Earlier this year, WPF announced that it will be introducing the World Pickleball Games. These games will be the first true team competition in pickleball, where each competing country’s federation will select a team that would consist of a minimum of 4 men and 4 women and a maximum of 6 men and 6 women. In addition, each team can be accompanied by a team manager, team coach and physio.
For the first World Pickleball Games, we are not requiring countries to be members of WPF, although we would obviously like to invite countries to join us. If a country doesn’t have an association or federation, WPF will provide guidelines for qualification.
Following the announcement, I assembled a WPG Committee to work on the initiative.
Kristy Wolford – Tournament Manager for Tournament of Champions
Winnie Montgomery – Former Board Member and Tournament Chair of USA Pickleball
John Gullo – Founder of Tournament of Champions & Former Board Member and Marketing Chair of USA Pickleball.
Karen Mitchell – Board Director Pickleball England and WPF and Tournament Director for the English OPEN
Guy Herzmark – Pickleball England’s Company Secretary is Minutes Secretary for WPG Committee
Myself – Founder/President WPF
As a special advisor, Anne Smillie – Former Chief Executive of Scottish Badminton with experience staging 3 World Championships and 5 European Championships
The first World Pickleball Games will take place April/May 2022. This allows sufficient planning time for the Committee, the host facility and for the country federations to determine its selection process and secure sponsorship to fund its team. Hopefully, it is also sufficient time for covid-19 to be under control and a vaccine to be available widely.
We anticipate that the format for the World Pickleball Games will lay the foundation for the format of play for pickleball to be considered for the Olympics in the future. It is the Committee’s vision that this will be a prestigious event that will attract the world’s media to create exposure for the game and to inspire non players to aspire to play for their country in the future.
For the first World Pickleball Games, we have decided that WPF will be the host. We will develop the foundation for the format and the minimum requirements for a venue. We will then develop a Host RFP (Request for Proposal) process that will be put in place to select future host country and venue. It is anticipated that like other sporting championships, e.g. World Badminton Championships and Commonwealth Games, that hosting a future World Pickleball Games will help create a direct economic impact for the region and country whilst creating exposure and promotion values for the region and country that far exceeds the investment in the event itself.
We intend to help participating countries with guidelines for selecting your National Team and by providing a ‘Country Team Sponsorship’ template that will enable countries to seek funding to cover the entry fee, travel, subsistence and team attire costs, to be part of the first World Pickleball Games. You will be invited to join a Pickleball Summit for Federations early in the new year, where we will provide this information and give countries an opportunity to ask questions.
The reason for writing today, apart from sharing this update, is to invite you to enter a team from your country. The 1ST World Pickleball Games will be an historic event. It will be a 6 Day Event starting with a Trade Show during Practice Play; Seminars; Media Day and Opening Ceremony; Group Stages prior to Quarter and Semi Finals and Finals followed by a Closing Ceremony. We really hope that you want your country to be a part of the history that we will be making with these team Games – simply indicate your interest by completing the simple form here. You can nominate a contact person for your country for World Pickleball Games.