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  • Pickleball English Open 2024 dates announced! | MLP Pros form ‘Player Collective’ to express displeasure of ‘unfair treatment’

Pickleball English Open 2024 dates announced! | MLP Pros form ‘Player Collective’ to express displeasure of ‘unfair treatment’

Pacific Pickleball MLP Australia draft lottery | Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals | Working with Pickleball's Biggest Brands with Pickleball Will

Pickleball English Open 2024 dates announced!

Source: Pickleball England

Pickleball England has announced that the 2024 Pickleball English Open will be played from the 8th to the 14th August, returning to last year’s venue, the Telford International Centre.

Next year’s event will be extended to a week long to accommodate more players and shorter days. With more players being able to compete, more rec play available and more pickleball to watch, this is great news for Pickleball fans.

Telford was a great venue and I’m sure that everyone who attended this year will be pleased to see a return there in 2024.

“We looked at various ways to manage the event but concluded that to enable players to minimise the number of days they needed to stay, we would split the event by age.”

Karen Mitchell - Pickleball England

There will also be a few changes to the event this year. Players will not need to attend all the days of the event because each day will be split by age group. The number of age brackets has also been increased, with 45+ and 75+ added to the competition and the addition of skinny singles for the 70+ and 75+ age brackets.

“That is not to say that players can’t attend the event on the days they are not playing to meet up with their pickleball friends – far from it. We will have lots of great games to spectate, lots of stands to visit, lots of fun things happening and lots of recreational play in the evening to ensure plenty of opportunity to mix.”

Karen Mitchell - Pickleball England

No news yet on when tickets will be available, but I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I find out.

The English Open has now been added to the Pickled Events website. If you want to find events near you or be there first to know when they are announced, check out the website and sign up for notifications now.

To see the official 2024 Pickleball English Open web page click here.

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MLP Pros form ‘Player Collective’ to express displeasure of ‘unfair treatment’

And the drama continues. A Pro ‘Player Collective’ made up of MLP and PPA players has been formed to express a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the MLP and PPA leadership teams.

Seemingly representing all 103 signed players (However, at least two players have confirmed that they do not consider themselves part of the collective), the new collective is not playing games having got funding for an Employment Attorney and an Anti-Trust Attorney.

In a recent newsletter we shared the news that pro players were expected to take large pay cuts but since then it has transpired that MLP players have been asked to take a much larger pay cuts than the PPA players. Some MLP players said that they felt threatened and that they were given false deadlines to sign, resulting in them feeling pressured to get deals done fast.

Here is the letter the player collective sent to the MLP:

Dear MLP Stakeholders,

The Player Collective has taken it upon ourselves to directly communicate our concerns with the current proceedings of an organization with whom we have all voluntarily chosen to align: Major League Pickleball.

We recently surveyed the 103 signed MLP players, and found the following:

89% of respondents believe they have not been treated fairly during the pay-cut negotiation process.

When asked: “Have you found that Anne, Bruce, John or other MLP staff have been able to successfully answer the majority of your questions?”, 94% of respondents answered “No”.

88% of respondents believe that they are being punished for their loyalty to MLP.

When asked: “Do you think the PPA is of high moral character and integrity” 79% of respondents answered “No”, 21% answered “No opinion” and not a single respondent answered “Yes”.

We understand the economic reality of pay-cuts, however, lies, threats, deceitfulness, false deadlines, and the refusal to honor written addendums and agreements have no place in the league that we know and love. If we are going to collaborate on contract modifications, we deserve honest answers to honest questions, and we have not received them. Put simply, we believe that MLP has departed from the ethos that we know and love and is instead embodying the exact ethos that we fled from when we signed multi-year deals with Major League Pickleball in August.


