The growing interest in pickleball has been often discussed in many of the articles on this site and like most other American sports it was only going to be a matter of time before a pickleball league was announced. The Major League Pickleball is one such pickleball league and in this article we discuss the exact specifics associated with it.
What is Major League Pickleball?
Major League Pickleball, or MLP is an organizing body for events around pickleball.
Modelled around some of the other sports organizations in the USA like Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, MLP was started in 2021 with the intention to “show the world how extraordinary pickleball really is”.
“A win for pickleball is a win for us”
This is a mantra advertised by Major League Pickleball on their website, and to achieve that end, MLP’s goal is to innovate and challenge into elevating the status of pickleball in the country and the world.
Whether it is about delivering some of the best pickleball tournaments or producing content around it, Major League Pickleball has taken it all on to help grow the sport.
It’s a team event where owners bring in some of the best men and women players to compete against each other in a pre-decided format.
When did Major League Pickleball Begin?
The first ever season of the Major League Pickleball was held in 2021 and a total of eight teams had participated that season.
These were Team BLQK, Chimeras, Discovery Warriors, Pickle Ranchers, The Lions, Team Clean, ATX Pickleballers and Team Rally.
12 teams are expected to participate in the second edition of MLP with the event to be played between June 3-5, 2022 at Dreamland in Dripping Springs Texas.
Where is Major League Pickleball Played?
The first edition of MLP was held in Austin in 2021. The same venue will be used to host the second season of Major League Pickleball as well in 2022, with Dreamland in Dripping Springs Texas used to host the competition.
However, the following editions of MLP will be held at different venues with more cities expected to be called up for hosting duties.
Here’re the list of cities hosting the MLP events:
- Only 2021 Event: Austin
- First 2022 Event: Austin
History of Major League Pickleball
Major League Pickleball was founded by Steve Kuhn according to its official website and its first ever edition was held in 2021 in Austin.
The second edition of MLP will be played in 2022 with Austin hosting it at Dreamland in Dripping Springs Texas between June 3 and 5. More such events are expected to played each year.
From eight teams participating in its first season, the Major League Pickleball announced four more teams to be added to the second edition of the competition with the 2022 MLP Draft to be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
What Happened in the First Edition of Major League Pickleball?
Eight teams participated in the first edition of Major League Pickleball which was held between November 5-8, 2021. These included Team BLQK, Chimeras, Discovery Warriors, Pickle Ranchers, The Lions, Team Clean, ATX Pickleballers and Team Rally.
Each team played the other team in the league once, with a tie consisting of four matches – one men’s and women’s doubles and two mixed doubles events.
In case the teams were tied at the end of these four matches, a tie-breaker called the DreamBreaker was played which consisted of all the four players featuring in it.
Team BLQK won the first ever edition of MLP by winning six of their seven matches and having a games differential of 12. Placed second were the Chimeras who also won six and lost one but had a slightly lower game differential.
Here’re the Final Scores at the Austin 2021 event of MLP
- Team BLQK: 6 Won, 1 Lost, 12 Game Differential
- Chimeras: 6, 1, 9
- Discovery Warriors: 5, 2, 14
- Pickle Ranchers: 3, 4, -4
- The Lions: 3, 4, -6
- Team Clean: 3, 4, -1
- ATX Pickleballers: 2, 5, -9
- Team Rally: 0, 7, -15
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Does Major League Pickleball Have a Draft?
Yes, Major League Pickleball also consists of a draft whereby team owners pick their singles and doubles players for the next edition of the competition.
For the second edition of Major League Pickleball, for instance, a Snake Draft will be used. Here’s more on what is a Snake Draft.
In 2022, there will be one main draft which will be followed by limited supplemental drafts for the rest of the editions of the events to allow for new teams and fresh players, along with replacements for injuries and unavailable players.
The main draft will allow teams to pick four players, two men and two women, into their squads, making it a total of 48 players who will participate in the competition.
How to Watch Major League Pickleball Live Streaming?
More information on how to watch all the matches in the MLP second season is still awaited but the finals is expected to be televised by the CBS Network. The preliminary matches can also be expected to be live streamed on the official MLP website here.
Final Words on Major League Pickleball
Pickleball seems to be a sport which is here to stay, and by extension it needed a competition like the Major League Pickleball. With the right management and guidance, MLP is here to stay and could go on to become the premier competition for pickleball globally, not just in the USA.