The Arizona Pickleball Players league (APPL) has now expanded its popular team-based pickleball league into its fifth region.
A Brief APPL History
In 2012 the first team-based pickleball league, East Valley Interclub League (EVIL), was founded. Over the last ten years EVIL has continued to grow. In 2019 a group of volunteers formally organized APPL as a nonprofit to bring its unique competitive team concept to pickleball players throughout Arizona.
APPL started in two regions (Casa Grande and East Valley) with 95 teams and over 1100 players participating. In 2021 APPL expanded to four regions, adding the West Valley and Southern (Tucson area) regions with over 2,000 players participating. APPL grew to over 300 teams with over 3700 players participating in its 2022 winter season. The season came to a close with the exciting three day State Championships held early April.
But now APPL is not only a winter season league.
Arizona High Country Pickleball League Play Begins
In early 2021 avid pickleball players in the White Mountain area wanted to start a more formal competition to enjoy in the summer months. Many of those players participated in APPL’s winter league. Steve Speight, a long time EVIL advocate and an APPL team captain, put his experience and love of pickleball to work. He took the reins by piloting a pickleball league for the Pinetop area. They used the APPL model and processes to start a four club league: Pinetop Country Club, Pinetop Lakes, Pinetop Recreation Center and White Mountain Summer Homes.
Steve solicited coaches from the four clubs to work together in forming the league in the region. Each of the coaches put together two doubles teams of men and two doubles teams of women. They played the other clubs twice, one match at home and one away. It was a fabulous summer of organized team-based league pickleball in the White Mountains.
APPL Brings the White Mountain Region into the Fold
Looking ahead to Summer 2022 the White Mountain Region (WMR) has been added as the 5th APPL Region. The plan for the WMR is to expand the current league to eight clubs including the original four, plus Show Low, Torreon Country Club, Lakeside and Juniper Ridge. Steve Speight has joined the APPL management team as the WMR APPL League Coordinator. He will manage the women’s, men’s and mixed divisions. The WMR volunteer team has started their planning meetings for summer 2022 league play and look forward to competition starting at the end of May or early June. Coaches and teams are looking forward to an awesome summer of team pickleball competition in the White Mountains.
“We’re delighted to have APPL expand into the White Mountain area as a result of Steve’s initiative and enthusiasm for team pickleball”, states Greg Mather APPL’s founder and president. “We hope to pilot a Northern region in the future which would include the Prescott and Flagstaff area.”
APPL is a nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers.