Pickleball News – 20220801– Archived Version

Latest N. Phoenix Pickleball News – November 2, 20222

Archived Version of a Previous Newsletter


This is an archived version of a previously issued pickleball newsletter. The most current N. Phoenix Newsletter is available by clicking HERE!


Latest N. Phoenix Pickleball News – November 2, 20222

Hello N. Phoenix Pickleball Players and Friends:

*****Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships *****

One of the major national pickleball tournaments is coming to a court or screen near you!

The Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships will feature Live @ Nationals with expansive coverage on ESPN+, For The Fans, Roku, Selkirk TV and YouTube, and over 80 total hours of live action from 3 courts. The program will provide coverage from November 8 – 13 (originally they had the 5th as the start date which apparently was an error!- see their graphic above!!) on the respective platforms and accessible from the official event website.

********** Celbrities are buying Pickleball Teams **********

Read the story about LeBron James HERE

and Tom Brady HERE

Reset the Point to
********** Get out of a Jam **********


USA Pickleball
********** Rule Changes **********

DID YOU KNOW that the USA Pickleball website maintains a list of proposed rule changes and those that have been passed and those that failed to be accepted?

One rule change (ID #521) that seems likely to go into effect in 2023 is the “Clothing as a distraction” rule. For years I argued that in tournament play, players should not be able to wear clothing that is the same (or very similar) color to that of the ball being used. There are times, depending upon the server’s motion, that a ball matching a garment color would be difficult to pick up immediately upon serve.

If you want to see the proposed rules, the USAP Board Voting Status and the USAP Rules Committee Voting Status click THIS LINK: [ See Hints Below ]


1 – There are multiple pages of proposed changes. Look at the upper, right-hand side above the headings and you will see numbers 1 through 6. Click on 6 to see most of the current rules that have passed.

2 – Reading the “View Details” notes often clarifies the reasons for and the anticipated results of the rule change.

To read about the rule change process or suggest one of your own, visit THIS WEB PAGE!

For Advanced Players
********** Around the Post Shots & Strategies **********

1 – ATPs – Around The Post shots – A pickleball shot can go around the side of the net without going directly over the net and still be a valid shot!
2 – Court Coverage

NOTE – There are many courts where there is not enough room around the courts to attempt ATPs so be very careful and AVOID RUNNING ONTO ADJACENT COURTS WHEN PLAY IS IN SESSION!

Doubles Strategy
********** Getting to the Net **********

While the video below is a demonstration of “higher level play,” there are good, basic strategies discussed by Jordan Briones throughout (don’t rush the net willy-nilly, court coverage, when to move back as a defensive strategy, and more).

********** Pickleball Problems Podcast **********

For those who cannot get enough pickleball or who want something of interest to listen to in the car while driving, you may want to drop by Mark Renneson’s Pickleball Problems website to check out his podcasts.


********** That’s All for Now **********


Stay Well and Play Safely!


Jeff Ross
N. Phoenix Pickleball Enthusiast

Pickleball: Don’t Win the Point, Just Don’t Lose the Point!

“If you’re an amateur your focus should be on avoiding stupidity, not seeking brilliance.” – Charlie Munger

While Pickleball is NOT Tennis, there may be some lessons we can draw from Tennis and apply them to pickleball.

The quotes below discuss elements from the book Extraordinary Tennis for the Ordinary Tennis Player by Simon Ramo, but are not necessarily directly from the book. The quotes were copied from the article linked below.

It has been my experience that the word pickleball can just as likely be replaced with pickleball!

“Although players in both games [ amateur and professional tennis ] use the same equipment, dress, rules and scoring, and conform to the same etiquette and customs, the basic natures of their two games are almost entirely different. After extensive scientific and statistical analysis, Dr. Ramo summed it up this way: Professionals win points, amateurs lose points. Professional tennis players stroke the ball with strong, well aimed shots, through long and often exciting rallies, until one player is able to drive the ball just beyond the reach of his opponent. Errors are seldom made by these splendid players.”**

“The amateur duffer seldom beats his opponent, but he beats himself all the time. The victor in this game of tennis gets a higher score than the opponent, but he gets that higher score because his opponent is losing even more points.”**

“In expert tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are lost. In other words, professional tennis is a Winner’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the winner – and amateur tennis is a Loser’s Game – the final outcome is determined by the activities of the loser.”**

**Avoiding Stupidity is easier than Seeking Brilliance

In Summary

According to the above, amateur pickleballers (and of course I include myself in that group) win their games not necessarily because they make the best shots and have the best skills. They simply make less errors than their opponents. If this is not new and it is “good enough” for you, no need to read further.

For some, this might be a different way of looking at things and an inspiration to “win” the points rather than have your opponent lose them.

When I introduce people to pickleball, I often encourage them to avoid trying for the “perfect” shots within inches of the lines or those that just clear the net. Instead, I advise them to make solid shots and force the opponent to return the ball.

There will be times when their amateur opponent will miss a simple overhead, easy dink or block-volley simply because they take their eye of the ball.

Remember, we aren’t relegated to this scenario for ever. As we gain experience and improve our skills, we can seek levels of pickleball brilliance!


How to Improve so You Can Avoid “Pickleball Stupidity”

Joe Baker has provided excellent videos for aspiring pickleballers. Watching or re-watching them will help avoid many pickleball errors.


Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips


Doubles Pickleball Strategy 102 – Smart Pickleball Vol. 2, Power


Doubles Pickleball Strategy 103: Don’t Hit Out Balls, Six Easy Rules


We can start with the videos above and hopefully play a “smarter” amateur’s game!



