The Association of Pickleball Players (APP) has announced a groundbreaking partnership with Universal Tennis, the global market-leading racket sports technology and events company. The agreement sees Universal Tennis become the APP's official and exclusive ratings partner, providing deep experience of racquet sports ratings systems and analysis to all levels of APP players and events — from elite professionals, amateurs and recreational players, to Next Gen, seniors, and super seniors.
Universal Tennis — the creator behind the UTR Rating, the world’s most accurate tennis rating — has recently adapted its rating algorithm and event management software for pickleball. Universal Tennis is harnessing its renowned expertise and technology solutions to offer innovative technology solutions for pickleball players, enabling them to have one home for all their pickleball needs including ratings, leagues, matchplay, tournaments, and more.
Universal Tennis has launched the UTR Pickleball Rating (UTRP) to rate players on a scale of P1 (beginner), P2 (intermediate), P3 (advanced), or P4 (expert/professional). Using results from the APP, Universal Tennis will continue refining the algorithm and eventually adopt a numerical decimal rating similar to tennis for higher-level pickleball players. Players looking to join the community and get a free rating can click here.
“At the heart of Universal Tennis are players, so we are delighted to be partnering with the APP, an organization which prides itself on its integrity and its core focus on serving players of all levels,” said Mark Leschly, Chairman and CEO of Universal Tennis. “Pickleball is played by millions of people in America, and increasingly around the world, and now we have the opportunity to bring Universal Tennis’ experience, knowledge, and tried-and-tested systems to the APP to establish the benchmark for ratings and rankings systems. Universal Tennis also has vast experience, knowledge, and skills in creating and managing successful racquet sports events, which we will now add to the APP team.”
“This is a historic day for pickleball, welcoming Universal Tennis, the worldwide market leader in tennis ratings, rankings, and player-focused events, into the APP family,” said Brian Graybill, President of Intersport, co-owner of the APP. “We have ambitious plans for the expansion of the APP, bringing significant new investment and resources into our organization to help raise the profile of the players and events. Universal Tennis will help supercharge those plans, bringing unrivaled experience and technology to help us achieve our goals and help players maximize their potential, on and off-court.”
The 2023 APP tournament schedule has already featured six standout events in 2023, including the most recent tournament, The Boca Raton 2023 APP New York City Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York which attracted more than 1,200 players. The latest APP Tour stop, the 2023 APP Newport Beach Open, is the largest event in the APP’s history, featuring more than 1,400 pro and amateur players, competing over six days in one of the premier pickleball venues worldwide. APP Tour events are televised on ESPN2 or CBS Sports Network, and livestreamed on ESPN+ or APPTV and Facebook.