2018 Nationals FAQ

Event Details (19)

November 3-11, 2018 (Nov. 2nd is the practice day and player party.)

We are proud to announce that the 2018 USAPA National Championships tournament will be held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.

To participate in this year’s tournament, a player must have participated in at least one USAPA sanctioned event between November 15, 2017, and October 31, 2018. It is not necessary to have participated in one-for-one events. For example, if you played mixed in a sanctioned tournament, you are eligible to participate in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

If a player does not live in the US for more than 3 months a year and is not able to participate in an USAPA sanctioned tournament, he/she may request a hardship exemption from the Tournament Director (click here to send email).  Like all participants, international players are still required to have a valid USAPA membership through the duration of the National Championships.


This is a double elimination tournament. All winner bracket matches will be 2 out of 3 to 11 win by 2 points. Loser bracket matches will be one game to 15 win by 2. The bronze match will be 2 out of 3 to 11 win by 2 points.

Since all players must participate in a USAPA sanctioned event prior to Nationals, the new automated rating system will generate a Tournament rating for you. If you plan to participate in your first tournament after registration, it is possible your rating will change and you will be required to change to the appropriate skill event according to your current rating.

The Open/Senior Open Events are for 5.0+ rated players. We will be using the new rating system for this year’s event. The player must have an official USAPA/IFP Rating of 5.0 or higher at the time of registration to participate in any open category at Nationals. Any event that does not reach capacity by 8/15/18 will be opened up to 4.5 players.

Players who earned a Gold Medal in any event at any of the following USAPA Regional Tournaments will receive an email on July 15 that will allow them to pre-register for the event type that he/she won the gold in. Example: Ladies 65-69 3.0 will be able to pre-register for a ladies age/skill event at Nationals.

∙       USAPA Great Lakes Regional: July 20-23, 2017 (Kalamazoo, MI)

∙       USAPA Pacific NW Regional: Aug 10-13, 2017 (Bend, OR)

∙       USAPA Great Plains Regional: September 7-10, 2017 (Colorado Springs, CO)

∙       USAPA Atlantic South Regional: October 19-22, 2017 (Griffin, GA)

∙       USAPA Southwest Regional: January 11-14, 2018 (Surprise, AZ)

∙       USAPA Mid-South Regional: March 1-4, 2018 (Grapevine, TX)

∙       USAPA Mountain Regional: April 12-14, 2018 (St George, UT)

∙       USAPA Atlantic Regional: July 6-8, 2018 (Portland, ME)

2019 Pre-Registration Opportunities:

Pre-registration is available to the following:

    • All Medalists from the 2018 USAPA National Championship Open & Sr. Open.
    • All Gold Medalists in any age/skill event from the 2018 USAPA National Championships.
    • All Gold Medalists in a Tier 1 USAPA Sanctioned Tournament between July 15, 2018, and July 15, 2019.
    • All Gold Medalists at any USAPA Regional Event held between July 15, 2018, and July 15, 2019. In the event that brackets are combined, medals may be issued to category winners but pre-registration opportunities for 2019 Nationals are only to the combined bracket winners*.


*It has recently come to the attention of the USAPA that in some instances, tournament information posted on pickleballtournaments.com by some Tournament Directors for individual USAPA Regional Tournaments did not fully explain the details of how to earn a pre-registration opportunity for 2019 National Championships. Since the clarification regarding combined events was not posted to the Nationals website until mid August, we want to honor what was communicated to our members on the individual tournament postings where the tournament registration occurred prior to the clarification posting on August 15. In order for this offer to be valid:

  1. The USAPA Regional must have been held between July 15, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
  2. You must have registered for the USAPA Regional Tournament prior to August 15, 2018.
  3. You must have received a gold medal in an event that that was combined into a larger bracket or would have been the gold medalist in the event if it had not been combined.

