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How to Qualify for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships

by Stacie Townsend 10 Comments

How to Qualify for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships | Pickler Pickleball

The USA Pickleball National Championships is widely regarded as the “crown jewel” of pickleball tournaments. With a setting at the world-renowned Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the USA Pickleball National Championships is certainly a “must play” for all pickleball tournament players.

USA Pickleball National Championships | Pickler Pickleball

Pickleball players from across the world descend upon Indian Wells, California, just outside Palm Springs, California, for a weeklong pickleball tournament featuring the best of the best from the United States, Canada, and dozens of other countries around the world. These pickleball players, which range from 3.0 to 6.0+ skill level, play their best pickleball on beautiful dark green and dark purple pickleball courts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden complex. Lined with palm trees, sunshine, and with a beautiful desert mountain backdrop, it is certainly a getaway for pickleball players, fans, and addicts, especially in the month of November—when the tournament is typically held (*update - the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships will be held December 6th through December 14th).

USA Pickleball National Championships | Pickler Pickleball

There are a ton of questions around qualification and registration for the USA Pickleball National Championships—especially after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 USA Pickleball National Championships, causing “golden tickets” to carry over into the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships. So, how do you get there? How do you qualify and register for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships? This pickleball blog endeavors to make some sense of it.

Requirements to Play at the USA Pickleball National Championships 

To play in the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships, you must meet both the “Participation Requirement” and the “Registration Requirement” described below:

1. Participation Requirement

To meet the Participation Requirement, you must play in one of the following pickleball tournaments between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021:

  • USA Pickleball Regional Tournaments:

    • Great Lakes Regional June 28 – 30, 2019 (Kalamazoo, MI)
    • Middle States Regional August 1 – 4, 2019 (Lakeville, MN)
    • Atlantic South Regional August 23 – 25, 2019 (Foley, AL)
    • Great Plains Regional September 5 – 8, 2019 (Colorado Springs, CO)
    • Pacific NW Regional September 5 – 8, 2019 (Beaverton, OR)
    • West Regional September 18 – 22, 2019 (Fountain Valley, CA)
    • Mid Atlantic Regional September 20 – 22, 2019 (Myrtle Beach, SC)
    • Southwest Regional January 8 – 12, 2020 (Surprise, AZ)
    • Mid-South Regional March 12 – 16, 2020 (College Station, TX)
    • Mid-Atlantic Regional September 24 – 27, 2020 (Myrtle Beach, SC)
    • Mid-South Regional April 22 - 25, 2021 (McKinney, TX)
    • Atlantic South May 6 – 9, 2021 (Foley, AL)
    • Mountain May 17 – 24, 2021 (Las Vegas, NV)
    • Middle States Regional May 27 – 30, 2021 (St Louis, MO)
    • North Mid-Atlantic Regional June 4 – 6, 2021 (Cranberry Township, PA)
    • Great Lakes Regional June 17 – 20, 2021 (Fort Wayne, IN)
    • Pacific NW Regional June 22 – 27, 2021 (Boise, ID)
    • Great Plains Regional June 23 – 28, 2021 (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • USA Pickleball National Qualifiers:

    • Las Vegas Pickleball Open September 22 - 27, 2020 (Las Vegas, NV)
    • Texas Open October 1 - 5, 2020 (Dallas, TX)
    • Fall Brawl October 6 – 10, 2020 (St George, UT)
    • Winter Classic January 29 – 31, 2021 (Naples, FL)
    • USA Pickleball National Indoor Tournament June 8 – 13, 2021 (Hoover, AL)
    • Beer City Open July 8 – 11, 2021 (Grand Rapids, MI)

For the pro pickleball players, there are also four additional pickleball tournaments that meet the participation requirement. These four pickleball tournaments make up the first USA Pickleball National Championships Series (announced in May 2021) and include:

  • USA Pickleball National Championship Series:

    • USA Pickleball Newport Beach Championships June 28 - July 4, 2021
    • Jigsaw Health Tournament of Champions August 16 - 22, 2021
    • APP Atlanta Metro Open September 16 - 19, 2021
    • APP Hilton Head Open October 13 -17, 2021

To note, if you play in the pro pickleball bracket in any of the USA Pickleball National Championship Series events, then you will meet the participation requirement. However, if you play in an amateur bracket, then you will meet the participation requirement for the 2022 USA Pickleball National Championships (and not the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships).

Pickleball Nationals | Pickler Pickleball

    To note, however, if you were registered to play in any of these pickleball tournaments and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic or inclement weather, your event was cancelled, then, despite not playing, you would still meet the Participation Requirement.

    2. Registration Requirement

    To meet the Registration Requirement, you must complete all of the steps for Pre-Registration or for the Lottery for each event that you desire to participate in:

    Pre-Registration

    Pre-registration requires both “earning” pre-registration and registering for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships by July 25, 2021:

    • Earn pre-registration in the desired event by:
    A.  Winning a gold medal in a skill/age event or a gold, silver, or bronze in an Open or Sr. Open event at the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championships;
    B.  Winning a gold medal in an Open or Sr. Open event at a USA Pickleball National Qualifier between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021 (to note, if a bracket is combined, only the combined bracket winners will receive pre-registration); 
    C.  Winning a gold medal at a USA Pickleball Regional Tournament between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021 (to note, if a bracket is combined, only the combined bracket winners will receive pre-registration); or
    D.  Winning a gold medal in the pro bracket at a USA Pickleball National Championship Series event; and
     
    • Register to play at the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships by July 25, 2021.

