All right guys we are finally back with the podcast episode did you miss us yeah it has been almost a month of no podcast which is probably the longest we have gone since starting this podcast without a podcast episode well all I'm saying is we're never doing that again oh yeah yeah I we were you going through withdrawals like I was going through uh.

Yeah definitely because there's so much stuff that happened in the time that we were gone yeah it's way too much to cover in one episode okay well we're going to try we're gonna try our best but I mean what were you up to this past month well okay so I had Nationals so before Nationals that's when we got our podcast.

Episode up I think I literally published it the day I was leaving for Nationals so I I went through Nationals and then after Nationals I got sick like with the flu me too really sick for a week yeah so I was sick then after that had Thanksgiving where I went to Kansas and then while I was in Kansas you were sick in Denmark right I was I was in Norway.

For yeah Denmark and Roy for my friend's birthday and she was like launching her online um Tech startup and yeah I was sick it was just it was horrible I mean the same thing I did how did we have the same thing I didn't even see you like how did I get whatever you're getting it's because literally everyone I know got.

The same thing even in Kansas one of the people I was gonna play with yeah like right as I got there she was like yeah I'm sick with like a flu and I was like yeah does everything hurt and you don't want to get get out of bed and she's like yep yeah no it was like when I was in Norway I was so sick I was so cold in a shivering so hard that it ached like.

Like my body was aching like I felt like I just got pelted by a bunch of paintballs or pickleballs like you know just you're just there smacking them at me I was like oh my gosh why why does it hurt so bad so bad okay yeah and then once I got back from Thanksgiving you were still like with family out of town and whatnots it's like just a perfect.

Storm of we thought we were gonna get a podcast episode in before you left but then I got so sick that was like dude there's no way I can record a podcast yeah so so it was yeah we are we're officially back and we're never doing that again so uh you're not getting sick okay for sure yes oh I hate getting sick dude I only.

Get sick like once a year maybe every other year but when I get sick I just go completely down like it's not a minor thing yeah no same here well you're not here you guys aren't here to listen about our health woes you're here right let's talk about pickleball they don't care if I'm sick they just want to hear about the paddle reviews and the.

Pickleball news so we'll give the people what they want yes yes um what do you got on this what's on the docket yeah so we're gonna get to my experience at Nationals which uh was pretty fun but real quick I just want to recap a couple paddles because people have been asking a bunch of questions about these um so before I get to my full reviews.

We'll just kind of run through these quick so X back which is that Amazon branded paddle raw carbon fiber face has the worst marketing I've ever seen in my entire life they have marketing because I haven't heard about it until you told me about it I don't know you I think you did see it but you might have forgot actually it's remember those pictures.

That were floating around of like Roger Federer Djokovic and like Nadal oh yeah yeah oh so that's hilarious props to them it's really bad marketing yeah are you I mean okay so the the quality is bad but it worked because it got people talking about it no no I don't even know if that works what got people talking about it was that it was a raw carbon.

Fiber battle for a 90 bucks oh my gosh okay yes so I got I had a friend here who had it they let me try it I had an old carbon one virtually indistinguishable I mean I think you are splitting very small hairs to even come up with differences at ninety dollars easily the best paddle.

You can buy at that price range like I mean your competition at that point is an onyx Z5 or a Franklin signature so so unfortunate thing is as soon as I played with this paddle and put this thing out on Instagram about it yeah people messaged me like dude where is it like I can't find it and it's not on Amazon right now it's really I have I have no.

Idea where it went my guess is they sold out and it'll be back so I'll keep people updated uh but if you're looking for someone that needs a budget paddle and it needs to perform well just go buy that that will be your best paddle for ninety dollars okay um what else you got sounds good black Ace I just wanted to say will you were.

Wrong what this does not suck well I never said it sucked I just said it wasn't for me no it was in your it was in your top five least favorite paddles just because just because it's in my top five least favorite doesn't mean that it sucks I I think paddles could be good and I just don't like it okay that's fair that's how I feel about feel about.

The gearbox so that's I'll give you a break okay okay but uh I thought it was pretty good um I have a couple quick early thoughts on it it hits like a truck it's easily as powerful as a power air uh might be as powerful as a zero zero two but it's in a Slimmer frame uh spin I didn't get to test it but it didn't.

Feel that great it hit so hard that I don't think it has enough spin to keep it in the court like the zero zero two has such crazy amounts of spin that it doesn't really matter how hard you hit it yeah with the black Ace it was so easy to hit it out like I just felt like I could not get the ball to land when I would like drive it in singles.

Um wow the guy was heading with is a five David dutrell he also had the same issue so I mean oh okay I want to say David's not good too you know no Dave is very good I will say though I I said hey David give me a couple overheads with this thing and I hit a couple overheads and.

He goes dude I'm not gonna lie to you I've never been scared of one of your overheads ever but that ball was really hard so I I thought that was pretty great um so 250 it'll be interesting I think I think it's a pretty good paddle uh one thing that most of us have been talking.

About is I don't feel like you sacrificed that much dinking um compared to like a zero zero two I feel like it resets a little better than one of those still not as good as a zero zero three or you know uh other soft paddle but uh it's it's pretty good overall so I'll be curious when I get mine and get to mess with it more kind.

Of what I think but the other thing I'll leave people on is holy cow why on Earth did they do the cheap decals you don't like it no no okay it looks fine if you look at it from afar it looks awesome you get up close and touch that paddle yeah it feels like a cheap decal like it makes a 250 dollar like awesome paddle look and feel like a Toys R Us paddle.

Like because it feels like you could peel the decal up like I bet if I wanted to I could get my fingernail under there and like peel it so if it was not I haven't asked them yet but if it's not for design purposes like paddle Integrity yeah then I think that was a really really dumb decision to do what they did.