If all of the above is true, we will honor the pre-registration entry for the 2019 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships. In order to accept this offer, you must send an email request to NationalTournament@usapa.org by December 31, 2018.

It is always the goal of the USAPA to honor our word to our membership and to do our best to offer a positive and fun tournament experience at each of our Regional and National Tournaments.


At this time the USAPA National Championships is the only Tier 1 event. We hope to have more in the future and will make that list readily available for players.

No, players may only play in one Open division event per day. Example: Male Player A (50 and above) may not play in both Senior Open Mixed Doubles and Open Mixed Doubles. However, Male player A (50 and above) may play in Senior Open Mixed Doubles and Open Men’s Doubles.

Yes, skill/age events will be played per the schedule on the USAPA Nationals website (https://www.usapa.org/2018-usapa-national-championships/). Any skill/age events that do not have enough entries will be combined with another skill/age division being played on the same day. Example: If you sign up for 55-59 3.0 and less than 8 entries are received, you may be combined with 50-54 3.0 players. Efforts will be made to not combine skill groups.

If an interested participant does not live in the US for more than 3 months a year and is not able to participate in a sanctioned event, he/she may request a hardship exemption from the Tournament Director. Email nationalsreg@usapa.org.

Beginning January 22, 2019:  Players who have never registered in a tournament on Pickleballtournaments.com, will need to self-rate (click here to view the rating definitions). Determine your skill rating from the ratings definitions and simply add this to your PT.com Skill Rating in your PT.com player profile. USAPA also strongly recommends that new players trying to determine their self-rating seek assistance from the following who can better determine your current skill level:

  • an experienced USAPA Tournament Rated Player
  • a USAPA Tournament Director
  • a USAPA Ambassador

If you have additional ratings question, please email:

Ratings Admin@USAPA.org.



Click Here to view the 2018 Play Schedule. Detailed event start time schedules will be developed for each day after charts have been created. They will be available no later than October 28, 2018, on pickleballtournaments.com.

Your eligible age is the age you will be on December 31, 2018.

Yes. For skill/age events, they must meet the participation requirement outlined on the Nationals website and pay the required event fee for each event they enter. Juniors that wish only to play in junior divisions are not required to meet the participation requirements. Juniors with a 5.0 rating may choose to participate in the Open event if they meet the participation requirements. Players are limited to one event per day so juniors must select which category they want to play.

The age of the youngest player is used to determine the age group bracket. At the time of registration, a player or team may select to play in an age group younger than the team’s youngest player. Example: A team of two 64-year-old players may play in any age group below the age of 64 except juniors. This will be allowed at the time of registration only.

For junior events, the age of the oldest player is used to select the age group for junior events. If a junior (8-18) is playing with a non-junior (19+), 19 will be used; they will play in the under 35 group. Juniors may play in both junior events and under 35 skill/age events if they have met the participation requirements.

Players may play in any age group for which they qualify. Example: A 52-year-old player may play in 19+, 35+, or 50-54. Players may choose only one age group in each event. The age groups do not need to be the same. Example: A 59-year-old player may play in under 35 for Doubles, in 50-54 for Mixed Doubles and 55-59 for Singles. All players with a rating of 5.0 or higher can enter Open Division events.

Player limits are at the discretion of the tournament directors, who reserve the right to limit the number of players playing in each event. All players are encouraged to register as early as possible to increase their opportunity of securing their place at the USAPA National Championships. A wait list will be available for each event if the event is filled. NOTE: Some divisions may be closed ahead of the registration deadline pending total registration numbers.

The total cash prize purse for Open and Senior Open Division winners is $75,000 — the largest purse in the history of the sport.  Click Here for the press release.

The Dura Fast 40 (yellow) will be the official ball for the 2018 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships.

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Registration (18)

We will be offering a staggered registration on August 1, 2018.

