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by Kelly Campbell

We’re just over a month out from the start of the Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships, one of the largest and most highly anticipated pickleball tournaments of the year. The tournament is one of USA Pickleball’s 11 regional pickleball events where thousands of competitors come together for intense competition. 

As pickleball continues to grow, we can expect that the competition will heighten with it. The Nationals tournament is a testament to the overall popularity of pickleball in the country, with participant numbers growing exponentially since its inception. The event features and welcomes tens of thousands of fans each year in person and via live stream and television coverage. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about this year’s upcoming tournament. 

2022 Information: USA Pickleball Nationals

Dates: November 5-13th 2022 

Location: Indian Wells Tennis Garden – Indian Wells, CA 

Courts: 49 outdoor Plexipave courts and one championship court 

Ball: Franklin X-Performance 40

How To Sign Up: Pre-registration, regular registration, and lottery registration are now closed (as of 8/2022). Lottery winners will be selected on 10/1.

Tickets: Daily tickets start at $15, but you can also purchase VIP and flex packages with other perks. Purchase tickets here. 

The 2022 tournament is spread over nine days and features competitors from all over the country. The Indian Wells venue, just outside of Palm Springs, has two stadiums –– one with  16,100 seats and another with 8,000 seats –– as well as 28 world-class courts.  

Tournament participants are required to have played in at least one qualifying USA Pickleball sanctioned event between 6/28/21 and 9/11/22. Players must also show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative PCR test, have a valid USA Pickleball membership, and maintain a minimum 5.0 USA Pickleball rating by 9/19 for Pro and SR Pro events (certain events may open up to 4.5 rated players, depending on participation). You can view the list of qualifying tournaments and events here. 

Nationals is a double-elimination tournament and all matches must be won by two points. Winner bracket matches are 2 wins out of 3 games to 11 points, opportunity brackets are one game to 15 and Pro Gold Medal Matches are 3 out of 5 to 11. On the USA Pickleball website, prize money remains TBD. 

Indian Wells Center requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test upon entry. While the specifics have not yet been advertised, USA Pickleball Nationals will be live-streamed and broadcast with extensive coverage by ESPN and other outlets. You can view 100+ hours of archived 2021 USA Pickleball Nationals footage here.

History of Nationals

The first USA Pickleball National Tournament debuted in November of 2009, four years after USA Pickleball was created, with the intent of showcasing top pickleball talent across age groups and skill levels. 

The 2009 USA Pickleball Nationals Championship was held in Buckeye, AZ with 400 participants. In addition to eight pickleball-specific courts, there were 12 temporary courts set up on existing tennis courts with tape and hand-built nets. The tournament was also the first big event to use a software program (, which is still used in the tournament today. There were over 200 awards given, and most were given to those from Arizona, Washington, California, and Florida, which remain some of the most popular pickleball hubs in the US. 

Through the years, specifically in the early 2010s, participation numbers increased and participant ages got younger. More states were better represented as more picklers across the country came out for the tournament. By 2013-2014, participant numbers climbed past 700 players, and a shift to place emphasis on sponsorships and marketing by tournament directors attracted an even larger crowd. In 2015, the tournament moved from its original location to Casa Grande, AZ to meet the growing demand for a larger venue. Along with the new venue, the 2015 tournament welcomed a corporate sponsor and live streamed to the public for the first time.

Each year, there was tremendous growth in participation as well as new additions in technology and marketing for the tournament. In 2017, participant numbers surpassed 1,300 players. 2017 was also the first year that the tournament had a national audience –– CBS Sports Network aired two hours of the event. In 2018, a record number of participants was hit –– 2,200 players in 4,300 matches –– and tournament directors signed a multi-year deal with their new venue, Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The cash prize that year was a whopping $75,000, which was record-breaking for the sport. ESPN broadcasted 17 hours of live stream coverage. The 2019 tournament welcomed 28,000 fans over ten days and won the Racquet Sports Industry Magazine award for “Pickleball Tournament of the Year”.

The Nationals Tournament made a triumphant return in 2021 after a COVID-19 hiatus. The tournament, also held at Indian Wells Tennis Center, ran from 12/6/21 to 12/14/21 and featured over 2,300 competitors. The 2021 tournament required proof of COVID-19 vaccination for anyone, player or fan, who attended the tournament, while the upcoming 2022 tournament will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID PCR test within 72 hours of the event.

2022 Tournament Schedule 

Saturday, 11/5

Men’s Senior Pro Singles 50+

Women’s Senior Pro Doubles 50+

Women’s Age/Skill Singles 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+

Men’s Skill/Age Doubles 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+

Sunday, 11/6

Men’s Senior Pro Doubles 50+

Women’s Senior Pro Singles 50+

Mixed Age/Skill Doubles 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+

Monday, 11/7

Mixed Senior Pro Doubles 50+

Women’s Age/Skill Doubles 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+

Men’s Age/Skill Singles 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+

Tuesday, 11/8

Mixed Pro Split/Age (1 Pro 50+ and 1 Pro under 50)

Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 50+, 55+, 60+ (3.0 and 3.5)

Wednesday, 11/9

Men’s Pro Split/Age

Women’s Pro Split Age (1 Pro 50+ and 1 Pro under 50)

Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 50+, 55+. 60+ (4.0)

Women’s Skill/Age Singles 19+, 35+

Thursday, 11/10

Men’s Singles Pro (Played Through Bronze)

Women’s Singles Pro (Played Through Bronze)

Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 50+, 55+, 60+ (4.5 and 5.0)

Men’s Skill/Age Singles 19+, 35+

Friday, 11/11

Mixed Doubles Pro (Played Through Bronze)

Women’s Skill/Age Doubles 19+, 35+

Women’s Skill/Age Singles 50+, 55+, 60+

Men’s Skill/Age Single’s 50+, 55+, 60+

Saturday, 11/12

Women’s Doubles Pro (Played Through Bronze)

Men’s Doubles Pro (Played Through Bronze)

Junior Girls Doubles

Junior Boys Doubles,

Men’s Skill/Age Doubles 19+, 35+

Women’s Skill/Age Doubles 50+, 55+, 60+

Sunday, 11/13

Men’s Skill/Age Doubles 50+, 55+, 60+

Mixed Skill/Age Doubles 19+, 35+

Junior Mixed Doubles

Women’s Pro Singles Gold

Men’s Pro Singles Gold

Women’s Pro Doubles Gold

Men’s Pro Doubles Gold

Mixed Pro Doubles Gold

Sources – 

USA Pickleball