They should have just made it all rock carbon fiber and then done a black outline like how people draw on the faces okay I see what you're saying because um the the shape is a spade an Ace of Spades that covers up and so that Parts a decal into sticker so you think you can peel that that thing off I mean I I.

Don't know that it would like peel easily or something but it just like even in the time we were hitting it I felt like I could see small gaps and I was just looking at it going this feels cheap like for 250 dollars I would be unhappy looking at that and I think I even a fan messaged me and said something like yeah people like I don't.

Want to spend 250 and people just make fun of me like it just looks bad and I just think it's weird that you're taking away hitting surface right I mean you can still hit it but it's not the gritty stuff and people miss so I don't know I just it's it's a really weird thing I'm sure I'll have more thoughts when I actually.

Get the paddle but first thoughts good paddle I think 250 is not necessarily unreasonable for it spin I think is going to be a problem but it's very powerful hands battles it'll be insane okay um and then finally the last one the Franklin uh I will be brief with my thoughts on this one the Franklin people.

The new Franklin the Franklin yeah the fragment Franklin carbon SDK oh the blacked out one yes so I've gotten hit it a bit uh I have let other people in my area hit it and I'll just I would say wait until my full review to buy one if you're gonna buy one and I'll leave you with this my brother hit it last night yeah and the.

First couple balls he goes this is absolute garbage and uh one of my other buddies uh in the area also bought it himself and said this is a piece of garbage so two people and I'm I'm not overly impressed at the moment but I'll hit it more to make sure nothing changes okay well I guess that kind of makes sense who's the only.

People that plays with it's just it's just J dub right nobody else plays with it as I haven't seen anyone I mean besides the Johnson family I've seen no one else use it huh that's interesting yeah wait so listen we'll see okay aren't there any other Franklin sponsored players that play with it.

No no wait wait wait sponsored players right now says the Johnson family uh that's it that's all I've got they don't have Zane or Leia anymore oh they don't eventually announced he's out okay and then I don't I I guess Leia hasn't officially announced it but she's been.

Playing a Yola and like some cell Kirks at every tournament she's been to recently so I'd imagine she's out of her contract okay so I imagine that it must not be good because if that title wasn't good enough to keep Zane and Leia then yeah who knows man I maybe it's a money Chase thing maybe paddle wasn't up to spec I don't know but.

Definitely I don't know I'm not impressed with it and I cannot imagine trying to play at the pro level with that thing so whoa we'll see okay okay we'll see all right um but yeah I I guess I'll just recap Nationals for you it was a bummer that you couldn't uh be there as per usual uh everyone came up to me said where's will uh.

You actually facetied me like somebody asked you and you actually facetimed me and I was saying hello to whoever it was you were talking to I thought that was fun dude there was a couple people who were talking to me and thought you were me like that they would call me will but I didn't the first time I heard it I just like.

Misheard it so I didn't really register it the second time they said I was like wait they just called me Will and then I just didn't have the heart at that point to tell them that I'm crazy yeah I'm like okay whatever like I'll just I'll just be well this is fine I'm like okay well just we'll run with it yeah we'll swap it yeah yeah so dude.

Nationals is crazy I even if for whatever reason you don't make it in as a competitor next year you and I should both totally go because it was that much professionals is Leaps and Bounds the best pickleball venue on Earth I 49 more than 49 courts so there was 49 courts that the amateurs used there were.

Warm-up Pro courts and then there was the Giant Center Court with all the bleachers and it was so easy to get on a court even with matches running all day match finishes you hop on and you probably had five or ten minutes before the next one showed up so I didn't find that warming up was an issue courts were spaced.

Really well they were also all encased so balls weren't rolling on to them or the dedicator was dedicated they weren't so it was tennis courts that were fined like they must have been larger tennis courts because they felt like they had more space than when you uh do four chords on a regular tennis court right um and but everything was like painted.

For I guess it was dedicated because they were all painted for pickleball they just resurfaced everything I see I see so they weren't tennis courts anymore but you knew that a tennis court was there uh initially so that was sick um I absolutely loved the venue there was mountains in the background so Sun starts going down and it just looks.

Really nice place was huge really my only complaint was the food was overpriced but when you're in yeah big tennis venue what do you expect yeah this is Indian Wells right Indian Wells California okay yeah yeah so just overpriced food that was really my only complaint but dude I I love the venue just pickleball people everywhere you.

Know you got like booths from every company there um lots of people to say hi to um several Pros came up and said hi actually uh Eric Lang listened to the podcast the two and a half hour podcast that I published yeah like that morning I woke up people are messaging me about it and then Eric ran into me that day.

And he's like dude love the podcast heck yeah it's sad I said you listened to it already and he was like dude I was just getting on my airplane you would just publish it downloaded it listen to it on my flight hey I was like oh that's sick I was like that's awesome uh so that was pretty sweet this guy Eric Eric oh he is super nice I got to chat with him a.

Little bit seems like a really cool tell him tell him to send me his new Gravity paddle so I can try it out I mean I might have them soon you might not even need Eric to send it to you okay I mean I know Eric's probably cooler and you want his number and not mine but dessert so uh yeah I'll be curious to.

Try that out I did get to see it at Nationals a little bit didn't get to hit it or anything um but it looks interesting so um yeah venue was really cool singles unfortunately I played like I had no idea how to play this game uh my first match oh dude I just I don't know man I I should go back and.

Watch the video because I recorded it yeah I recorded two of my three games I might have recorded all three I don't remember um I just played so badly that match was so frustrating because I felt like I could beat the person if I if it was any other day of the week back home I was like I feel like I win this.

