Hi Pickleball Enthusiasts,

I hope this letter finds you and your team in great spirits and enjoying your passion for pickleball. As someone who shares your passion for this incredible sport, I am thrilled to announce an exciting opportunity that could elevate your competitive journey to new heights.

When we first formed the Arizona Pickleball Players League, our vision was clear: to introduce and foster a new era of team-based league pickleball throughout our state. With over 5000 players across 450 teams, I am proud to say that together, we have achieved this objective. The dedication of our players, the strong leadership of our captains, and the tireless efforts of our APPL volunteers have all been instrumental in making our team-based pickleball league a resounding success.

Over the past few years, as the APPL flourished, a passionate group of volunteers dedicated themselves to spreading the joy and competitiveness of our league to new territories, including Florida, Texas, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and beyond. From their dedication, a new organization has emerged—the National Team Pickleball League (NTPL). The NTPL’s mission is to expand the APPL format of team-based league pickleball across the United States, uniting the finest pickleball teams from coast to coast to compete for the esteemed title of National Champions.

I am excited to announce that our very own Arizona Pickleball Players League has been designated as the qualifying agent for the National Team Pickleball League (NTPL) in Arizona. This means that many of our APPL State Championship winners will earn the honor of representing our state on a grand national stage. They will compete against teams from approximately 16 regions across the country, all vying for the prestigious title of National Champions.

2024 marks the inaugural season of the NTPL, and we have two National Championship events planned. Additional divisions and skill levels are on the roadmap. Please find the details below:

The combo doubles format is different from our standard 6 player format.  It is a modified format (2 women/2 men teams) still using the APPL scoring method. Round 1 is Men vs Men/Women vs Women, round 2 is Mixed vs Mixed (2x) and in round 3 it is Mixed vs Mixed (2x) where the mixed opponents compete against the other mixed team.  It is the same 2 games to 11 win by 2 per round and in this case competed using two courts. 

Our National roadmap includes plans for a 6-player Mixed Doubles format in the future. APPL is exploring the possibility of hosting a qualifying event in the summer for teams interested in competing in the Combo Doubles Nevada event. The gender competitions at Nevada and Hilton Head will follow the standard APPL format.

For team registration, the cost is $750 per Gender Doubles team and $500 per Combo Doubles team. This year, APPL has allocated up to $10,000 to reimburse the team registration costs for APPL teams representing our state. Our APPL State Champions will have the first opportunity to compete at the NTPL events. Alternative teams will also be invited to replace any state championship teams that choose not to participate in the NTPL nationals. Additionally, APPL will likely have the chance to send some additional teams as wildcards to fill any vacancies necessary for the competitions.

That’s all for now. The NTPL Championships promise an unforgettable experience filled with camaraderie, fierce competition, and the honor of representing our state on a national platform. For those of you familiar with the USTA tennis leagues and their national championships, you know the incredible thrill that awaits.

More information will be forthcoming, including details about Zoom sessions planned to address any questions you may have. In the meantime, you can visit NTPL.org for additional information.

Let’s gear up, train hard, and aim for greatness on the pickleball courts. The journey to the NTPL Championships begins now!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy APPL 2024 season end,

Greg Mather