iPickle Nation

Sign up for current iPickle Nation Nation Builder Series events in the Wichita area using this link.

What is iPickle Nation? iPickle Nation (iPN) is an organization that delivers pickleball tournaments and events with focus on the following:

  • Community – Participating in iPN events helps players meet and connect with other players with similar skills and interests.
  • Consistency – iPN not only delivers events on a regular basis but the experience is consistent. With any iPN event, you know exactly what you’ll get. Events are always well-organized and professional run.
  • Competitive Balance – iPN does its best to group players together of similar skill so all games are competitive no matter what level you’re playing.

In addition to delivering awesome events, the results from the iPN events also get submitted to DUPR. Not only are you getting some play time in but those games/matches count toward building up your DUPR rating and making it more reliable.

Anyone can participate in the iPN events but members get discounts on some tournaments/events. You can learn more about the benefits of membership here.

I participated in my first iPN round robin mini tournament back in December. It was at Northland Racquet Club in North Kansas City. I loved the format and how well it was run; however, I just couldn’t see myself driving 3 hours each week just to play in a DUPR round robin event.

I’d been running my own events in Wichita but have faced so many challenges and couldn’t really get it going on a regular, consistent basis. iPN has been running pickleball events since 2019 and they’ve ironed out a lot of the kinks that I experienced. I’ve been trying to get them to bring the events to Wichita to save myself (and others like me) the 3-hour drive to Kansas City to play.

Fast forward to now and they’re finally here!

We held our first Nation Builder Series event at Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center on Sunday, June 11. This first round is a 10-week series. However, unlike a league where you need a set partner and have to commit to playing each week, you sign up only for the sessions that you wish to play. Each weekly session is basically like a mini-tournament. Medals are awarded to the first, second, and third place winners. You can sign up for each session here.

The first part of the session is a “switch partner” round robin where you play with a different partner each game. You may have to play with a partner twice, depending on how many players there are for the session. Players are broken into groups (usually six players per court). Groupings are based on DUPR ratings so that the games are more competitive. Round robin games are played to 11, win by 1.

At the end of the round robin, the players are ranked and paired based on performance. The teams then play in a single elimination bracket to determine the first, second, and third place winners. Games in bracket are played to 11, win by 2. The final two teams advance to a championship match and play for gold and silver. The two teams that are defeated in the semi-finals play for third place (bronze medals).

Players earn points each week with bonus points awarded to players who finish in the top 4 spots. At the end of the series, the top male and top female each get a free iPN tournament entry. (Must have played in half of the session — at least 5X in this case — in order to be eligible for the prize.)

Here are the links to the weekly standings:

We were blessed with some beautiful weather on Sunday. It didn’t sprinkle a little bit but not enough to cause any delays. The session ran smoothly and on schedule. We finished right around noon.

These are your Week #1 upper division winners:

  • Gold – Chris Wilson and Tommy Chau
  • Silver – Fernando Martinez and Michael Farlow
  • Bronze – Jason McCutchen and Seth Mountain

These are your Week #1 lower division winners:

  • Gold – Amanda Ades and Kyle Manny
  • Silver – Vamshi Mugala and Will Williams
  • Bronze – Daniel Worthan and Sandi Dobbs

Anyway, I highly recommend these iPN round robin events for players who have advanced beyond recreational or open play. If you want to experience some level of competition without playing in an official tournament or if you just want to see how you stack up against other players or if you just need more matches to build up your DUPR rating, these events are FOR YOU!

Sign up here and hope to see you at the next one!

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