Match no problem but I just I mean I just got out of class like he you know he was just beating me um I I lost in two so I was kind of sucky to go into the losers bracket right away um next guy I played which division did you play in here's the best part so I looked.

Everyone's um duper up we I did this for a bunch of brackets because I had friends in all different brackets um so everyone in my bracket I think the lowest duper I saw was three seven the median duper was about four three so basically what's interesting about Nationals is while everyone is.

Sandbagging quote unquote it's not I'll give people a pass at Nationals because you don't get a choice yeah whatever your utpr is at the time of Nationals that's what you have to play so you don't even get to pick whatever it's not your fault at Nationals yeah so it's the golden qualifiers that's your oh that's where I have an issue icic so basically.

At National it's a consequence of the system right yes it's totally a problem in the system okay friends who said I won 4-0 at my golden qualifier can I please play 4-0 and they said no you can't and actually what one of my friends got told was yeah most of the people in your bracket weren't for us at that golden qualifier so you're still.

Playing three five oh that's like what yeah it was so stupid that is that is dumb who mentioned it um somebody messaged us was it Alex I think it was Alex Tran like uh somebody met at minor league uh pickleball I think he's uh I think he's he's talked to you or messaged us on social media but he he explained the situation over a national.

City I mean he explained to me just because I wasn't there and I was like oh yeah what's going on with these divisions and whatnot but okay that makes sense like you know you don't have a choice over at Nationals nope no choice and honestly the duper is all lined up pretty similarly so I didn't feel that for most brackets when you.

Looked at it someone was just getting absolutely blown out the water like it seemed like skill levels were pretty similar my friend David who you obviously know he had to play four or five men's and four oh singles every those I'm telling you right now there was not a single four or five or a single 4-0 in those divisions like 5-0.

Teams all day long like David and his partner great five O's obviously you get to play him in my yeah pickleball and David and I'm dude those matches were crazy as no four five or four oh to be seen did they Podium did they Podium yeah um they got bronze dance David and Lawrence got bronze in a four oh four five bracket four five yeah.

Five in there they caught bronze that that bracket must have been stacked dude yeah it was stacked it was is watching these games it was absolutely insane and there was the most ridiculous footfall call or like fault call on David that I've ever seen uh so he hit an Ernie okay and he was outside the court and then he jumped back over like he did a.

Reverse Ernie and hit the ball and the ref said you didn't establish your feet on the second Ernie so you get a fault and we all everyone was like what what are you what are you talking about like I've never heard of this before and so they argued a little bit like respectfully they weren't you know they weren't screaming or anything.

Um but they went back and forth and the ref was like yeah we got to keep the game going like that it's a fault and so later we got a head ref and asked them they're like that's definitely not a fault establish yeah because if you didn't touch the kitchen line even if you jumped and then jumped it back like I don't see how that's a fault yeah yeah.

It was just one of those situations where everyone was scratching their head like what on Earth so I that was weird to see um but yeah they did well well um it was fun to watch and then my my second match in singles uh I was down 411 and I was like dude are you kidding me like am I really about to go all into it Nationals.

Like that that would just be very frustrating because I played a lot of singles leading up so I was I was pretty excited for it came back won that game I think I won 15 13 or 16. close game I'm cutting it close dude yeah I was dude way closer than I would have liked that game to be but I was happy to close that one out I think just at the end I have.

This really bad problem and uh I need to find ways to get around it but when there's pressure on a match I don't play to win I play not to lose which means you lose anyways yeah essentially you lose right eventually you lose so I think in that second match I was down so much that I just thought dude just start like smacking the ball just like go for.

Stuff maybe you don't feel like you would normally go for it and then I just I went on a huge run and you know riled off a bunch of points I I actually stopped doing my spin serve because it wasn't affecting him at all and so it's like it's just not worth risking it and so at the end I started bringing it back out because I hadn't done it so I was.

Hoping it would catch him off guard caught him off guard a couple times then you know got a couple easy points and then uh went and and won that one so that was good yeah nice is that the third one okay there's a little pressure on this third one because I talked to Denim demon he was in my bracket the rematch we gotta play again we're like.

All about the rematch right if I win the third game we play each other next oh that would be sick but you get you did it I guess well so I play this game and I start the game up and it's I'm up like six one or something and I'm feeling really good I figured out very quickly just hit to this guy's backhand he didn't really.

Have a backhand so I just kept abusing his backhand over and over and over and I don't remember what the score was later the game it was like maybe 12 7 12 8 or something I was up by a decent amount and I was like I got this this is fine and he started um fixing his backhand a little bit like he was running around it like crazy like.

He was like off the left side of the Court hitting a forehand and his forehand was good enough that I really didn't want to hit there because when I did I just got passed uh so anyways he riled off a bunch of points I'm up 14 12. I'm like dude all you got to do is just like rip a spin serve you got this hit a spin serve you know he wins the.

Point I don't really remember how it played out he Riles off a bunch of great passing shots I lose 14 16. no the whole time I felt like I've got this I no issue and then he just he earned that win like I wasn't even mad because I just thought dude if you could hit those shots while being that tight at the end of a game I was like dude you.

Just like you deserved it more yeah sometimes it just happens and honestly sometimes when you get when you're down like the other person has match point at the end of the game they get tight and then you're like okay you play like you have nothing to lose and then you get sometimes you just yeah you just like this and you just rip them yeah let it.

Rip yeah Beyblade basically what I did and he I got to experience a little bit how uh lee Waters must have felt the day she was getting lobbed because California is real Sunny so the first half he lobbed like twice maybe I'm glad he didn't do it more because I would have been hosed but I literally I'm wearing my sunglasses too he throws up a.

