Pickleball. More than a Sport.

Thoughts from the Broadcast of the 2019 US Open Pickleball Championships

by Stacie Townsend

Pickler Pickleball Blog | Thoughts from the Broadcast of the 2019 US Open Pickleball Championships

A few thousand pickleball players descended upon Naples, Florida to participate in the 2019 US Open Pickleball Championships between April 28th and May 4th, 2019. Then, three weeks later, on May 24th, 2019, the CBS Sports subscribers across the world could tune in for the televised broadcast of the finals matches for each of the Mixed Doubles Pro, Women’s Doubles Pro, and Men’s Doubles Pro of the US Open Pickleball Championships. If you tuned in to the CBS Sports broadcast of the US Open Pickleball Championships, then I am sure that you had your own thoughts, but here are some of ours:

  1. Fans in the Stands! – On every angle of the CBS Sports broadcast, the camera captured full stands at the finals of the US Open Pickleball Championships. It is exciting to see a full venue as our great sport of pickleball continues to grow!
  2. Delayed Broadcast – As a pickleball fan, I feel as if I lost some of my excitement for the finals of the US Open Pickleball Championships simply because the broadcast was not live, but rather three weeks after the event. The momentum and buzz of the US Open Pickleball Championships had passed, and I already knew the outcome of the finals. There was no surprise, no anticipation, no real chance of pulling for one team over the other, as the outcome was already determined. If there was an opportunity to watch the broadcast live (like some of the other events at the US Open Pickleball Championships), I definitely would have been watching (even if I would have had to pay a few dollars for the live stream).
  3. Camera Angle – The camera angles of the CBS Sports broadcast were quite high and quite distant. Pickleball is an intimate, social game, which I think is easier to see when you are close to the pickleball court and close to the action. I think the camera angles chosen for the CBS Sports broadcast took a little away from the pace, strategy, and skill of the players on the pickleball court and the overall pickleball match. I am no videographer expert, but I wonder whether a camera placed on the pickleball court near the Non-Volley Zone or Kitchen Line would have given the fans and viewers a better look at the strategy and skill of the pickleball players. A closer camera angle may have been able to better capture the varying spins, movement, and rapid pace of the pickleball.
  4. Skipping Points – As much as the camera angle may have taken away from the ability of the pickleball fans and viewers to see the strategy played on the pickleball court, the fact that the CBS Sports broadcast skipped large portions of games certainly took away. During the Mixed Doubles Pro final, the CBS Sports broadcast picked up game 2 of the 3-game match at 9-3. In other words, the broadcast skipped almost an entire game of the 3-game match, which was a bit disappointing as a pickleball fan.
  5. Familiar Faces – The pro finals of the US Open Pickleball Championships featured familiar faces on the center court, as each of the Mixed Doubles Pro finals, Women’s Doubles Pro finals, and Men’s Doubles Pro finals all featured rematches of the 2018 USA Pickleball National Championships. The Mixed Doubles Pro final featured 2018 National Champions, Lucy Kovalova/Matt Wright against defending US Open gold medalists, Simone Jardim/Kyle Yates, where Simone Jardim/Kyle Yates defended their gold medal with a score of 9-11, 11-8, 11-6. The Women’s Doubles Pro final featured 2018 National Champions, Lucy Kovalova/Irina Tereschenko against defending US Open gold medalists, Corrine Carr/Simone Jardim, where Lucy Kovalova/Irina Tereschenko took home the gold medal with a score of 11-5, 11-6. The Men’s Doubles Pro final featured Dave Weinbach/Matt Wright against Ben Johns/Kyle Yates, where Ben Johns/Kyle Yates took home the gold medal with a score of 11-9, 9-11, 11-7. With that said, I think there are a handful of new faces and new talent knocking on the door to challenge these center court veterans, and I would not be surprised if these new faces are soon on center court at the 2019 USA Pickleball National Championships or the 2020 US Open Pickleball Championships.
  6. Good Stats – The CBS Sports broadcast provided a good summary of some key statistics of each of the Mixed Doubles Pro, Women’s Doubles Pro, and Men’s Doubles Pro matches of the US Open Pickleball Championships. We captured these stat summaries below.

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships Mixed Doubles Pro*

(*Game 1 and Game 2 (did not show totals)

 

Simone Jardim/Kyle Yates

Lucy Kovalova/Matt Wright

Unforced Errors

19

25

Winners

9

9

Blocked Shots

32

21

 

2019 US Open Pickleball Championships Women’s Doubles Pro

 

Corrine Carr/Simone Jardim

Lucy Kovalova/Irina Tereschenko

Unforced Errors

24

13

Winners

6

12

Blocked Shots

16

15

 
2019 US Open Pickleball Championships Men’s Doubles Pro
 
Ben Johns/Kyle Yates
Dave Weinbach/Matt Wright
Unforced Errors
31
26
Winners
14
15
Blocked Shots
64
71

 

  1. Pickler on TV! – If you did not notice during the broadcast introductions and commercial transitions, Pickler made its first television debut! Clear shots of Stacie Townsend cheering on her ripper of a partner, Anna Leigh Waters, flashed on the big screen with Pickler.

Did you watch the CBS Sports broadcast of the US Open Pickleball Championships? What were your thoughts? Share with us in the comments below!




Stacie Townsend
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