More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

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



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com

Pickleball – Court Coverage Responsibilities Video

I am sure this has happened to every pickleball player and perhaps more often than one would really like to admit. A ball is returned to your side of the court near both you and your partner and neither of you swing at the ball as it goes by without a return attempt. Each of you probably thought the other person was going to get the ball.

Ideally, coverage of lobs, balls down the middle, etc. should be discussed prior to each game. Unfortunately this rarely takes place during casual or clubhouse play.

In the video below, Helle Sparre uses a storyboard to explain her theory of which doubles partner should cover particular areas of their court during certain aspects of play. This is not a video with footage of people playing pickleball and it may not be “exciting” per se, however, the information can be very important. If you have a steady doubles partner or play in tournaments, this information may be essential.

Helle Sparre refers to the roles of the “workhorse” and the “terminator” and which person should accept each role. The workhorse covers 75% of the court while the terminator only has to worry about 25% of the court.


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)


All content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross

Pickleball – Dinking: An Essential Part of the Soft Game

For those who want to move their game forward, there is probably no better skill set than learning to play the “soft game” and, like it or not, dinking is a key component!

Joe Baker is back with another excellent video tutorial, Doubles Pickleball Strategy 201 – Dinking Strategy, about this essential skill. You can view it at the bottom of this post.

Here are some notes and things to watch:

Advanced Dinking

  • Main Objective – Apply the maximum stress to your opponent’s team by making them “reach, move or scramble.”
  • Shot Placements: Sideline, Middle or Cross Court
  • Three main target areas:
  • Sideline
  • Middle
  • Cross Court (preferred especially if you can get a great, sharp angled shot and force and error)
  • Do NOT hit to the near opponent if you get drawn out of position near your sideline; especially to their forehand!
  • Do NOT hit to the same sideline twice in a row.

Defending the Dink

  • Link to your partner. i.e. move as a unit – together
  • Getting out of “trouble” involves hitting cross court and into the kitchen<
  • Use a surprise lob when you can catch your opponents off-guard
  • Try to disguise your shots:
  • Look one way and hitting the other
  • Not signaling your intention until the last possible minute
  • Wrong Foot your opponent, i.e. hitting in a direction from which your opponent was just leaving

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 201 – Dinking Strategy

This video is worth studying and watching a couple of times. There is no substitute for practice. Playing games, the experts repeatedly say, will not help improve your game as much as targeted practice.

If you haven’t seen Joe Bakers other pickleball videos, run, do not walk,to your nearest computer and view these:

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 102 – Smart Pickleball Vol. 2, Power

Pickleball Strategy – 10 Tips to Help Win the Point

Every sport has two major components. First there are the physical skills, i.e. how to hit a ball, kick a ball, etc. Players need to master the different strokes, kicks or hits necessary to be successful on this level.

The second component is strategy. Beginners are often so focused on the physical aspect that they overlook the mental and strategic guidelines. The video below provides a brief outline of the types of shots and player positions necessary under certain conditions to enable a team to have the best opportunity to win a pickleball game..

I have outlined which skills are presented in which order and what the general time stamps are for each. Move the time-slider to get to any of the skills should you want to skip around or repeat a segment. The last ten minutes or so present a quiz for the viewer to test their understanding of pickleball strategies presented.

If you have some helpful hints, enter them in the comment section below.

Doubles Pickleball Strategy 101-How to Play Smart Pickleball, Ten Tips

00 – 1:10 – Overall Strategy and Goal – Getting your team to the net as quickly as possible.

Tip #1
1:11 – 2:26 – Shot #1: The Serve

Play it safe and do not miss!

Tip #2
2:27 – 3:55 – The Return of Serve

Aim for a specific spot in the left-hand court. The video explains why this is a good strategy!

Tip #3
3:56 – 6:02 – Return the Serve and Charge

The team receiving the serve SHOULD establish control of the net upon hitting the return of serve.

Tip #4
6:03- 8:42 – Partner positions

Play in tandem and not in a “this is my side, that is your side” manner. Another important note is to communicate UNLESS the shot is obvious and even then it may be better to call every shot; “you”, “me”, “no”, etc.

Tip # 5
8:43 – 11:26 – Third Shot Drop Shot

An alternate strategy is also provided for those who cannot make a third shot drop shot.

Tip # 6
11:27 – 12:37 – 4th Shot should keep opponents as deep as possible

Tip # 7
12:38 – 14:06 – Dinking when everyone is at the net


14:07 – 15:47 – Review of the first five shots of a Pickleball game

Tip # 8
15:48 – 16:34 – Net play – When to hit softly and when to hit hard

Tip # 9
16:35 -18:11 – Keep opponents back in the court if you can

Tip # 10
18:12 – 19:34 – Avoid low percentage shots

Down the alley from the back of the court
Lobbing from the back of the court

19:35 – End – PB Quiz with diagrams for viewers to test their knowledge of PB strategy.

Pickleball Stacking: Winning Strategy or Mass Confusion?

I wrote about Pickleball stacking here, but the Pickleball Guru has much more to say about it on his website. Some players might find this advantageous while others will certainly view it skeptically. The fact that the 2014 Tournament Rules were revised to accommodate those who want to use this strategy might give some indication that it is not for everyone.

NOTE: In explaining the advantages and disadvantages of stacking, the article below uses no less than a dozen diagrams; get the idea?!

Find out in more detail exactly what it is and whether or not this might be something that would help your doubles play. Click the link below to learn more:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Stacking (a.k.a. That Weird Switch-a-Roo Thing Some Teams Do…)