UK's 3rd biggest tournament | Interview with Pickleball Pro, Rob Nunnery

What is rally scoring? | New courts opened | MLP is back!

UK’s 3rd biggest Pickleball Tournament announced for Nottingham, in June 2024. Registration Open.

A 20-court pickleball tournament has been announced for June 22nd and 23rd next year. Tournament director Steve Beale has been running a number of, relatively, smaller tournaments this year but this will be his biggest project to date and the UK’s third biggest outside of the English Open and the English Nationals.

The tournament will boast space for 400 players per day with a guarantee of 6 matches each. Division levels will be at 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.5+ with 2 age groups, 18+ and 50+.

Feedback at Steve’s tournaments this year has been very strong so we can expect a well run event.

If you are interested in registering for this fantastic event, you can do so here.

Beaverbrook Golf and Country Club opens two stunning outdoor dedicated pickleball courts

On Sunday Beaverbrook Country Club officially opened their beautiful new outdoor pickleball courts.

The grand opening was attended by UK pros James Chaudry and Thaddea Lock as well as former British tennis No.1, Tim Henman. The opening was also attended by The Times, The Telegraph, The Evening Standard and Vogue magazine.

James and Thaddea spent the day playing exhibition matches and coaching members of the club.

Check out the evening standards article here. More great exposure for pickleball!

MLP is back this week!

After what seems like an eternity since the close of season one in June with all that has happened in US Pickleball, Major League Pickleball is back with season two, starting in Atlanta.

The challenger level begins at 10AM ET (3pm UK) on Thursday 21st and will be streamed on the MLP YouTube channel.

Given all that has happened in the much-documented ‘tour wars’ over the last couple of weeks, season two will have no bearing on the MLP when it picks up again in 2024 as part of the merger. 2024 will start with a clean slate so we’ll just have to enjoy season two for what it is, a standalone series.

One disappointing change this season is that there will no longer be two divisions (Challenger and Premier) and promotion and relegation between the two. This was something I was super excited to see as most US sports don’t do this which ultimately means that every game matters, even if you’re at the bottom of the league.

Promotion and relegation is what makes soccer in the UK incredibly compelling and filled with dramatic storylines so I am disappointed that the MLP dropped this. I assume this has been driven by team owners who don’t want to see their team value drop by being a challenger league team. I discuss this change in my podcast interview with No.1 Challenger League draft pick Rob Nunnery this week.

There will also be a change to the rally scoring system employed by the MLP for this season. See the ‘What is rally scoring?’ feature below for more details.

MLP is a great spectacle and pickleball works fantastically well as a team event. So if you’ve not watched it before, I can absolutely recommend it!

Pickleball Pro: Rob Nunnery reveals his thoughts on the MLP/PPA merger, players, & life as a pro.

In this interview, pickleball professional Rob Nunnery reveals how he started in pickleball, what it's like to be on the road as a professional pickleball player, his thoughts on the MLP/PPA merger, why some player partnerships work, while others don't, the change to the MLPs rally scoring for season two and the projects outside playing that he's currently working.

A great insight for any pickleball fan.

Check out the interview on YouTube or via your favourite podcast app. Search ‘Pickleball Addiction’.

Pickleball Addiction Facebook Group Launched

A newsletter is great for one-way communications but it doesn’t allow a mechanism for further conversation. So, I decided to launch the Pickleball Addiction Facebook group to do just that. I’d love to see you there.

Coaching Corner

What is rally scoring?

In the UK we are most familiar with side out scoring when playing our pickleball games. In short, this just means that you can only score a point when you are serving.

However, the number of voices has been increasing in favour of moving the sport to rally scoring. In rally scoring a point is scored regardless of who servers.

But why change? There are a number of reasons why this may be beneficial for pickleball.

  • Most commonly touted is that it would make scoring easier for beginners. Side-out scoring is difficult to grasp as a newcomer and scoring a point on every serve is easier to understand and just makes more sense.

  • Similarly, this should make it easier for people to watch and understand the scoring of televised events. Imagine having never played pickleball and trying to tune in and understand the scoring on television.

  • Game lengths are more predictable. This makes everything from rec play, to tournaments and television easier to schedule. It’s much easier to calculate the approximate length of a match than with side-out scoring where close games can go on much longer.

  • There is no first and second server again making it easier for people new to the game to understand, I’ll explain below.

Possible downsides to rally scoring:

  • You and your partner don’t switch sides of the court which loses a certain dynamic in the games that many enjoy. Plus which right-handed player wants to spend the whole game on the right? 😃 

  • When tradition comes into play, people can be resistant to change

  • There is an argument that rally scoring favours the underdog (although MLP seems to have largely debunked this). See point freezing below.

Okay, so how does Rally scoring work?

There are a number of ways that rally scoring can be implemented but I’ll explain how this was implemented in season one of the MLP and the changes that will be made for season two.

Rally scoring:

  • Each partner picks a side of the court and stays there for the duration of the game

  • One team starts by serving from the right-hand side.