Lob I'm at the kitchen and as soon as I'm about to strike the ball gone I'm lit I don't even know where it is this is gonna land on top of my head so I just backed up Let it bounced and then yeah kind of smacked it but dude I had absolutely no idea where the ball was it okay I felt like I was about to get clowned on well at least at least you.

Figured it out better there yeah let it bounce I mean you figured out a way to hit it so yeah yes exactly I just take a step back and then Bop but yeah so singles was unfortunate I did have some fun chirping at um Josiah or the denim demon so I got to watch some of his games did he win and uh uh he got third he got third.

Um and it was super fun to watch because so I found out he also wears wool socks while he plays yeah like dude I'm like I do try and make this as miserable as possible for yourself like I don't get it and in the middle of one of his matches like it was you know in between points I was like.

There was like a decent audience I was like guys you're never gonna believe this but this guy wears wool socks while he plays I bet he also wears long johns while he plays and like everyone just starts laughing like just little little things like that that I would uh spit out and then he offers his opponent some grapes yeah in the middle of a match.

Great and so I go yeah grapes I was like don't do it dude like they got stuff in them like you're gonna lose if you eat those grapes and the guy lost that match because he ate the grapes because he took the grapes he ate the grapes and I said dude like whole crowd was like his family was loving it it was very funny dude everyone was laughing you and I we.

Should honestly go to some of these big tournaments and then we should just set up a camera and literally go live on YouTube or wherever in stream and we should just commentate some of like the lower level matches I think it would be hilarious yeah I would commentate heck yeah I would commentate on Josiah's all day shoot like all like the smaller.

Brackets my favorite chirping that I got to do was the bronze medal match so it was Josiah versus another guy that I know from Instagram totally blanking on his name uh at the moment but he plays with a gearbox paddle and he had messaged me at Nationals like oh dude I'm bummed you didn't like the cx11 like you know I.

Think gearboxes are great he plays with the cx-14 and I was like ah you know like it's all good whatever you know it happens and uh so I got to talk to him a little bit I kept teasing him no I don't know why I can't think of his name I totally know it it's just blanking on me okay but uh in that match so he like if he hit it he hit a ball.

Long and so it's quiet and I just go bro I didn't even know gearboxes could be hit long I was like they're pillow how'd you even do that and and he's laughing too like he's like basically he's just like Chris shut up are you kidding me right now and then you know Josiah would maybe hit a bad overhead or something and miss and I'd.

Go like dude where was that in Atlanta like why didn't you do that for me he's like that's a fun fun stuff that I'd say in the middle and it was just it was super funny I think my favorite line that I used uh the guy hitting the gearbox like he hit it into the net or something I was like Dude any other paddle you passed him.

Oh my gosh probably the gearbox wasn't there listening to you they would have given you hell or or like the gearbox mob there was a gearbox employee that that came up to me was like dude he's like we saw your review he's like it was a bummer he didn't like that paddle and I was like oh I'm so sorry but I was like that's I tell it straight.

Man anytime if anyone's ever gonna question me about not telling the truth I'm like dude just watch some of these reviews like I'm I'm not nice if the paddle's not good so Nationals was awesome love it if you are ever in the area you gotta go it is the best pickleball experience you're gonna have by a long shot for playing at least I.

Think spectating MLP still Takes the Cake yeah spectating I would say uh MLP is still better the biggest downside of California is in the day it's really hot like I was getting something burned you're getting dehydrated and then as soon as five o'clock hits you're freezing freezing sun is gone behind the mountains so cold like hoodie pants like.

The whole everything sitting in the bleachers to watch the programs was oh gosh you're just so cold now I know yep so that's crazy and then obviously I'm just gonna skip over because everyone's heard it a million times and honestly people are sick of the topic but there was the whole Catherine drama it was kind of crazy to.

Be there live for that because there was just murmurs all over the venue and then I actually was there when Lee Waters uh like tore her ACL or messed her ACL rip I like Abby Waters 20 23. yeah as she's so people don't know she's out for 2023 she's not playing uh That season at the venue uh she was playing with Tyson she went for like an Ernie poach thing I.

Was just there with my camera filming some stuff and then all of a sudden she's just on the ground like she just starts hopping and like screaming and then all of a sudden she's just on the ground crying like immediately so I've always you knew right away oh man like it's bad and then you know maybe 20 25 minutes goes by she decides she's gonna.

Keep playing which I was shocked and then maybe five points or something goes by and she she calls it she's like I can't do it like it's you know I think they thought maybe Tyson would just take more court or whatever but if her ACL or whatever was torn like you'd yeah you shouldn't be playing on it anyways yeah rough so that was unfortunate to see was.

Sad um but yeah other than that got to hang out with a bunch of cool people Nationals had a lot of fun I got to sign my first autographs uh you said an autograph I signed two autographs and they came and watched my singles matches and I felt really bad after the first one because I.

Was like oh gosh I was like this is really bad don't watch this I'm sorry to watch me lose that's why I think you're nervous no no um but yeah so that's the Nationals recap and uh we'll move on to we you wanted to do an emergency podcast episode uh at Nationals I was like dude I can't it's like this uh yeah it was.

The uh was it the PPA MLP merger I mean it was just such big news I feel like oh man we should have hopped on it but I mean it's definitely worth doing an emergency podcast episode it was just at Nationals I had no time for anything yeah I know it's all good it's all good I mean we can talk about it a little bit now I'm sure everybody knows.

About it but you know we can share our thoughts about it and well honestly kind of glad we waited because it wasn't until basically this last week that any interesting news even came out so what was what was your gut reaction when this news came out I thought it was a joke I I mean I I dreamed that it would happen I just.