Open and 5.0………………… 11:00 AM PST, 12:00 PM MST, 1:00 PM CST, 2:00 PM EST
4.5 (all ages, all skills)……. 1:00 PM PST, 2:00 PM MST, 3:00 pm CST, 4:00 PM EST
4.0 (all ages, all skills)…… 3:00 PM PST, 4:00 PM MST, 5:00 pm CST, 6:00 PM EST
3.5 (all ages, all skills)……. 5:00 PM PST, 6:00 PM MST, 7:00 pm CST, 8:00 PM EST
3.0 (all ages, all skills)…… 7:00 PM PST, 8:00 PM MST, 9:00 pm CST, 10:00 PM EST

Registration will close once all divisions are full. We recommend registering as soon as possible after registration opens.

In order to register for the other events, you will have to log on during the designated general registration timeframe or later in order to register for your other events.

No, you may play in only one event per day.

During the registration process on pickleballtournaments.com, after you add the event click the change button next to the event you want to do a skill or age override, then click the Skill/Age Group button to specify the skill or age group you want to play in.  Select the appropriate skill or age from the drop-down list and click Make Changes.

No. Every player must submit his or her own registration. Only those individuals who have submitted their own registrations and paid registration and event fees by August 15, 2018, will be considered registered. Registration includes providing contact information, selecting events/partners and paying all fees. When a participant provides contact information their name is listed among players registered for the tournament and their name may appear on the “Needs Partner List” if they have registered for an event but have not identified a partner.

Go to www.usapa.org and apply for a USAPA membership (or renew your membership if it is set to expire before Nov. 12, 2018). Your USAPA membership number will not be active until you have paid your USAPA membership dues. To ensure that your USAPA membership is processed promptly, it is suggested that you use PayPal for payment. Memberships completed and paid online are processed in real time and players will receive an email with their member number. Players who opt to pay for their membership with a mailed check are placed in a ‘pending status’ and must wait for their payment to be received, processed and cleared before receiving their member number. This could take 10-14 days. You will not be able to sign up for Nationals until you have received your member number.

One of two things could be causing this issue:

∙       Your number is not correct in your pickleballtournaments.com profile. To verify or update the number log on to pickleball tournaments.com and select Update My Profile.

∙       Your USAPA membership has expired or will expire during the tournament. If so, you will need to renew your USAPA membership. If you have questions regarding your USAPA membership, contact the USAPA member services at membership@usapa.org.

Preferred payment method is online via PayPal or any major credit card. When paying online, you will be directed to a PayPal page, however, you do not need a PayPal account – you can pay using any major credit card. If you use PayPal or a credit card, your payment information will be forwarded to the USAPA registration department. The USAPA has a PayPal account but has no control over how PayPal handles your account. If you encounter any problems with PayPal, you need to contact PayPal. The USAPA is not responsible for any registration or event fee payments not processed by PayPal. Once an online payment is received along with the registration form, the player is considered registered. Paying with a Check: USAPA no longer accepts checks, you must pay online to complete your registration.

Fees are due at the time of registration. Players who submit a registration but not a payment are NOT registered. Players are not included in an event until registration and event fees are paid in full.

A registration is complete when the registration and event fees are paid for both you and your partner. Anyone not registered with a partner or unpaid fees on August 15, will be moved to the waitlist and replaced with a fully paid and partnered team.

Yes, as long as you have not played your first match in the event. You must select a partner that is already registered in the tournament. Replacements need to be known and communicated to nationalsreg@usapa.org by 7 am the day you are scheduled to play. Replacements can be found on the players needing partners list, which can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page or going to pickleballtournaments.com, click Tournaments This Week, look for USAPA Nationals and click More Info (scroll to the bottom of page)!

There is feature on the USAPA website called “Partner Search”. We recommend you check Partner Search to see if you can find a partner before you register. In addition, players who have registered for an event without a partner can be viewed by clicking the “Needs Partner” button on pickleballtournaments.com. If you register without a partner, you have until midnight PST August 15, 2018, to register with a partner, sign the waiver and pay the registration and event fees. If both partners have not completed these items you will automatically be moved to the wait list and priority given to teams on the wait list that have met each of those requirements.