  • If that team wins the point then the ball is passed to the other player on that team to serve the next point

  • If the serving team loses the point, the ball is passed to the other team to serve

  • Note that there is no second server, so the score is only determined by 2 numbers as the 3rd number representing the server is not needed

  • As the game unfolds, the player that serves will be determined by the score of the serving team. If the score is even, the player on the right will serve, if the score is odd, the player on the left will score.

  • The team’s changes end when one of the teams reaches 11 points.

  • The first team to 21 points (and a win by 2 points) wins.

  • However, points after the 20th point can only be scored on the serve (effectively, that team has now reverted to side-out scoring)

  • If one team reaches 20 points then the opposing team’s points will also freeze at 18 points and they too can only score on their serve. This potentially makes for closer more exciting games when one team can score on every point to catch up, whilst the other cannot.

And that’s about it. The scoring is simpler to understand for beginners, with the exception of the points freeze, which definitely starts to go against that argument. And this is where the MLP has made changes for season two. See below.

So how does this affect the result of games? Well, according to analysis of the MLP results, not a lot. The better team still usually wins approximately the same amount of time but with the benefit of more predictable match lengths.

Rally scoring changes for MLP Season Two

The MLP has decided to tweak the scoring for season two and remove the 18-point freeze. However, there is still a freeze at 10 and you need to score on your serve to win the final point.

This does simplify things a little more for beginners which is the main argument for rally scoring but will this now help the underdog further and make games even closer? Time will tell. It’ll make it potentially even more exciting allowing teams to catch up faster.

Will rally scoring ever really happen beyond the MLP?

Some tournaments are already adopting rally scoring for all the reasons mentioned above. This includes the Premier Pickleball League and the Rally 21 events I mentioned in last week’s newsletter.

Possibly even more compelling though is that many sports have already made the move to rally scoring including volleyball, squash, badminton and table tennis with great results.

So, is it inevitable that we’ll all be rally-scoring in the future? Very possibly. Sure, I think there will be side-out scoring events as well for a while yet, and why not? Side-out scoring does create different dynamics.

What do you think? Join the Pickleball Addiction Facebook group to join the discussion.

Paddle Spotlight

This time around I decided to feature a starter set. With lots of people looking to take up pickleball for the first time, they don’t want to spend big on their first paddles.

This set from Joola is a great quality starter set that includes 2 eye-catching paddles, a bag, and 4 balls (2 outdoor and 2 indoor).

The paddles feature a premium fiberglass face and polymer honeycomb core for a blend of power and control enjoyed by many paddles on the market.

This set has everything you need to head to the courts but also makes a great gift idea.

Upcoming Tournaments & Festivals

If you’d like to promote your event for free in the pickleball addiction newsletter. Just drop me an email at [email protected].

North West Festival
29th Sept - 1st October
Register here

Pickleboobs & Balls Charity Festival
30th September
Register here

Sussex Pickleball Festival
1st October
Register here

English Nationals
26th - 29th October
Register here

Chesterfield Festival
5th November
Register here

Sherbourne 3.0-3.5 Fun Festival
18th November
Register here

Hampshire Pickleball Festival
26th November

Guildford Gender Doubles Day
January 7th 2024
Register here

Hertfordshire Tournival
20th January 2024
Register here

Dinkin’ in the Midlands
3rd - 4th February 2024
Register here

Cambridge Team Tournament - Stour Cup
24th - 25th February 2024
Registration Opens 10th December.
Email: [email protected]

Leigh Pickleball Festival
25th February 2024
Registration opens soon!

Hertfordshire Festival
9th March 2024
Save the date!

Dinkin’ in the Big Hall
22nd and 23rd June
Register here


Edinburgh Pickleball Festival
4th November 2023

Scots/Welsh Interclub Event
25th November 2023
Donald Dewer Sports Centre
Contact Drumchapel Pickleball Club for details:
[email protected]

Glasgow West Pickleball Festival
23rd March 2024
Registration opens soon!

Around the World

The Picklr plans to open 80 new facilities in 11 states

Pickleball continues to grow at a breathtaking rate in the US.

The Picklr, a pickleball company based out of Utah, already has seven corporate-owned facilities and is accelerating its expansion plans with a franchise model and plans to open 80 new facilities across 11 states starting with Illinois.

The Picklr says they are inundated with interest and yet have not spent a cent on lead generation for their franchises. They have ongoing plans for more than 300 locations across the US.

Although many courts in the US are outdoors there seems to be a huge demand for indoor facilities too. In fact, I recently traveled to Arizona and preferred playing on the indoor courts.

Here are some of the planned locations by state:

ARIZONA (6 Locations) Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix

COLORADO (15 Locations) Broomfield, Denver

FLORIDA (20 Locations)Miami, Orlando

GEORGIA (5 Locations) Atlanta Metro

ILLINOIS (3 Locations) Mundelein, Naperville, Villa Park

MINNESOTA (6 Locations) Blaine, Minneapolis

NEVADA (7 Locations) Las Vegas, Reno

TENNESSEE (5 Locations) Nashville

TEXAS (6 Locations) Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth

UTAH (6 Locations) Farr West, Lehi, Salt Lake City, Utah County

WYOMING (1 Location) Cheyenne

It’s fair to say that the growth of pickleball in the USA remains healthy with many locations still desperately crying out for more courts.

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