Didn't imagine it would happen so soon right so I thought somebody was just pulling my leg you know like somebody was was scared now did you think I mean were you happy about it I mean yeah initially I was happy about it but also a little skeptical about it like what does this mean what does this entail how did this.

All shake down who are the winners and the losers in this deal who benefits from it but I think overall it's a net positive if you're a pickleball spectator and fan you know because now you get to see the top talent get to kind of combine and there's some unification solidarity so you can see them compete against each.

Other again that's my initial thought um going into it well yeah the unfortunate part is that's probably not going to be true okay so explain to me I have some thoughts because I I reached out and talked to a few people um you know try to get some some more inside info but uh you know I'm sure.

You're much more well-read than I am so what you see details do you have for me Chris so I I I was keeping up Loosely um you know during our break while everyone was sick and trying to work through some paddle reviews so I mostly tried to catch up before this podcast episode so there might be a couple things I'm missing here and there but.

I'll just rile off a couple real quick things one with this merger it's gonna be eight to ten million dollars in prize money that's insane wow absurd amount of money where's all that money from do you know dude good question good question they're just printing money like the US government apparently okay and then uh they are going to ditch.

The new format they were going to use for 2023 where they were going to do kind of like a regular tournament yeah that's gone I heard that thankfully I think that is a good thing that that's gone yes um they're going to do a challenger and Premier League so there's going to be um what is it 48 or yeah 48 total teams.

Is I don't no no no no was it 40 team no 40 players no there's 12 teams I heard there's 12 teams yeah that's what it is 48 players yeah and then so it's 24 teams 12 teams in the Premier League and 12 teams in the Challenger league so the Challenger is like you have to work up to the Premier League the details on.

What all that's going to look like if they're even different is hazy but the way I look at it was minor league pickleball Major League pickleball now it's Challenger League Premier League yeah challenge Premiere and then you have miners feeding into that I'm sure I'm sure some pros are not happy about that if because I'm assuming that the.

We're just going to call it the premiere and the Challenger you know for this purpose so the Challenger I'm assuming uh probably does not get as much money as the premiere so the people probably who are right around that like 24 like you know like the top 24 yeah are probably not happy because they want to go compete in the Premier League.

Right yep presumably so and with all that money coming in they they can't be happy about it and now also with new blood coming in with the PPA merging right in some of the PPA women now being able to come in so some of those maybe middle tiers to the bottom tiers of at MLP maybe they get pushed down I don't know how they rank right.

How do you rank who's in the top 24 and who's on the bottom 24. how how does that shake out exactly so and you know like you said with the PPA players coming in the people who you know were in the top 24 for um MLP previously now you're getting shoved out by you know at least 12 other.

Players from the PPA so right especially in the men's side right because you know you got especially yeah yeah the Collins Brothers coming you got Tyson you got Jay Riley Matt uh yeah Jay like you've got a lot of people right I think one of the people that I heard that felt like they were getting shafted a little bit was actually.

Um it was actually Alex Alex strong next-gen um sure I got to play with her recently and she was like yeah I was she she was a sub substitute or a uh alternate for the last MLP because we saw her at the last MLP and I saw her recently over this Thanksgiving break and we talked very briefly about it and she did mention that she's like yeah I.

Feel like I'm being pushed down because of this merger I kind of got shafted a bit because I worked really hard to like get to the spot but she's not too worried about I was like yeah should be worried about it you have so much upside you're still young you're still improving you know so yeah I get it they're not old like us.

Speak for yourself I'm 19. yeah okay well okay well that's that's what the fake ID says okay okay all right so the biggest shake up in all of this news is the player cards for the MLP now and I haven't really gotten to Think Through how I felt about this so what are they kind of get to yeah yeah so you've got.

Two things you've got the silver card and the gold card and basically you have to be on one of these cards in order to play in the league so in in this silver in MLP yeah if you're not on one of these like you're not playing an MLP okay so the silver is a two-year contract you have to play all six MLP events each year and you have to play.

Five PPA events the gold card you have to play a minimum of 20 PPA events all four majors and all six MLP events for two years and if you do that you will earn double the prize money at MLP and PPA events wait you earned double the prize money so it's it's a it's essentially a bonus.

That's being paid out right so if you win then who's paying I'm assuming it's PPA it depends yeah I think it's coming from the PPA and it depends who you ask some people view it either as now I'm making half as much as I should be like I'm making less than what I should be or people view it as I'm getting a bonus on.

Top it's effectively you're getting paid less so so I so okay so I see this basically incentivizes you to sign up for a PPA yeah I mean it's it's another way to make you want to play PBA events and wow 20 20 26 events at least 26 PPA events.

Yeah because you got to play all six MLP events and 20 ppas oh okay okay so you're counting okay so 26 events total and six to 26 events total MLP uh the MLP matches and then 20 just regular PPA matches wow so that's dude that's going to cause burnout for sure I mean we've already seen a lot of.

Burnout this year and now you're just gonna be for two years 26 tournaments at a minimum you're probably you might even do more than that yeah now I know you will do more on that because Nationals and US Open right like you're gonna play those and then you have some app if you wanted to play them.

Yep wow okay so based based off that information the cards um first first of all how do you get these cards like do you just sign up for them and you just agree that's the interesting part so I can't remember.

Um I was reading it in the article I should have wrote it down but basically it said it's going to be based off previous tournament history duper and player marketability and there was one other thing what does that even mean well Tyson top tier player marketability I mean yes but how do you uh.

For sure and who's making those decisions that's what I want to know yep yep yep yep so all I'm saying is all the pros who thought social media wasn't important you're gonna change your mind real quick yeah guys come at us if you need help or whatever no no no no don't come at us we got too much work already I'm just kidding maybe maybe if it was.

