With any sport, it is always an accomplishment to play at the highest level it has to offer. For many sports, the highest level is playing in professional national tournaments. Pickleball is similar, though instead of there just being one big tournament, there are several!
Today we will break down the qualifications to get to the top pickleball tournaments and go over which ones are considered the highest level of pickleball.
USA Pickleball National Championships
The USA Pickleball National Championship is the largest and most popular national tournament for pickleball.
Qualifications for USA Pickleball National Championships
There are two main ways to qualify for nationals. You either have to qualify for pre-registration, which is a “golden ticket” to the national pickleball tournament, or you have to qualify to enter the lottery, which is then drawn to select players to compete. To get pre-registration, you have to win a gold medal at the Diamond Amateur Championship.
Unlike the “golden ticket” of pre-registration, qualifying for the lottery is not a guarantee that you will make it to the national championship, just that you could get chosen. Therefore, the best thing to do is to qualify for pre-registration if you want to lock in a national tournament spot.
There are specific USAPA national tournament qualifying games that, if you win gold, will earn you pre-registration, and placing at any level will get you entry into the lottery.
There are about six tournaments each year that count as qualifying games. These qualifying games are all over the nation including in Atlanta, Newport Beach, Hilton Head, Phoenix, New York, and more.
2022/2023 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships
In 2022, the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships will be held from November 5th through November 13th. The tournament will consist of all the gold medal winners from qualifying games as well as the chosen lottery winners.
Though the 2023 dates have not been released, for both 2022 and 2023, the championships will be held at Indian Wells Tennis Garden outside of Palm Springs.
IFP Bainbridge Cup
The IFP Bainbridge cup is a high-level tournament that is organized by the International Federation of Pickleball. In this tournament, which is usually held in Europe but recently was just held in Daytona Beach, FL, American players of all skills levels compete against European players.
Named after the birthplace of pickleball, the Bainbridge Cup is an epic battle of champions each year.
Pro Pickleball Tours
Pro Pickleball Tours is newer on the pickleball tournament agenda but continues to grow. It is hosted by the Professional Pickleball Association and the Association of Pickleball Professionals.
They have set their tournaments apart by becoming the premier tournaments for professional pickleball players and offering large cash prizes to the winners.
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about national pickleball tournaments.
How do you qualify for national pickleball?
To qualify for the pickleball nationals, you must either enter into a lottery system and get chosen or earn pre-registration status by medaling at a qualifying regional pickleball tournament.
Who is the National pickleball Champion?
The 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball champions were gold medalists Riley Newman, Tyson McGuffin, Leigh Waters, Anna Leigh Waters, and Lindsey Newman.
What are the biggest pickleball tournaments?
The USA Pickleball National Championships and the US Open Pickleball Championships are the two biggest pickleball tournaments.
Play in National Pickleball Championships
There are pickleball tournament events for all ages, partners, singles, and skill levels, so no matter if you are just getting started or are already ranking silver in several events, gather your friends and family to watch you compete in national pickleball championships.
Whether you’re looking for official tournaments or a major pickleball event, there are important games played across the country, including locations such as Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, CO., Cranberry Township in Pennsylvania, Mesa, AZ, Grand Rapids in Michigan, Fort Wayne, Newport Beach, and more. It seems that no matter where you live, there’s some pickleball tournament action happening near you.
The pickleball community is vast around the world, and there are a lot of ways to make it to Indian Wells for the ultimate USA National Pickleball Championships.