Friday, April 29, 2016

US Open Pickleball Cross Roads? - RV Picklers

As we have observed the US Open Pickleball Championship unfold this week, I have begun to wonder….is pickleball at a cross roads? If not a cross roads, at least there is a winding road ahead for the sport I love.
Pickleball Cross Roads

Once I Could Recognize a 5.0 Player

In the “good ol’ days” we knew what a 5.0 Player was.  They may have been grey, but they were the best of the best.  Now there is a distinction. There is the 5.0 player and then the 5.0 “professional” player.  Most, but not all, are younger and faster and stronger.  Most, but not all, grew up playing tennis or another racket sport.
I’ve heard folks debate the “merits” of a 5.5 or 6.0 rating.  Frankly I don’t have an opinion.  But I agree with George Orwell’s assertion, “All animals are equal.  But some animals are more equal than others.”
US Open PickleballThe US Open Pickleball Championship format, clearly recognizes this distinction.  The schedule shows skill levels up to 4.5, then Open.  The racquetball style “double” elimination, suggests this distinction.  Whether it be in press coverage, or the majority of stadium court assignments, the distinction is clear.
As the sport, and it’s professional ranks, continue to grow…should we distinguish amateur players from professionals?  Specifically, should “pro’s” be playing in age events?
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