Worth it but yeah dude it's I don't know I think that's really interesting I'm sure some people are going to be mad that they didn't get invited to a gold contract some people are going to be mad that they're on Silver And if you guys really want a bigger Deep dive on this um you can check out the It Feels Right podcast.

With Adam Stone and Rob nunnery because they did a much more in-depth dive on it they have they've talked to a lot of the players who are potentially involved in signing this and they're recording themselves so you know they they probably have invitations unable to talk to other pros and see what the finer details are about it but just from what.

You're telling me here it no pun intended but it doesn't feel right Adam Adam Stone would be very proud of you okay okay shout out to Adam snow shout out to Adam Stone but it's I don't know it almost feels like so I thought this was a good union but it almost feels like.

A takeover yes that's exactly how I feel now and I was I'm gonna skip ahead a little bit here but I was very excited because okay we have got the merger we have eliminated the vibe League becoming a thing we've got some more unification in the sport that's awesome and then gets announced pickleball tournaments and pickleball.

Brackets is merging and then they're going to be using duper as the rating system for pickleball tournaments and pickleball brackets so it's like ah everything is finally coming together and then the other bombshell drops on us what utr tennis ranking system has now uh merged with the app so app will be using utr PPA is going to be using duper.

And then you've got the ugly child in the room usap with utpr so basically we have a more scattered rating system than we did before and on top of that if I'm recalling hopefully I'm not recalling this wrong pretty sure I'm not but on the It Feels Right podcast they said that app is working on making their own team League.

Wow okay so all that unification we thought we had just throw it out the door who who cares about unification when we can just have as many leagues as we want uh it's I it to me it was kind of at first it was very exciting and now it feels like the PPA kind of owns MLP is the the.

Vibe I'm getting even though they don't they don't but it's just starting to feel that way I know Steve Kuhn just got appointed like player relations manager for the PPA so like now he's kind of more integrated there and it feels weird when mlp's whole thing before was fighting for players to do what's best for them and.

Not be exclusive and now now they're somewhat being exclusive yeah they're being exclusive basically because app is still the one that feels open and I so so it's funny like we're talking about this because when the news hit I contacted a few people that I know that kind of is like one or two degrees separation from you know some of the big.

Players at PPA and MLP and it's funny because the two sides of the story go I hear from one side that uh dundin owner of a PPA that he said that he reached out and presented an olive branch of Peace towards Steve and the MLP and then I talked to the others like you know that's not that's not what happened he created the vibe.

League or whatnot and then it was a strategic business move so that they would have to bring him to the table and then that he would get equity in MLP and now that he's gotten equity in MLP he is basically you know forcing them a little bit or forcing their hand a little bit to to get what.

He wants and I heard that there's still some tension in within even if they're unified there's still some tension there but that if he was just open about it or asked like beforehand they probably would have invited like Steve can probably would have maybe invited him into the fold.

Yeah but they weren't gonna ask they want to own it yeah exactly and it's just I don't know it's just kind of it's kind of sad consistently it's it's really weird right if you look at other sports no one really goes wow I just want I want things to feel friendly.

And like all under one umbrella and we're all friends like from what I gather in other sports like things can be be pretty Cutthroat and very business-like and the PPA is doing a great job at becoming you know like the Premier League and they're trying to run it like a business It's just tough when pickleball has been built on so many.

Relationships and Community it feels very foreign or uh I guess just icky for the sport but it's like it's just kind of how it goes like I think if you're gonna get the sport to grow at the highest level like some of these business decisions are just going to come into play and that's just the way it's going to be yeah I think it's also.

Just yeah the product right so that you can showcase so people can watch it and view it and spectate but we have to like always remember that um people love pickleball because it is uh highly like participatory I mean you know like a participation uh sport like you you don't just go to these events just to watch the pros you.

Go because you want to compete and you also want to play and I just feel like you can't do both very well I mean you saw like in PPA Las Vegas people were complaining about it and then even just some tournaments and events the player experience if you're going there to compete it's not as great because you know they don't have enough manpower to.

Run like a great tournament for you to play at where they're just focusing on you know getting the viewers and The Spectators and getting the pros into play so I feel that it is going to it's going to Branch out that way right there's going to be let's just say just for like as a thought experiment that the app is the place where if you're an.

Amateur or whatnot or if you want to go compete you go play as a player right yeah and then maybe PPA MLP is where you go if you want to spectate some of the highest level players play so who knows yeah and I think an interesting Dynamic that again if you want all the details just listen to the It Feels Right podcast I feel like I'm just recapping.

Their podcast now yeah um but one of the things I thought they said that was really interesting was December 5th is the cutoff to submit your name for the MLP draft and so app I know they've kind of upped their stipends for 2023 so like if you're World pickleball ranking is you know if you're top 10 you're getting.

Money for showing up you're getting some other perks you're making money you're winning the events like you know if you're someone like a JW you're probably making a good chunk of money but now it's gonna be a really difficult choice because if you're gonna play MLP okay let's say you get offered a gold card app is out of the question you're not.

Playing any apps that's gonna let you talk your ranking yeah you don't have the time even if you take the silver card I mean you have time but 11 of your events for the year are locked up for MLP and PPA you're still not getting a lot of time to keep your rankings up for app and take your stipend so that still.

Doesn't feel that great and if the deadline to submit is December 5th and app is considering announcing or starting a league in quarter two of next year are you really gonna sign two years away when this other thing's up and coming like I I really wonder how the pros are going to view this because I mean as as.