Yes, players must withdraw themselves prior to September 1, 2018, in order to receive a refund. Registration and event fees will be refunded less a $25 processing fee. Refunds will be processed as a credit to the original form of payment where possible. Checks will only be issued when electronic forms of payment are not available (ie.closed accounts or other reasons precluding an electronic transaction). Refunds will be processed by November 30, 2018.

Withdrawals after this date will only be accepted for medical reasons and must be accompanied by documentation from a treating physician.

Questions regarding refunds should be sent to nationalsreg@usapa.org.

Upon registering, you will receive an immediate confirmation of payment. All participants will also receive an email confirming the contact information contained in their registration profile on pickleballtournaments.com, listing the events they have registered for, and listing fees/payments as of the date of the confirmation. Confirmations will be sent via email no later than September 16. Participants who do not supply an email address will be responsible for verifying their own registration information on pickleballtournaments.com as they will not receive any other form of communication from the USAPA for the 2018 USAPA National Championships.

Email nationalsreg@usapa.org if you do not receive your confirmation

USAPA reserves the right to refuse entry to the Tournament to any individual for any reason.

All current USAPA members can check the status of their membership by logging into their USAPA account (click here).  Once in, go to the ‘Member Area’ and click the link that says ‘Membership Status/Billing Info’.

Only 5.0 players in Open may purchase the Pro Player package.

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Venue (20)

Indian Wells Tennis Garden
78-200 Miles Avenue
Indian Wells, CA 92210


The Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) is approximately 30 minutes from the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. 10 top airlines providing nonstop service from 18 cities. Other nearby airports:

ONT: Ontario International Airport (1 hour 15-minute drive)
SNA: John Wayne Airport-Orange County (1 hour 30-minute drive)
LAX: Los Angeles International Airport (2-hour drive)
SAN: San Diego International Airport (2 hours and 15-minute drive)
LAS: Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (4-hour drive)
PHX: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (4-hour drive)

Yes, we will have a few taped courts available for players to practice. Please remember practice courts are limited so please stay on the court no longer than 15 minutes.

There is parking near the courts. There will be a cost associated with parking; details available soon.

Yes, Indian Wells Tennis Garden has several options for purchasing food and beer on-site. They are also working with local restaurants for discounted lunches and dinners during your visit.

Yes, there will be live music each afternoon under the large shade structure.

Yes, water will be provided.

No, there will be plenty of shade available for players. You may bring coolers and chairs for your comfort.

We welcome the presence of service animals assisting people with disabilities. A service animal is defined as an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Family pets or other animals are not allowed on-site.

Yes, there will be trainers onsite. The fee is under negotiation at this time.

No, while there will be plenty of restrooms, there will be no general access to shower or workout facilities.

Ticket prices will range from $10 – $50 per day. More information will be available soon.

Bags/backpacks no larger than 16 x 16 x 8 inches are permitted. Bags, purses and backpacks will be subject to search upon entrance to the site, so please allow additional time for entry.

Alcohol, weapons, illegal substances, glass, open beverage containers and hard-sided bags/containers are NOT permitted. Prohibited items that are discovered during bag inspections must either be returned to your vehicle or discarded. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden will not provide storage for these items. Guests arriving by public transportation must take particular caution not to bring any prohibited items, as no exceptions will be made.

Yes, however the cooler may not be larger than 16 x 16 x 8 and will be subject to inspection at the entry gate. 

No, alcoholic beverages may not be brought onto the tournament grounds but may be purchased onsite. If you consume alcoholic beverages, please do so in a responsible manner. Please note, tailgating is not permitted in any of the parking areas.

No. There is plenty of seating at the courts and there are shade structures and eating areas around the venue with ample seating.  Outside chairs of any kind are not permissible at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

No, all live streaming will be done by a professional media company and the USAPA.

