Qualifying for Nationals

Two years after the USA Pickleball Association formed in 2005, the first USA Pickleball National Championship was held to showcase the best pickleball talent in the nation. The last national tournament was held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in 2019. There wasn’t a national tournament in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic but this year the USA Pickleball National Championship return to Indian Wells.

Besides the US Open held in Naples, the USA Pickleball Nationals is the largest pickleball tournament in the nation and it is held in the grandest of all venues. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden is a state-of-the-art facility located just outside of Palm Springs, CA. The facility is home to the BNP Paribas Open – the largest combined men and women’s tennis tournament in the world. This venue, which is the second largest tennis stadium in the world, boasts multiple world class pickleball courts and a unique championship pickleball court.

Due to limited spots for each division, preregistration for the USA Pickleball National Championship is highly coveted. To participate in nationals a player must have participated in one of the qualifying USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments between July of the previous year and July of the current year. However, since there wasn’t a national tournament in 2020, those who qualified to participate in nationals last year are pre-qualified to play this year. The qualification period for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championship in November is July 15, 2019 through July 15, 2021, which is basically a two-year period rather than the typical one-year qualification period.

There are additional USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating (UTPR) requirements for Open and Senior Open events. You can learn more about UTPR here.

  • Open event players must have a minimum of 5.5 UTPR by July 15, 2021. Spots may be available for players rated 5.0 and above depending on participation levels in each Open event.
  • Senior Open event players must have minimum of 5.0 UTPR by July 15, 2021. Spots may be available for players rated 4.5 and above depending on participation levels in each Senior Open event.

Preregistration for 2021 USA Pickleball National Championship is available for:

  • All Open and Senior Open (50+ and 65+) medalists from the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championship
  • All gold medalists in any age/skill event from the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championship
  • All gold medalists in an Open/Pro bracket from a national qualifier between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021 (in the event that brackets are combined and medals are issued to category winners, preregistration is only available to the combined bracket winners)
  • All gold medalists in any USA Pickleball Regional Tournament held between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021 (in the event that brackets are combined and medals are issued to category winners, preregistration is only available to the combined bracket winners)

Important registration information:

  • Players with preregistration invitations will be limited to one event of the same type per gold medal. For example, if a player wins a gold medal in women’s doubles, that player will receive a preregistration opportunity for women’s doubles. It does not have to be the same skill or age group but does have to be the same event type.
  • Players with preregistration invitations must meet all participation requirements. For example, if a player received a preregistration opportunity in 2019, they would still need to participate in a USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament in the past year (up to July 15, 2021). Visit the USA Pickleball website for a list of all qualifying tournaments.
  • Players with preregistration invitations must accept and register by July 25, 2021.
  • Partners of players with preregistration opportunities who have not met participation criteria may not preregister.
  • The UTPR in effect at the time the player registers for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships will be used. Even if the player’s UTPR changes on October 1, the player’s UTPR at the time of registration is what will be used for the national tournament.
        • Players may submit an appeal to ratingsadmin@usapickleball.org prior to registration closing.
        • Any appeal would apply to the player’s partner as well. Therefore, if you appeal, your partner has to be eligible to still play with you as a result of that appeal.
        • The tournament director reserves the right to approve the appeal decision by the ratings admin.
  • The remaining tournament spots will be filled via lottery.
        • Registration will be open from August 1-7, 2021.
        • Players are to have paid and be registered with paid partners by August 7, 2021.
        • The lottery will be drawn approximately August 8, 2021.
        • Players will be notified if they are in the tournament by August 22, 2021.
  • Any spots left after the lottery will be given priority based on being registered and paid with a registered and paid partner.

That’s pretty much how you qualify to play in the national tournament. You can find more information about it here or by visiting the USA Pickleball National Championship website.

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