One of the Biggest Partnerships in Pickleball History Just Announced

One of the Biggest Partnerships in Pickleball History Just Announced

Some of the biggest names in organized pickleball have announced a landmark partnership that could stand to change the landscape of ratings and tournament experience in the sport.

Pickleball Inc., the United Pickleball Association (UPA, a.k.a. the parent company of Major League Pickleball & PPA Tour), and DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) have announced a partnership to "provide pickleball players with a best-in-class experience when tournaments, leagues, club and recreational play," according to a press release.

Whew. We're glad we didn't have to read that part out loud. There's a lot going on here.

So: what does this all actually mean?

Breaking Down the Partnership

UPA has designated DUPR as the official rating system across its properties and competitions.

It's no secret the UPA - and, more specifically, Connor Pardoe and the PPA Tour - favors the DUPR rating system. 

Pardoe himself even left this post in our Facebook group just days before the announcement went live:

It’s time for everyone to understand the best thing for pickleball is to universally adopt DUPR as the ONLY rating system. Anything else hurts the sport. DUPR is by far the best and has the most market share. We all have things to improve on but anyone not using DUPR is silly. It took us awhile to find a path forward but at the end of the day we need to make decisions that help us grow the sport and move it forward. Adopting DUPR does just that.

While the main competitors to UPA, USA Pickleball and the Association of Pickleball Players (APP) have taken the side of DUPR's rating competitor UTR, it seems PPA/MLP have chosen DUPR for the long term.

This new deal also means Pickleball Inc. will adopt DUPR as the exclusive rating provider for its software and technology, including Pickleball Brackets, Pickleball Tournaments, and’s club, league and ladder software.

When DUPR was cut off from the data at pickleball brackets, it lost key data points, making some question the app's overall accuracy.

Now, in striking this relationship between all of these brands, DUPR has the lion's share of tournament data which will ultimately fuel the efficacy of the app's algorithm.

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DUPR does allow for recreational games to be included, with a different (read: lighter) weight of importance given to such games. 

Ultimately, consolidation over basic aspects like player ratings should help keep pickleball on a steady growth trend and eliminate confusion across the board.

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