5 min read
The pickleball surge is here to stay, and Universal Tennis is taking notice. The demand for better-organized play is so high that starting in early 2023, Universal Tennis will add pickleball to its existing event management software and introduce a new pickleball rating.
Pickleball Takes World by Storm
A week barely goes by without a new announcement from the pickleball world about celebrity athletes buying professional teams or investors looking to impact the game. The recreational player may be benefiting the most thanks to the growth in players, events, and courts.
Along with tennis, pickleball has been one of the fastest-growing sports in the US. Pickleball participation grew to 4.8 million players in 2021, a 14.8% increase from 2020 (tennis saw a growth of 4.5% from 2020 to 2021, reaching 22.6 million players). Pickleball is played on a 20’ x 44’ court and is easy to learn (though difficult to master). Players of all ages are embracing the social, inclusive game that is a blend of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton.
Universal Tennis Provides Solutions
Soon, Universal Tennis is going to elevate the user experience for everyone (read the press release here). The goal is what every racquet sports player wants to hear: to offer solutions for players in all stages of life to have higher quality play and unlock a more fun, accessible, and flexible experience on the court.
Starting in 2023, players and providers will have one home for all their pickleball and tennis needs, including tournaments, matchplay, draws, results, schedules, statistics, player profiles, ratings, and more.
On any court, players want to enjoy their sessions, improve their skills, track their progress, and connect with players in their communities. Universal Tennis has already proven those outcomes in tennis.
Over the past few years, Universal Tennis has launched a fully featured app and initiatives to engage every level of player in all corners of the globe. Some offerings include the Junior National Pathway, Junior Circuits, College Camps, College Circuits, Flex Leagues, and the UTR Pro Tennis Tour. The extension of Universal Tennis tools and technology to a second racquet sport will further maximize the potential of the Universal Tennis application and ratings expertise while satisfying the strong demand from providers and players.
Providers Eager to Organize Pickleball
Case in point, The Tennis and Pickleball Club at Newport Beach has hosted countless Universal Tennis events, from junior matchplay to the UTR Pro Tennis Tour. Newport Beach club owner Sean Bollettieri Abdali first put down permanent pickleball courts in 2018.
The club now has 28 pickleball courts. Bollettieri Abdali will soon host pickleball events, manage membership, and make more players happier on the same platform he’s already using for tennis.
The technology, rating, and tools Universal Tennis offers are unparalleled and have changed the game of tennis for both players and providers,” Bollettieri said. “Expanding to pickleball maximizes the innovative solutions Universal Tennis offers by reaching more players, enabling more play, and equipping providers with the ability to use the proven software for another racquet sport."
Event providers like Bollettieri are looking to host pickleball events on the same platform they already know to be the best in the world. This new chapter will allow Universal Tennis providers (10,000+ communities) to access the new pickleball rating and event management software at no additional cost.
For more information about UTR PTT and to see all of the results, click here.