    USA Pickleball National Championships | Pickler Pickleball

    Lottery

    The lottery requires registration and payment by August 7, 2021, as well as a bit of luck:
    • Register and pay for each desired event by August 7, 2021; and
    • Win the lottery draw – in other words, get lucky!

    Pickleball Nationals Lottery | Pickler Pickleball

    Important UTPR Information

    For all pro pickleball players and aspiring pro pickleball players, please note that you must have at least a minimum of a 5.5 USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating (UTPR) by July 15, 2021, in order to register for an Open event. Based on the amount of participation, you may be able to enter an Open event with a UTPR of 5.0 or better. Likewise, for senior pro pickleball players, please note that you must have at least a minimum of a 5.0 USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating (UTPR) by July 15, 2021, in order to register for a Sr. Open event. Based on the amount of participation, you may be able to enter a Sr. Open event with a UTPR of 4.5 or better.

    For all other pickleball players, please note that your UTPR for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships is based on your UTPR at the time that you register for the pickleball tournament.

    Pickleball Tournament | USA Pickleball Nationals | Pickler Pickleball

    Photo Cred: Brittany Hubschman

    Will You Be Playing in the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships?

    If you have not met the Participation Requirement or the Registration Requirement for the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships, there is still time left! Also, if you have met the Participation Requirement, but you are trying to avoid the lottery and get guaranteed entry, look for a partner that has pre-registration who can pull you into a guaranteed spot. And, if this year is not your year (because of a bad day or unlucky lottery draw), there is always next year.

    Pickleball Tournament | Pickler Pickleball

    Want to Improve for Your Next Pickleball Tournament?

    If you want to improve your pickleball game to prepare for your next pickleball tournament—which may be the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships—then check out Pickler’s online video lesson collection called My Pro Pickleball Coach. My Pro Pickleball Coach is a fraction of the price of one clinic or even one lesson, and features over 140 video lessons (over 7 hours of instruction!), as well as a corresponding e-book. These online video lessons are available on demand 24/7 and breakdown every aspect of the sport of pickleball, including pickleball drills, strategy, and advanced concepts, so you will play your best pickleball.

    Online Pickleball Video Lessons | Pickler Pickleball

    Updated May 12, 2021




    Stacie Townsend
    Stacie Townsend

    Author



    10 Responses

    Pickler
    Pickler

    May 06, 2021

    Emily – The Texas Open in 2020 was a National Qualifier. The Texas Open from 2019 was not a National Qualifier. Hope this helps!

    Dave – Unfortunately, there are no qualifiers for the USA Pickleball National Championships in the UK at this time. Please see the list above in this blog for the list of tournaments that meet the participation requirement – there are USA Pickleball Regional Tournaments and USA Pickleball National Qualifiers listed. Hope this helps!

    Tom – To answer your question, not every sanctioned tournament is a National Qualifier. Please take a look at the blog above, which lists the regional tournaments, as well as the 6 National Qualifiers. Hope this helps!

    Karl – To answer your question regarding the Winter Classic in Naples, you have met the participation requirement. This means that you can register for Nationals, but you will be entered into the lottery. You have qualified to register, but you will have to enter the lottery (as opposed to pre-registration). Hope this helps!

    Karl Kure
    Karl Kure

    May 06, 2021

    My partner and I won Gold in the Winter Classic in Naples Florida this year. 2021.
    Do we qualify for Nationals this fall in Palm Springs?

    Thanks

    Tom
    Tom

    May 06, 2021

    Does any sanctioned tournament qualify as one of these or are there specific tourneys in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that qualify for this … “B. Winning a gold medal in an Open or Sr. Open event at a USA Pickleball National Qualifier between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021 (to note, if a bracket is combined, only the combined bracket winners will receive pre-registration)”

    Dave Turnbull
    Dave Turnbull

    May 06, 2021

    How can I qualify live in United Kingdom ?

    Emily Hoffmann
    Emily Hoffmann

    May 06, 2021

    I noticed this question has been asked about The Texas Open but I’m confused with this as well. My partner and I won gold at The Texas Open In August 2019. I’ve been told yes it was a qualifier and some people have told me no it was not a qualifier for Nationals.

    Pickler
    Pickler

    March 07, 2021

    Edith – Per USA Pickleball, the 2020 Texas Open is a National Qualifier.
    Andrea – According to USA Pickleball, pre-registration is earned (in other words, a golden ticket is awarded) in the skill/age brackets only by winning a gold medal at the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championships or at a USA Pickleball Regional Tournament between July 15, 2019 and July 15, 2021. For National Qualifiers, only gold medalists in the Open/Pro divisions are awarded pre-registration (aka the golden ticket).

    Andrea
    Andrea

    March 07, 2021

    Stacie, to clarify, do you earn prequalification if you win gold in a skill age event in a national qualifier, or just in the regionals?

    Edith cozad
    Edith cozad

    March 07, 2021

    Is the Texas Open in 2020 a qualifier for sure? I have been told yes and been told no. If not I think it should removed as it is confusing to keep seeing it as so. Thanks, Edith

    Skip Sorich
    Skip Sorich

    March 07, 2021

    Awesome information. Everyone needs to read this post. Thank you, Skip Sorich.

    John Davison
    John Davison

    March 07, 2021

    I love Stacie Townsend

    Leave a comment

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