Riley Newman's Decision Means We'll See Less of Him on the PPA Tour

Riley Newman chooses to keep his original contract with MLP, which has implications surrounding his availability to play in PPA events in the future.

Riley Newman's Decision Means We'll See Less of Him on the PPA Tour

Riley Newman, ranked number 2 in Men’s and Mixed, likely won’t continue playing on the PPA Tour this year – at least not as frequently as he did last year.

Instead, he’s chosen to keep his original contract with Major League Pickleball (MLP), which has certain implications involving his schedule. 

More from Riley Newman:

Back in August of 2023 when I agreed to my original MLP contract I was very excited about the next 3 years of my pickleball career.

The MLP deal allowed me to play my favorite events in pickleball (team tournaments), teach engaging clinics across the country, and continue to travel all over the US and beyond spreading the love of pickleball.

When PPA made their offer, I was grateful and appreciative, but at the end of the day I wanted to do what I thought was best for me and my future (both on and off the pickleball court). 

I have thoroughly enjoyed competing on the PPA Tour since the start of 2020, but I’m ready to look ahead and embark on a new pickleball journey with MLP! 

More on what’s changed

Riley’s statement above is phrased very carefully. He didn’t say he won’t play in PPA events – just that he’s excited to play in MLP. 

Months ago, before the two tours consolidated under one company, the PPA Tour asked pros to take voluntary pay cuts in order to keep the merged business model sustainable. This was after both tours engaged in a bidding war for players’ exclusive contracts (some of which reportedly came with big sign-on payouts).

The renegotiation allowed MLP players to fold in to PPA events with all expenses paid – as long as they renegotiated their contracts.

We can only assume the original deal Riley struck with MLP might be more lucrative than if he’d won every single PPA event in the calendar year.

What would you have done? Hard to fault Riley for having a preference on where he makes his money. But we’ll miss wondering who he’ll partner with.

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