Year Renewals see pictures below for sample)
  • Official Membership Card
  • Secondary Medical Insurance in Sanctioned Events
  • ‘Partner Search’ on USAPA Website
  • Points for USAPA Sanctioned Tournaments
  • Discount on USAPA Net System
  • Discounts on USAPA Embroidered Apparel
  • USAPA Monthly Newsletter
  • Official IFP Rulebook (Multi-Year Renewals)
  • Access to Discount Network
  • USAPA Window Decal
  • Membership ‘Look-Up’ on USAPA Website

USAPA Pickleball T-Shirt Logo

USAPA Pickleball T-Shirt Logo

You can begin the process of joining here: http://www.usapa.org/usapa-membership/

If you want to learn more about the USAPA before joining, visit the USAPA’s website and “click” on the various videos, links and tabs on the top of the page.

It just makes sense to support an organization that is supporting our sport! I hope you consider joining and becoming part of the movement. If you are already a member, I am glad to become your partner in promoting Pickleball. In any event, I think you will enjoy Pickleball if you haven’t started playing already. If you have any questions about Pickleball, please feel free to contact me via this website or by getting my email address from the last paragraph in the About section of this website (scroll down).