Well, the primary reason most join is to be able to participate in USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments … such as the US National Indoor championships or the upcoming Atlantic South Regional Tournament. Yes, I realize that not everyone is wild about structured competition … they just want to hit the ball around, outside, with their friends or family … and that’s ok.
But when you become a member of USA Pickleball, you’re given a membership number. That is a metric that local parks & recreation management types all over the nation can point to and say: “Look at the incredible growth of this Sport! We should jump on the bandwagon, and soon!”
So stand up and be counted! Become a member and participate in a sanctioned event … where you can be assured of playing against people your own age and skill level!
Or just continue hitting the ball around, outside, and maybe learn the rules of the game. Exercise is fine … but competition is AWESOME! Once you catch the tournament bug, you’ll be looking for your next “fix.”
But even if you’ve no ambition to work toward your first tournament win, or your first tournament medal, they are hundreds of thousands of people that do! And medals aren’t cheap :^) And referees want to get paid. And sponsorships, TV coverage (etc.) won’t happen without a demand.
So choose your own metaphor: a finger vs. a fist; a straw versus a bundle of straws. Whatever. Crowd-funding is an awesome concept. It helps pay the bills (and salaries) of those who have committed their life to a sport that might just, in fact, attack the “aging population problem” that could ripple throughout society. A happy pickleball player is a healthy person. Healthy people make for a healthy society.
Novice to National Champion within ten years! It can happen :^) But not if you’re not a member of USA Pickleball. Pay the fee. Get your number. Stand up and be counted!
All the cool kids are doing it :^)
Bill Maloy, USA Pickleball Ambassador, Daphne, AL (Baldwin County)
USA Pickleball Lifetime Member
#40111, since 2016
Originally published 12 June 2022