How To Run A Pickleball Tournament Smoothly? Tips For Your First

Pickleball is a game that entices players of all ages and genders to come together and play. The game is quite similar to tennis and other racquet-based sports. Like other racquet-based sports, this game can also be played in singles as well as doubles. As the popularity of Pickleball continues to grow, there are many tournaments held in different cities of the USA year round. However, what if you wanted to host your own Pickleball tournament? This guide can help you on the topic of “How To Run a Pickleball Tournament” as well as make you a better event planner as a whole.

How To Run A Pickleball Tournament Smoothly? Tips For Your First

Tips To Run A Pickleball Tournament

How To Run A Pickleball Tournament Easier? Although there are a lot of reasons that these tournaments can be held, three of the main reasons for hosting such an event are:

  1. Fundraisers
  2. Recreational Tournaments
  3. Competitive Tournaments

Now that we have discussed why these tournaments are held, let’s shed some light on how you can organize a Pickleball tournament of your own.

control room pickleball tournament

Deciding The Venue

The first and most important aspect of hosting any event is the “Venue”. If you can’t manage to book the correct venue for the tournament, people will leave disappointed and they would avoid any further participation in events held by your organization. Here are some of the factors that make a venue suitable for a Pickleball tournament:

  1. The size of the venue should be adequate enough to hold the number of people you’re expecting.
  2. Shade area in the venue to avoid sunlight when not playing.
  3. Parking of the venue.

These were the things that make a venue suitable. However, you need to make sure you decide on a venue that is cost-efficient for your pocket as well.

Determine The Type Of Tournament In Pickleball

Determining the type of tournament is a necessity because different types are suited for different occasions. For example, Pickleball Scramble is usually hosted for fundraisers. That being said, now let’s talk about the most commonly known played types of Pickleball tournaments.

1.    Single-Elimination

In this type of Pickleball tournament, players or teams are eliminated after losing a single match. This makes for a faster-paced tournament and it is usually played when the number of contestants is low.

2.    Double-Elimination

This type of tournament is the exact same as a Single-Elimination tournament with one slight difference. The players or teams are eliminated after losing two matches instead of one. This way, it’s a lot more forgiving and it gives players more flexibility and room for error.

Round Robin

In this tournament, all players or teams play a number of games against every other player or team. This gives the players the opportunity to test out their skills against a variety of players. This format is usually played when there are a large number of participants.

Have you try Glow in the dark Pickleball?

Pickleball Scramble

This tournament format is quite similar to a golf scramble game. It adds a time limit to the game and the team that scores the most amount of points in that given time wins. It is a fun and fast-paced game that can be well-suited for tournaments held for fundraisers.

Pickleball Ladder Tournament Template

A template ladder for Pickleball tournaments helps a person through all the difficulties of managing the rank system of a Pickleball tournament. It includes all the information about player placements in the ladder system. It tells you how the players are placed depending on their skill levels and how to manage the tournament as a whole.

The best template software on the market for organizing a tournament is USAPA Tournament Software.

pickleball tournament judge

Securing An Insurance

Securing insurance is probably a step that you don’t want to miss out on. There are a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands that want to take people to court on the basis of false cases in order to get money out of their pockets. If you want to avoid this, make sure you have a reputable insurance company insure you.

Plus, if there is an actual accident or injury that occurs during your tournament, you need to be able to pay the damages to whomever the accident has occurred to.

Creating A Pickleball Tournaments Schedule

Once you have selected a suitable location and secured some insurance, it’s time for you to create a tournament schedule. The schedule needs to include the date, time, and venue of the tournament, as well as the format of the tournament.

Promote The Tournament

Promotion and marketing is the key to success in the modern world. Make sure you properly advertise your tournament through social media. Also, make sure to visit any local Pickleball clubs in your area to advertise there personally.

Sometimes, it’s better to invite people personally instead of just posting a flex of your event on social media.

Refreshments On Game Day

It’s important to keep the participants as well as the crowd happy by placing refreshment stalls in the venue. This helps generate cash that can be helpful for you to negate the cost of hosting such an event. Plus, people love munching on snacks while watching any entertainment whether it is a movie or a pickleball match.

Although these sales can be quite profitable for you, after calculating the expenses that are going to incur, they pale in its comparison. For this reason, you might want to look for a sponsor. Try emailing local food chains or brands in case they are willing to help.

You could also contact small businesses in your local area because any smart person would want to get on board with the idea of funding the advertisement of their own business, keeping in mind that the costs aren’t too high.

Hiring A Photographer for Tournament Management

Photos make our memories come real, and photos of an event remind the players of their achievements. So make sure to hire a professional photographer that can help you capture every moment of your event. Plus, there are a lot of up-and-coming photographers that would happily spend half a day shooting photos for a reasonable price.


Awards and medals remind the players of their struggle to become the best. It also reminds them of the fun time they had at the event held by your organization. Plus, it is a good gesture by your organization to the players that performed the best, and the cost of purchasing these awards isn’t that high either.

pickleball tournament attendant

You can also offer a cash prize if you can afford it because people jump in excitement whenever they hear the word “money” involved.


Once your event has come to an end, make sure to get proper feedback from your participants as well as the audience to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of your event. Use this feedback to make sure you do not repeat the same mistakes in any future events.


With this guide, you are all set to host a Pickleball tournament of your own. However, if it is your first event, make sure to take it slow and get a lot of prep time as it would really help you in managing your event. You can also visit other similar events to better understand how things are done.

Organizing a Pickleball tournament can be difficult, however, with the right approach, it can be quite a fun and rewarding experience. It also helps to have team members that have hosted similar events in the past to make sure there are no mismanagement issues.

You should also have a clear privacy policy for your event, especially if you are collecting personal information from the participants or using any online platforms or tools.

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