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Friday, March 9, 2018

More on USAPA Membership

Why join the Navy if you can be a pirate...

Yesterday's post was mostly about the personal benefits of a USAPA membership, which is a requirement for playing in a sanctioned tournament like the Land of the Sky Pickleball Tournament. There was a brief mention of the activities of the USAPA but I would like to go a little deeper into these in the hopes that those doubting the value of a membership can better appreciate what the USAPA does for them. Yesterday's mention is shown first below.

The primary reason to join the USAPA is to be a part of something bigger than your usual gym. The USAPA is the body that maintains the standards for equipment and rules as well develops outreach programs to grow the game.  

Rosemary Reese, Assistant Regional Director of the Southwest Region wrote an article that very eloquently explains why pickleball players should become members. A portion of the article is shown below.

The simple answer today is: 
  • Without a national organization we do not have a universal sport.
  • USAPA provides the rules for every player to be able to play the same game all over the country
  • USAPA tests and certifies paddles and balls to insure all the equipment meets a standard set of specifications
  • USAPA has added to the grant program a high school grant program. Through the years we have seen large increases in the amount of grant money given out annually.
  • USAPA maintains on its website, Places 2 Play, (which is now a brand new program, that we could guess costs a good amount of money) . This site provides players the opportunity to see where they can pick up games when traveling. Personally I have been amazed at how many players who travel for work who are playing at night, instead of hanging out.
  • USAPA had to invest in the Member Leap program, as our old program was not designed to hold so many members
  • USAPA has worked for more then 3 years to have a computerized rating system, to insure all ratings are objective and not subjective
  • If it were not for the organization and the thousand of volunteers, which includes the National Board, the sport would still be sitting in the state of Washington. 
  • With our growth we need to hire employees which we have been doing over the course of the last few years
  • New players who enjoy playing, usually join to be part of something that is on track to have a future we hardly thought possible. 
At a cost of .38 cents a week, it is something every player should be able to afford.

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