We've seen signing anything over a year and pickleball feels crazy because of how fast the landscape changes yeah agreed like we'll see uh yeah I I just I'm really curious to see what happens who goes where how it shakes out because let's say people want to keep they want their app stipends like I'm just gonna make up names I have.

No idea what these people are doing but you've got like a JW a decal a Paris and Anna um probably a couple other people they probably make pretty good money at apps and now let's say they want to keep it that way they're gonna they're gonna try app they're gonna wait to see what their league does now you take away some top.

Talent from MLP and now the pool has the same problem the top people are still not under one umbrella so really basically more of the same more of the same yeah more of the same you just you shifted some players from one side to the other but it wasn't a true unification so that's what you're saying and I think on top of this the.

Gold card to me feels so the double the prize money that's awesome okay but unless you are a Ben Johns and Annalee Waters or Riley Newman well you know I'm podiuming consistently or winning that gold card is risky because if you're not winning anything that double prize money doesn't do you anything and now you're really locked up.

So it makes me wonder if you're just outside of that Podium range or you're maybe getting seventh or eighth yeah I mean maybe you're not even getting offered the gold card at that point but would you even consider it you're not winning true and then you're locked in so you don't have flexibility and then you're.

Required to play the ppas and then so I mean it'll have to just come down to a cost-benefit analysis of money essentially because yeah if I'm close enough and I had to compete with some of these top players that I feel like I'm not capable of beating them just yet and then I'm leaving money on the table on.

The app side where I can go compete you know game my points there still have flexibility and freedom and still make my money there um yeah I guess we we just don't know we we have we don't know what these contracts look like we don't know what is going through the minds of some of these top.

Players and how they feel about their chances of of winning and podiuming but also I just feel Maybe not maybe it's I 26 events in a year that's I feel like that's a lot right I think about this well we you and I have both discussed kind of what our ideal uh trip length is and.

Kind of like when we start feeling fatigued from a trip yeah imagine what we talked about but you're doing like 30 plus events a year that's it would be insane I don't even know how I would do it right exactly it like 30 plus events a year is so much when do you get to rest and then also going to these tournaments they start on Thursday.

And on Sunday but I guess like you know if you don't make it deep in bracket you can like go out and and leave and come back but also right now there's there's technically no off season in pickleball yeah December is the off season that's it right but there's still other tournaments and stuff going on in December so it's like.

When do you get it's like a three week break about which is right nothing nothing right so you need you want to take a break you want to spend time with your family Etc and then also you want time to practice and whatnot and come back so yeah I'm I'm I'm foreseeing some some burnout for next year.

Um totally you know oh it it's really tough I don't know pickleball's in a a very interesting situation with that because I just I really don't know how you would balance that I just think some of the travel I've been doing like Nationals while I was gone I felt it was like very hard to keep up with like just day-to-day life tasks like yeah making.

Sure I'm staying up to date with Sarah and then like trying to get work done and like I mean if pickleball's your job like that that's technically your work but I don't know I just feel like it it's very hard to stay in touch with everything when you're trying to compete at a high level and like if you're not a benjons or Tyson where you know you've.

Got like maybe some really big sponsorship deals to take care of you like you're trying to find like any money you can get okay well very interesting it's crazy stuff crazy but dude last thing I kind of want to wrap up with just because just to kind of summarize a bunch of small things probably won't actually be.

That many things I'm thinking about it but yeah dude pickleball drama is everywhere lately everybody knows the drama dude I swear I man everyone feeds off there's even YouTube channels now that are mostly just focusing on the drama yeah and I'm surprised it took this long to make them because it's a really smart idea no it's.

A it's a super smart I was thinking about doing it too but some people are already doing it really well I think uh was it Fifth shot media I think I think they're one of them there's a couple of them there's a couple of them uh I just remember fish at me because he he Clips them and then he he voice-overs them and the audios.

Could quality is good go check them out if you guys haven't already um but uh yeah he it was everywhere okay so obviously we had the whole Catherine thing whatever skip over that everyone and their Grandma knows about that at this point okay then we had uh the Tyson NJ singles match with the illegal serves did you ever get to see.

That I saw some of the clips I remember you told me but you know I was I think I was out of town and then um I eventually saw some clips but tell me tell me what happened what was it I just know that I mean basically like essentially overhead so yeah basically what happened is first game really close match Jay's up like 10-9 or.

Something and then Tyson hits a really huge serve Tyson uh Jay hits it out and then Jay complains like dude like that that serves illegal there's no way that wasn't you know over his waist or whatever you know Tyson service always been close people constantly debate whether it's legal or not like every every other day or something Ben John's.

Too when when he started big yep the his is his is really close as well pushing the limit and so Jay ends up losing that match Jay is very angry in the second match so to make a point he serves like head height like he's like he's not hitting an overhead but like he's hitting it and he just cranks that ball and so.

First one hits it they play the point out a little bit and then the ref goes like illegal serve redo it I think Jay does it again and then he hits it out but how the rule worked at the time was if you do an illegal motion no matter where the ball lands you replay it so they kept arguing Tyson was like dude the balls out you're really gonna let.

Him Replay that when he's blatantly serving illegal and the ball was out crazy the the rap even had to start saying stuff like 10 seconds players like go back to your spot like he was basically just like go play the game like we're done talking about this move on and I can't remember if Jay did it the third time or not but the whole game.

You could just tell Jay was not in it anymore he did not care at one point you could tell he tried to hit Tyson like he just they're both in the middle he just speeds it up really hard Tyson gets out of the way um Jay was out of it you could tell he was done um.

Yeah and I think they changed it I think I don't remember what it is now but I feel like there might be a penalty if you do enough of them in a row um so that's good that's how I think it probably should be uh and I just thought it was funny because I'm like Jay your partners with the guy you've never yeah you're gonna be in the middle of a.

