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Equipment standards and the future success of pickleball


By Team Selkirk

on Jun 13, 2024

 

 

As with any sport, maintaining high standards and enforcing rules is essential to ensuring fair play and the sport's integrity. We encourage all pickleball equipment manufacturers and the general pickleball community to support USA Pickleball (USAP) in their recent efforts to enforce the current rules, as well as hold manufacturers to higher quality standards. In pickleball, it has become a common issue that the production models of paddles differ from those that were originally approved in testing. Enforcing the rules and ensuring a level playing field is critical to the current and future integrity of the sport.

Since our founding 10 years ago, Selkirk’s core mission has been to help grow the game by investing in advocacy programs, community outreach, facility support, strategic partnerships, and player sponsorships. We feel privileged that our company has become respected throughout the pickleball community based on our commitment to the game and our genuine regard for the impact it has on people’s lives. We recognize our responsibility to help steward the sport and ensure its future success.

We have come to understand that pickleball is more than a competitive sport. The reasons for its growth are more complex and personal than simply being fun and physical. In our view, the essence of the game is that it enables so many individuals to satisfy their desire for competition, many of whom have never had the opportunity to play a sport. The game of pickleball is therapeutic and delivers physical, emotional, and social benefits that are clearly impacting people’s lives in a profound way. When you witness play on the courts, you can feel the energy and transformation of the players — it is inspiring and contagious.

The game of pickleball is and should always remain designed to provide a rewarding experience for its core groups of players: passionate amateurs who thrive on competition, recreational players enjoying games with friends and family, and those whose social lives center around their pickleball circle. These groups are the lifeblood of this game that we all love. Whatever steps we take to govern the sport must be first and foremost for the benefit of these groups, as their passion for pickleball is the foundation upon which the entire industry is built.

Innovation in high-performance technology and design drives our company and defines our products. We strive to push the boundaries to bring our performance as close to the edge of the existing compliance standards while remaining within the rules without employing workarounds. Compliance standards are in place to protect the integrity of the sport for all amateur and professional players, as well as all stakeholders who have invested in pickleball.

We welcome the ongoing enhancements to equipment testing, analysis, and compliance certification being employed by USAP. Elevated standards in equipment testing will serve as a long-term solution to ensure manufacturer accountability. The testing procedures must more accurately reflect the intended spirit of the rules, especially concerning spin and velocity.

The governing bodies, manufacturers, and all individuals and organizations that are a part of the pickleball ecosystem have a responsibility to thoughtfully steward the sport we all love for the benefit of the millions of pickleball players currently participating, and the millions more that will enter the game in the coming years.

Thank you,

Jim, Rob, Mike, and Tom Barnes

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