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.
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).
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).
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 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:
- Register to play at the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships by July 25, 2021.
- Register and pay for each desired event by August 7, 2021; and
- Win the lottery draw – in other words, get lucky!
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.
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.
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.
Updated May 12, 2021