Hello Pickleball Community!

I hope this newsletter finds you in high spirits and having a fantastic pickleball season thus far! To add an extra layer of excitement, we’re thrilled to announce the APPL Photo Competition! Take some action shots during your APPL matches and we’ll select a few to share in our next newsletter. More details are below.
Also for the first time ever, some of our APPL State Champions will have the opportunity to showcase their pickleball prowess at a national level. In this newsletter, we’re unveiling some details about our new National Championship Tournament.
I’ve been delighted to witness the outstanding performances and sportsmanship displayed by most of our teams. However, there have been several examples of illegal serves that have not been corrected once identified. As such we are reviewing service violations below and ask that you ensure your compliance.
Let’s continue to foster a fair and supportive atmosphere on the courts.  Remember, whether you win or lose, the friendships formed and the joy of playing pickleball are what matter most. 

Greg Mather

Service Violations

We’ve had many questions come up during APPL matches about illegal volley and drop serves and want to help you avoid these violations. APPL follows the USA Pickleball rules for non-refereed matches. You can refer to Section 4 of the USAP Rulebook for more detailed information. Here are some key points from the official rulebook regarding proper service motions and placement in pickleball:

  • For the Volley Serve, the server’s arm must be moving in an upward arc when the ball is struck. Paddle contact with the ball must not be made above the waist level. The highest point of the paddle head must not be above the highest part of the wrist at contact.
  • For the Drop Serve, the server must release the ball from one hand only (or the paddle face) from any natural, un-aided height. When releasing the ball, the ball shall not be propelled in any direction (up or down) or in any manner prior to striking the ball to serve.
  • For either type of serve, at the time the ball is struck, neither of the server’s feet may touch the court on or inside the baseline or the playing surface outside the imaginary extension of the sideline or centerline.
  • For either type of serve, at least one foot must be on the playing surface behind the baseline the moment the ball is served. The serve must be made to the correct service court diagonally opposite the server and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.

NOTE: A replay is allowed if the receiver did not see the ball at the time of contact of the serve, or if spin has been applied prior to the ball contacting the paddle. If you point out an illegal serve and the player does not make a change, you can file a grievance on the APPL website on the APPL Players Resource page. 

“If Character is what you do when no one is watching, then sportsmanship is that conduct with everybody watching.”

Bob Ley, ESPN Sports Anchor

Weather Related Rescheduling Process for East Valley, West Valley and Southern Regions

As we’ve had some rainy days, here’s how to reschedule a weather-related APPL match when needed:

  1. Rescheduling is warranted in cases of rain and/or sustained winds of at least 20 mph. The Captain or Captains seeking to reschedule a match due to inclement weather should, on the day of the match or the evening before the match, take a screenshot of the weather forecast for the locale where the match is scheduled to be played and email same to the LC for the LC’s determination as to whether the match needs to be rescheduled. The LC will promptly inform the affected Captains of their decision.
  2. If a weather-related rescheduling is approved, the Captains will follow the RESCHEDULING PROCESS for their venue. If the match was on an APPL Managed Venue, the Captains must notify their LC by email AT LEAST FIVE DAYS PRIOR to the new rescheduled match date. Note: Pecos Park rescheduling requires at least 12 days prior notice.
  3. The rescheduled match must take place prior to the end of the APPL season.

Match Overtime Rule

Ever wonder what happens when a match runs over the 2-hour allotted time? We’ve created a new rule to guide you in this situation:

MATCH PLAY OVER THE ALLOTTED RESERVATION BLOCK ~ If a match or game exceeds the allotted reservation block, the players must relinquish the court if other people are waiting to play.  The game(s) in process can be completed on an open court abiding by the rules of the venue, e.g., paddle rotation system, etc.  The games cannot be rescheduled to another day.

  • If no other court options are available, games in process will terminate. The team with the higher score will be the winner and will receive two team points.  If the losing team has scored at least half or more game points as the winning team, they will be awarded one team point.
  • If the game is tied, a sudden death point shall be played.  The winning team will receive two team points and the losing team one team point.
  • If there are unplayed games, they will be scored 0 – 0.

Mark Your Calendar for State Championships – April 5-7

The APPL State Championships will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 5-7, from 8am – 5pm. They will be held at the Pueblo El Mirage Courts in El Mirage, AZ. It’s a beautiful venue with plenty of space for spectators, so plan now to come and watch the top teams in the State battle it out for the championship title.

The specific division dates are as follows: 

April 5th: Mixed 50+, Mixed 65+

April 6th: Women 50+, Men 50+

April 7th: Women 18+, Men 18+, Women 65+, Men 65+

Photo Competition

We’re excited to introduce a Pickleball League Photo Contest, where we invite you to capture the action and excitement during your APPL matches! 

Contest Details:

  • Theme: “Best Action Shot” during a pickleball match
  • Submission Deadline: February 25, 2024
  • Prize: The top 5 winning photos will be featured in the next league newsletter!

How to Enter:

Capture an amazing action shot during a 2024 Pickleball match. Share your photo at this link – APPL Photo Contest. No more than 3 photos per team please. Include your Name, Region, Flight, Team and a short caption for the photo.

Note: By submitting your photo, you are granting APPL the non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, and publish the submitted photo for promotional and informational purposes. The submitted photo may be used in league newsletters, website, social media, and other promotional materials.

First Aid

As we prioritize safety on the courts, it’s important to be prepared when accidents happen. Having a well-equipped medical kit ensures that minor injuries can be addressed promptly. Your kit should include adhesive bandages, ace bandages, sterile gauze pads, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, instant cold packs and pain relievers. By taking this simple precaution, we contribute to a safer and more enjoyable pickleball experience for everyone. 

National Championships Coming Soon

Exciting news for APPL enthusiasts! Get ready to elevate your game to new heights as we unveil a groundbreaking addition to APPL’s team-based pickleball league – the National Championships! Beyond our traditional State Championships, several divisions will now have the chance to compete on a national stage. Stay tuned for more details as we unveil the divisions, dates, and venues that will set the stage for the ultimate inter-state showdown in our team-based pickleball history.