How to Run a Pickleball Tournament?

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If you are planning to organize a pickleball tournament and dealing with the question “how to run a pickleball tournament?”, then keep in mind that tournaments of every sport including pickleball consider a group of matches, teams, players, and equipment.

Moreover, it can handsomely be achieved and managed through the performance of members at different departments, who are well cognizant of the game rules and tournaments’ formats.

In this article, details to address your query will further expound in the following manners.

How to run a pickleball tournament

Pickleball Tournaments Rules

While planning to run a pickleball tournament, firstly you have to decide that either you will follow USA Pickleball Rules or PPA Tour Pickleball Rules.

Each and everything related to the tournament, members, and venue must be pre-planned. The management must know scoring rules and the rules of the selected format.

To avoid complications, you must notify that either you are selecting on a skill-basis or gender basis.

Pickleball Tournaments Management

Management is the backbone of every event; therefore, I will guide you on the best following ways to manage the pickleball tournament:

Tournament Director/Commissioner

Firstly, choose the best professional tournament director who can coordinate the event and entrust tasks like handling scoreboard, management of referees, first aids, and other even related issues.


You should formulate a group of volunteers being supervised by the tournament director. They will look after affairs like managing the audience, guiding players, managing the scoreboard, and monitoring security issues. 

Referee Coordinator

USAPA sanctioned referees are the best option to manage and run the events. We suggest to enroll professional and experienced referees for the tournament.

In that way, players will get experience and the event will remain well-organized and managed.


Selection of the venue is a very important factor to organize an event. First of all, you may select a venue and then move forward.

You should keep in mind the following steps while selecting a venue:

  • Number of courts
  • Lights facility (in case of prolonging of the tournament)
  • Parking area (for visitors, players, management, etc.)
  • Hotels in the suburb of the ground (for stay and meal)
  • Easy to reach / travel areas

Pickleball Tournament Formats

When we talk about how to run the Pickleball tournaments, discussion of categories and formats is mandatory.

It’s understood that in tournaments there is a greater number of players out of which the qualified player is finalized for the next level of matches.

Here, we will discuss how some methods of selection work in tournaments. Make-up for pickleball tournaments is based on four formats:

  1. Single Elimination
  2. Double Elimination
  3. Round Robin
  4. Pool play

Single Elimination

In single-elimination, when a player or team makes a fault or loses the game, they refer to the consolation bracket.

The members of the consolation bracket earn a second chance but cannot play for gold or silver as winner bracket members play.

The members of the consolation bracket can only play for the third slot or bronze. They have no second chance to win the winner bracket zone and play for gold or silver.

Double Elimination

Simply, I would say that double elimination means a double chance to win. Here, the members of the consolation bracket may also play for silver and gold.

When the player/team loses and is added to the consolation bracket, they had to win two matches to win the tournament.

From one match they will be selected in the winner bracket and then they would have a chance to win gold/silver in a second chance.

Round Robin

The third format of the tournament is recreational, as every player gets a chance to play with each player.

The tournaments based on these formats have usually singles matches. This format would consume more time in doubles matches. In the round-robin, the teams select on the number of matches they won.

When the matches draw, these are broken into three methods. When there is the first tie, the management determines the winner based on head-to-head matches.

In 2nd draw/tie, management notice the point difference and in the third draw/tie, the team/player selects keeping the head-to-head point differential into consideration.

Pool Play

Like the round-robin, the pool play format also allows players/teams to play with each other but in the confined pool.

In my view, pool play targets to eliminate the factor of time consumption. The winners of the pool select to play a final in a single or double-elimination format.

Prices and Sponsorships

Being an organizer, you should first decide on reasonable entry fees and catchy first three prices.

You should disseminate details about the tournament through different modes and mediums about 20-30 days before the commencement of the tournament to attract the concerned audience including the names and logos of your worthy sponsors.

It is better to carry out all the above-said tasks with the help of sponsors. This will decrease your cost, increase your budget; decrease entry fees and prove to be more profitable.

Furthermore, this coalition will maintain trust between the organizer and the players.  

Pickleball tournaments split into three categories.

  • Men (Singles and Doubles)
  • Women (Singles and Doubles)
  • Mixed (Doubles)

Final Thoughts On Pickleball Tournament

Running a tournament is not as easy as it seems to be. You have to be very careful in organizing a team, volunteers, picking a referee, determining a suitable venue, and choosing the right format. Moreover, it is better to organize an event with the help of sponsorships and decide entry fees and prices according to your budget. It is suggested to avoid being extravagant at any stage of the tournament.

In view of the above-said discussion, we conclude that an organizer should select things step-by-step starting from your estimated budget and manage and hire things accordingly to avoid any brunt.

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