Gwinnett Team Pickleball

So there's MLP (Major League Pickleball) for the pros, and they've started Minor League Pickleball for amateurs; both are run by MLP/PPA. But in Gwinnett County, I'd like to try a team format, too, and maybe be a bit more flexible.  

The MLP format calls for 2 ladies and 2 men. Matches consist of 4 games, and a possible tie breaker. The matches are played using played using rally scoring to 21 (to keep the games from going on forever).

I'll say this a few times, but please remember that this first even 1) is a test of the format, and 2) should be treated more like a social event than a tournament.  If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong. You'll see why soon. :)

To even out the teams, I'm going to do an automated "snake draft", so that the team that gets the highest rated male player also gets the lowest rated male player, and gets two middle rated females. The team that gets the highest rated female also gets the lowest rated female, and gets two middle rated males.  

For this first event, we're not imposing any rating restrictions and are simply taking the first 12 men and first 12 women that sign-up. This means it should be treated as a much more social thing, since you don't get to pick your partners, and you may be playing with someone of significantly different skill. 

I will sort players of each sex by skill. Then I will run the list through an automated snake draft, where Team 1 gets the first and last pick, and thus would get men 1 & 12 and women 6 & 7.  They get the strongest and weakest men, and two women near the middle. Then Team 6 gets men 6 & 7 and women 1 & 12. In theory this balances the teams well. I will share the ratings with you so you can see I'm not just pulling things out of thin air. ;)

In the mixed games, the stronger lady on your team will play with the weaker man, and vise verse.

Here's an example of what this might look like.


MLP uses rally scoring, and I think we're going to go with this, too, since there will be so many rounds of play, and we can't have on game drag on forever and hold everyone else up.  Rally scoring isn't common in pickleball right now, but I promis you can pick it up quickly.  Rather than me recreate the wheel, The Pickler did a nice write-up with an example of how this works, so PLEASE read this. It's super important that you understand how this works before getting to the event. Trying to learn this on-the-fly will be tough.  I will say the the one deviation we'll make from the method she notes is that both teams will "freeze" at 20 and from there can only win points on their serve.


Looking at the results of the 4 games played against another team, the matches are won by:

The score that will be recorded for your team is the total number of points earned, so even if you lose the games, fight for every point because the points differential may decide who wins and loses!

In the following example, between Team A and Team B, both teams won 2 games, but Team A wins the match because:

Ideally we would have an even number of teams, so nobody has a bye. At the moment we only have access to 6 courts, but that lets us have:

Personally I think 10 games makes for a nice match day!  In the future we might work with 4 teams, which would be 3 matches, and we coul do 2 mixed games, giving each player 9 games. So depending on the number of teams/courts, we could break into pools of 4 or 6 teams.

Whose interested? We could try it out with just two teams, but I think it would be more fun with four. Who’s in?  Join the discussion thread on Discord, or shoot me an email or DM.   We're currently on-track to have 6 teams play on 2/25 @ 3pm, at Rhodes Jordan Park. We need some more ladies, so please sign-up soon!