Match and just go yeah ref like his serves like obviously he's not gonna do that so not what he's his partner of course not and I just think it's funny obviously when you're playing singles like you're trying to win too it's like you don't want to just give the person a pass but I'm like dude you you guys have to play like in two days like this is.

Awesome uh yeah I'm sure I'm sure they worked it out I'm sure you know I think the pros are a lot better at compartmentalizing when they're on the court you are not my friend when we are off the court we can be friends again right exactly exactly but that's that's such a what a weird scenario situation.

And really just I guess an oversight of of the rules so I'm glad that they amended that is that only a PPA thing yeah it's only a PPA thing so so in in other terminals let's say the app if you it would be a fault so it would be a full like even if I hit an illegal serve and I hit it out that's a fault yep I mean if you just hit an.

Illegal serve at all it's a fault oh yes I just it would have been a side out in app just like like I said before everything just needs to become a drop serve so that there's no question because No One's Gonna yeah there's no question yeah there's no question because I mean like these people who are serving you know very cool this is it's.

Gonna be like other sports like this is not a direct comparison but like deflate gate in football where it's like he only won that Championship because that last serve was illegal and the ref didn't call it okay it's gonna be it's gonna become one of those oh yeah yeah and uh there was a couple other things um oh Leia Jansen she was uh in a close match.

Went to hit an overhead and then like right as she's about to strike the ball a fan started yelling it's gonna be out don't hit it don't hit it and then there was a whole big like Legends and headed into the net or hit it out and then she was asking for a replay for hindrance and I think she got it then there was all these rules debate about whether it.

Should have been a replay I think it was decided that it shouldn't have been uh because like play or people in the audience are considered like permanent objects and not a distraction so it's very weird okay uh I think I did see this one and I think Leia also talked about it with uh and stone to explain the situation I I.

Saw an interview with the head ref that was potentially called Don Dia Don after as well and um I think Leia was getting some heat for it uh for her I guess complaining about it or yelling about it I thought it was weird that she was getting like people were mad I'm like dude.

It are are we really gonna be okay with people just yelling in the middle of an overhead swing people kept saying oh other sports get over it but the difference that the players have addressed and I think is valid is pickleball has typically been a quiet sport so when it's quiet and it's tight and then all of a sudden you start to.

Start yelling it's like are we gonna start removing fans if they do that are we just gonna let them yell like if I just start showing up like right in the middle of a server's motion and just yo you suck every Point are we really gonna allow that I understand why it shouldn't be a replay right yeah if I want to plant you in the audience while I'm.

Playing right to yell when I'm going to lose a point and then get a replay you're you could abuse that system I get it but where where does that line cross right well uh that's tough to say I think it shouldn't have been replayed and I can I can see how Leia was super upset about it just because I think in.

Her interview she said that the match there was nobody at that match and it was super quiet the whole time and to hear it it must have been jarring and I get it yep but I don't think it should have been replayed it happened you know if it happened it happened it's something you have to deal with in my opinion as a.

Competitor as much as it sucks uh but yeah it shouldn't have been a replay in my opinion but I don't follow Leia for being mad at it I mean you know she's a competitor I'd be so mad if some random dude like I got two people watching my match and one of them decides to yell yeah what okay so what about at.

Um what about an MLP yeah what if it happens at MLP because I think here's the thing I I mean I still think it's bad but it's so rowdy in there that it's slightly more expected in my opinion yes I think it's just the level of expectation is really what it comes down.

To at these normal events it's always so quiet that you're just not ready for it and I don't think players are used to it like if you just said go wild all the time players would get used to it they'd get over it whatever it's part of the game yeah but right now it's not really part of the game okay so my next question is do you think.

It should be part of the game so that if it does happen like whatever I'd be F I think I'd be okay with it MLP it didn't bother me um I I think I would be okay with it it's a little weird because having some tennis background and you know growing up watching that a little bit it feels.

Weird to allow people to do that it feels like a little disrespectful to the players just because you know like the tennis and pickleball it's like the easiest comparison to drop but like if you watch pickleball or uh basketball you're like dude that people are doing like the craziest thing right you're watching now.

You're watching like American football like oh yeah yeah soccer I mean well Zayn said it when we talked to him one time he was like there's no reason why pickleball can't be different like he says you can be Rowdy yeah you can like say crap to me you know it doesn't have to be like tennis and I think some of the top players I'm sure I think I feel.

Like James ignatovich also said that and was like Yeah I wanted James would thrive on it oh yeah okay he would love that James what James would blast a forehand down the line after someone he said he sucks or something and then just look him straight in the eyes like tell it to my face say it to me again so.

Yeah I don't know I think I'd be I'd be fine with it if it did it's just you gotta pick one way or the other don't do this weird in between yeah yeah well I I do feel for Leia in that situation but also at the same time this apartment that feels like I I don't but you know also shout out to Larry for just like openly talking about.

It after the fact you know I felt like some people were just giving her heat for it and um I think she took it well and explained herself well like you know yeah so I agree yeah well dude I think that's pretty much everything I got I think this was a good episode to be back on uh we are not doing this again except.

For maybe Christmas no we'll have some recorded up for Christmas before then for sure the all right I'm I'm totally down with that uh yeah so thanks for listening guys it's good to be back we will hopefully continue the weekly schedule coming up here and uh yeah thanks for listening and we'll catch you in the.

Next one catch you in the next one peace
Website: https://www.thepickleballstudio.com/
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Chapters:
0:00 – Where have we been??
2:55 – A few quick updates on paddles
10:35 – Nationals recap
28:22 – MLP and PPA Merger
49:40 – Pickleball Drama

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