USA Pickleball Makes Changes to Tournament Sanctioning

The USAPA is revising the tournament sanctioning requirements and tier structuring to simplify and provide ease of information of tournaments for both players and Tournament Directors.

Changes will go into effect on January 1, 2020 and will include:

Current Medal Match Only (MMO) will now be known as Medal Match Plus (MMP) and allows USAPA sanctioning for both new and previously sanctioned tournaments.


“Tier” will no longer be used for the USAPA sanctioning process. Instead, the following competitive level references will be used:

  • Tier 1 – will now be known as USAPA Nationals
  • Tier 2 – USAPA Regionals and USAPA National Qualifier
  • Tier 3, 4 & 5 – USAPA Sanctioned Tournament


All MMP Nationals qualifying tournaments must meet specific criteria including listing all referee training sessions held prior to their first two MMP sanctioned events, and referees are required for all winner’s bracket matches at the 4.0 level and above. After the event’s second year, the Tournament Director must apply for full sanctioning to be considered a national qualifying event.

The new MMP guidelines include the following:

  • Referees required for medal matches in single or double elimination brackets
  • Referees required for the two matches leading up to medal matches – which, for single or double elimination formats is the final match in the winner’s bracket and the match preceding the bronze medal match in the consolation bracket
  • Tournament Director must submit written proof of the aforementioned referee matches in a referee report to within one week after the conclusion of play

“The new adopted policy changes will enable the USAPA to maintain consistency throughout our tournament structure and better align our new levels of competition as move forward into the new year,” said Karen Parrish, USAPA Managing Director of Competition.

For more information on the new competitive level structure and sanctioning policies for USAPA, visit Tournament & Ratings at

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