The Player Collective

P.S. We asked players if they would like to share anonymous feedback with MLP or PPA. Below you will find some of their honest, unfiltered opinions:

“I was super excited to sign with MLP after all of the mistreatment and lack of clarity from working with the PPA in the past. I had come to like and trust everyone at MLP. It was SUPER disappointing to see the email and recent communications from MLP recently. It feels like a repeat of all the treatment from PPA - lack of transparency, using pressure and leverage to force players into a decision, contacting players individually with different info, and withholding information. All in all, a lack of trust and true partnership”

“I'm not upset about pay cuts specifically and I am willing to do anything to support the future of the sport and play the game I love. But I am not willing to accept bad treatment and feel disrespected and taken advantage of by the organization I chose to join. We all love pickleball, all pro players want to help the sport grow, and we should work together with the principles of any strong organization - respect, transparency, community, etc.”

“The MLP team's behavior during the pay cut negotiations has been shameful. The leadership team should not use the word "leadership" when describing themselves after leveraging tactics that included: bold-face threats, artificial deadlines, threatening mothers that if they do not accept the cuts they "may be scheduled to work on their kid's birthday", intimidation "if you don't take this today by noon your cut increases from 40-60%." That last comment was said by Connor Pardoe, however he was given authority by the MLP team to make calls on MLP's behalf. How could the MLP team think that giving Connor the authority to make calls would induce trust in the players? We chose MLP because we DIDN'T want to work with Connor. There is no one left at MLP, except a few owners, who respect its players. Approach us with honesty and transparency and you will receive the same in return.”

“It’s sad because it feels like MLP is becoming more and more like the PPA. Going the exclusive route and not giving us the freedom. They are losing players’ trust daily and they continue to give us false and misleading information that’s right in line with Connor and the PPAs manipulative playbook."

“It's not too late for MLP to do the right thing.”

And here is the reply from senior officials at the MLP and PPA:

We've had extremely productive conversations with the vast majority of the 103 players who signed MLP contracts that start in 2024, many of whom have accepted a reduction.

Of the 43 Premier Level players who have made a decision, 40 of them have agreed to a salary adjustment. These reductions, in concert with meaningful financial commitments made by MLP's owners, are building a strong path to the long-term success of pro pickleball.

Any player is welcome to play on the PPA tour, period. There is no punishment for not taking a reduction.

MLP & PPA Tour

Seems like there is still some work to do with player/league relations! We’ll watch this space.

See further coverage on the CNBC website here.

Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals

Interested in participating in or promoting a pickleball event?

Find the closest events to you using the Pickled Events website where you can:

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  • And promote your own events for free!

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Pacific Pickleball MLP Australia draft lottery sees UK-based Pei Chuan Kao get first draft pick

Source: Pickleball Australia Association

A few months back we reported that MLP announced its first international expansion through a partnership with the Pacific Pickleball League (PPL) meaning that the PPL will be rebranded to Major League Pickleball Australia!

Now we have more information ahead of the upcoming season. The Pacific Pickleball MLP Australia will have 12 teams across Australia, New Zealand and Asia in 2024 and teams will be selected by each Captain in a Draft on Jan 11, 2024. A hybrid snake draft system will be used for the first time in Australian professional pickleball to pick the teams.

The newly formed South East Asia Surge managed to secure the first pick during the lottery and will have the first pick in the draft. This is great news for UK-based Pei Chuan Kao who will be captaining and debuting the MLP Australia league in 2024.

The league will be adopting the MLP format and play across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.

Over 280 players were nominated for the draft and will be eligible to be selected to play in the 2024 competition.

There will be $700k in prize money across 6 events and Season One will kick off in Sydney, next February.

Read the official statement from Pacific Pickleball here.

Working with Pickleball's Biggest Brands with Will Chaing (Pickleball Will)

In today's episode, I talk with Will Chaing, also known as 'Pickleball Will'. We discuss his time before pickleball, how he started working with Chris Olsen from the Pickleball Studio, his content creation for some of Pickleball's biggest brands, and future projects he has planned.

Will is one of the most well-known names among pickleball content creators, he's such a friendly guy and it was a pleasure speaking with him. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Watch on YouTube or Listen on your favorite podcast player.

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It comes in a striking color blend of purple, pink, and orange, making it not only high-performing but also visually stunning.

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