Relishing Pickleball


David Zapatka, USAPA rating committee member

The spectacular growth of pickleball across the U.S., Canada and Mexico has spread to the rest of the world. Ten other countries from Australia to the U.K. now have pickleball federations. That is about to become 11 as China is poised to also join the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP).

Speaking with friend and USAPA president Jack Thomas at the April grand opening of the Pecos Park pickleball courts, Jack disclosed he will be traveling to Shenzhen Shi, Guangdong Sheng, China, this summer where Shenzhen University will host him and other USAPA representatives on behalf of the Chinese government. Following opening ceremonies, Jack, Justin Maloof (USAPA executive director) and other USAPA members will provide an on-court demonstration and skills session with Chinese sports and cultural leaders. With table tennis as China’s national sport, pickleball surely will catch on quickly! Jack is quoted as saying, “China is a tremendous market that’s ripe for our sport. We are looking forward to promoting pickleball and providing their representatives with information on joining the IFP and establishing a working relationship with their representatives to assist in their growth and development.”

Expert player Daniel Moore is credited with making this connection possible through his hard work and dedication. Daniel has been instrumental in recent years traveling throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim countries promoting pickleball, organizing tours and helping local clubs get established.

Are you familiar with golf’s Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup? Both these competitions pit United States golfers against European golfers. The Ryder Cup is the men and the Solheim Cup is the women. The IFP combines the sexes and hosts the Bainbridge Cup. The Bainbridge Cup features Men, Women and Mixed matches and pits the United States against Europe. This competition is named the Bainbridge Cup in honor of where the sport of pickleball was invented; Bainbridge Island, WA. The inaugural Bainbridge Cup was held last year in Madrid, Spain, with the United States winning. This year’s Bainbridge Cup will be held in Montesilvano, Italy, concurrent with Italian Open Pickleball Championships. Many valley players attended the Madrid event last year. If interested, join the fun. Play in Italy this year!

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected]