Every pickleball paddle dreams to be in the winner’s hands at a USA Pickleball tournament. To even have the chance at this honor, the paddle must pass a series of in-depth tests and evaluations in accordance with the USA Pickleball Association. If the paddle passes, it is allowed in USA Pickleball-sanctioned tournaments and league play. The evaluation and testing require every USA Pickleball Association Approved paddle to pass more than 80 individual data points to ensure fairness and consistency in all tournaments and league play.
As of April 2021, we are pleased to announce our paddles are USA Pickleball Approved!
USA Pickleball and USAPA-Approved Are the Same
Once a paddle passes and the manufacturer is notified it is approved, it must be labeled with the brand, model name, and a seal or text that says “USA Pickleball Approved.” Up until recently, this text said “USAPA-Approved,” so it’s important to note that these are the same approvals and certifications. This labeling makes it easy to tell what paddles are approved at a glance and is useful for tournament officials all over the country.
How Does the USA Pickleball Association Test Paddles?
The laboratory that USA Pickleball utilizes is Chesapeake Testing, which is located in Belcamp, Maryland. Chesapeake Testing is an accredited, state-of-the-art laboratory that conducts ballistic experimentation, non-destructive testing, and personal safety equipment testing for the sports industry, including football, baseball, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and polo. As part of the testing, all paddle samples must pass a rigorous set of tests, involving dimensions, gloss, deflection, and surface roughness.
All paddles must also be reviewed by the Equipment Evaluation Committee (EEC). This team is led by the USA Pickleball Managing Director of Competition and consists of two individuals with engineering backgrounds and diverse experience in sports. The EEC evaluates manufacturer’s prototypes and new product introductions, which may use new shapes, configurations, or surface treatments.
After thorough testing and evaluation, the USA Pickleball Association will determine if the paddle is compliant and allowed in tournaments and league play. You can see the full list of USA Pickleball Association Approved paddles and balls on the USA Pickleball EEC website.
Big Dill Pickleball Paddles are Approved
Big Dill Pickleball Co. is pleased to announce that both of the Big Dill Pickleball paddles, the Original and the Infinity, passed these rigorous tests and are USA Pickleball compliant. These paddles are now both sanctioned for USA Pickleball tournaments and league play.
We hope to see them in the hands of the next USA Pickleball tournament and league play winner in the near future! If this happens to be you, send us a picture of you and your winning Big Dill Pickleball Co. paddle, along with your winning game, and we’ll send you a prize!