The Carvana Professional Pickleball Association (“PPA”) and Major League Pickleball (“MLP”) recently announced a new collaboration and partnership to implement “best in class” equipment compliance testing standards
PPA and MLP contracted Pickle Pro Labs (“PPL”) to undertake some previously announced joint testing of paddles at the MLP event in Daytona, FL, March 23-26, 2023.
All test results from MLP Daytona will remain anonymous to anyone outside of PPL until the PPA and MLP introduce proper guidelines, procedures, and penalties. This has been decided for the good of the game, the players, paddle manufacturers, the PPA, and MLP.
PPL used automated equipment specially built for the laboratory and on-site testing of paddles and balls. At Daytona, it tested 240 paddles comprising 66 unique models from 24 manufacturers. The full anonymous data set is available in Appendix A of the report.
Teenage prodigy Anna Leigh Waters tweeted her say on the matter:
First paddles were illegally having too much grit now they are illegally having too much deflection. Paddle testing needs to be implemented with not just grit, but deflection as well.— Anna Leigh Waters (@AnnaLeighWaters) February 16, 2023
For the purpose of testing deflection, the average force required to deflect the face of the paddle by 0.0625” (or one-sixteenth of an inch) at the 5-inch location was 69.2 lb (this is known as the “Average Deflection Force” or “ADF”).
While there was some variation in deflection force present in every paddle model and among all players’ paddles, the deflection force for all the paddles submitted by 6 players was over 30% less than the testing ADF.
PPL established that they should set the minimum Average Deflection Force threshold at an amount far enough away from the group ADF of 69.2 lb that it will only penalize “outliers”. It considers 30% as a suitable deviation to identify these outliers, depending on further dynamic testing. In other words, PPL has the opinion that tournament organizers should remove any paddle whose ADF is less than 49 lb from its 5” measurement location.
Ahead of this report, PPL privately contacted any player or manufacturer who possessed or made paddles with “significant deviations” from the guidelines stated above. They reported that the calls were “positively received” and it is hoped that PPL can work with everyone concerned to set guidelines that will ensure fair play and effective use of the laws of the game.
PPL also reserves the right to change any suggestions depending on the outcome of other dynamic testing procedures happening in the next few weeks. As it gathers more data, it will provide further analysis of the suitable roughness or grit of a paddle and supply additional advice on how the PPA and MLP should progress with the matter.
Read more about the background of this story by going to one of our previous articles, here.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?