Yes, it will be aired on National TV, however the date and are not yet finalized. More information will be available soon.

No.  Only service animals and service animals in training are allowed on the tournament grounds.

Umbrellas for the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships are permissible at the venue however please be courteous to others while using is spectator areas.  If your umbrella is blocking others from seeing, you may be required to lower your umbrella or asked to move to an area that does not effect other spectators. 

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Lodging (1)

No, the USAPA does not have a Host Home program. However, Indian Wells Tennis Garden has made arrangements with local hotels and RV resorts for players and referees at discounted rates. Please go to the Accommodations link on the USAPA Nationals website or on pickleballtournaments.com for details.

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General (19)

On August 17 at 10:00 am, we will email a Sign Up Genius link to all interested volunteers. They will be able to select positions and shifts that work best for their interests and schedule.

To be added to the email distribution list, please email Joel Korelitz at joelkore@yahoo.com or nationaltournament@usapa.org.

Initially, we felt a National tournament should have larger brackets. Some members felt that this choice was unfair to players over 50. We felt it was important to listen to our membership and wanted to offer a compromise.

Yes, every match will have a referee. For a great tournament, it is important that everyone able to referee volunteer to help. Our goal is to have a USAPA Certified Referee for all Gold medal matches We will be paying referees this year; details to follow.

You must check-in each play day so we know if all the players have arrived and to provide an opportunity to ensure your tournament registration is in order. Players will not be allowed to play if any part of their registration is incomplete or their event fees have not been paid.

Players must check in a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the event start time.

During registration, we allocated 10 slots per division to provide an opportunity for all brackets to have a meaningful size. Players had until August 15 to take advantage of the allotment. After August 15, openings in the brackets that were not at capacity were allocated to other events.

Yes. results, brackets, schedules, court assignments, matches waiting for court assignments and find a player can all be accessed via pickleballtournaments.com. Results will be posted on the Internet as soon as a match is completed and the score sheet is returned to the Tournament Desk. Court assignments and match waiting lists will be updated when the score sheets are entered.

We will make every effort to resume play as soon as possible. We will communicate all updates and any decisions with you during the rain delay via pickleballtournaments.com email/text options. In some cases, if we are not able to resume play the event will be canceled.

This is an outdoor event subject to the weather. No refunds or credit will be issued for cancellation of events due to inclement weather. We will do all we can to play all matches including modifying the format if necessary.

The Event Player List will be available on October 6th, 2018. Due to the number of registrants and time needed to ensure each registrant has met the registration criteria so that the Event Player List is accurately reflected it will not be shown prior to October 6th.

Detailed start times will be available no later than October 31, 2018, after charts have been created and seeded. Court assignments and matches waiting lists will be available at midnight the day that each event is to be played.

Charts will be posted for each Division and Event at midnight on the day of play for that event. However, due to last minute team or player withdrawals, charts may change until the scheduled start time for an event.

Please check the USAPA Approved Equipment website for a list of approved paddles.

Yes, except for matches being played on the Championship Court. Those matches will be shared exclusively by USAPA or the event broadcast partner.

Yes. The terms of the contract are being negotiated but the information will be available as soon as it is finalized.

They may click here and send an email requesting information.

Yes, on Friday, November 2nd, practice courts will be available from 10 am to 8 pm.

Yes!  Here are the details for the 2nd Annual Pickleball Hall of Fame Dinner/Banquet:

Date:  Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Location:  The Lakes Country Club, 161 Old Ranch Road, Palm Desert,  CA  92211

Time:  Cocktails at 6:30 pm, Dinner at 7:15 pm

Cost:  $50 per person

Menu:  Full Buffet with three salads, sirloin carving station, fish, vegetarian, vegetables, dessert, coffee/tea

You can purchase tickets ahead of time at the Pickleball Hall of Fame website:


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USAPA Sponsors