Leagues Has Its Perks

Leagues Has Its Perks
Photo Of The Night- Mixed Spring League at 505 Rooftop downtown Nashville. Left to right: Cody Boehnlein, Margaret Gorzny, Courtney Sunday, and Rob Franzese

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Dinkville Spring League Leads To Rooftop Match

It is a great day when you play pickleball on a rooftop court in downtown Nashville on the best day of the year!  Cody Boehniein and Margaret Gorzny battled Courtney Sunday and Rob Franzese in their Spring Mixed Team Doubles League at the 505 Rooftop court in downtown Nashville.  That is what is cool with leagues, you can play anywhere in Nashville, this so happens to be at one of the best locations in the state!  Very Cool and I'm Jealous!

Get To Know Dinkville Member Danny Hall

Who Are You?  My name is Danny Hall, a true pickleball addict! My wife & I are empty nesters who downsized and left the Dallas, TX heat for the green hills of Nashville about year and half ago.  An avid Pickleball Singles player whose heart thinks he’s still 21, but his body often disagrees... oh yeah, I’m a software sales executive professionally.

When Did You Start Playing Pickleball?  I’ve played racquet sports all my life, including competitive jr tennis & a college ping pong Champion. Introduced to Pickleball by my loving mother via a YouTube video. After a quick google search, I played my 1st tournament that following weekend at the end of 2019.

How Did You Hear About Dinkville?  Ryan Potocnik got tired of me texting him all the time to learn where folks were playing. So, he quickly invited me to join Dinkville.  Haven’t texted him since. Yo Ryan, don’t delete me yet!  LOL

Why Do You Love Pickleball?  The Community, it’s truly the best sport to play & where you can meet so many amazing people of all ages.  As well as, being the only place you don’t see folks glued to their cell phones!!

What's Your Favorite Shot?  I have two: the running Cross Court Forehand and a Server ACE

What's Your Goals This Year?  Mastering a 3rd shot drop, develop an offensive lob, dinking patience, and Play in a Men’s Senior Open Tournament.

What Is Your Advice To New Players?  Explore the outdoors & Go Play. Enjoy our community, meet new people, and remember we all sucked when we started!

Up Your Game Brought To You By The Dink:

Back Off the Back Spin

The slice drive is a rarity in the pickleball world. But if you run into a squash or racquetball player, you could see them whip out the slice drive. I've only met a few players that use it consistently, but the players who hit it, hit it hard.

Their ball gets on you fast. I'm talking Jenny Finch, Randy Johnson, bird exploding gas. A ball that, if you let it go, doesn't even descend before it crashes into the back fence.

Unlike the topspin drive that dips in the backcourt, the slice tends to float. If it’s high and hard, then it’s going, going, gone.

Naturally, the best defense in this situation is to let the ball go. If you run into someone that slices their drive, let it go. Make them land a few in before you step into the crosshairs.

If they prove they can control the drive, then it's time to deal with the spin. The slice ball will dive off of your paddle.

  • Soften your hands to deal with the speed
  • Play the volley cross court to give yourself a greater margin for error on clearing the net

Leave the volley higher than usual to account for the spin until you can dial in the shot. If their drives continue to cause difficulty, focus on a return that is low so they have to hit up on the ball or switch to a drop.

Consider yourself prepped for another wildcard matchup at the courts.

Today In Pickleball Brought To You By The Dink:

US Open Announces Paddle Challenge Policy

We have a lot to unpack re: the latest in PaddleGate 2023. Thankfully, two pro players have done a lot of the work for us. But in the meantime, let us break down some related news.

The US Open dropped a press release detailing a new paddle challenge policy in light of recent controversy surrounding paddle delamination (see below).

The new rules punish players who:

  • Challenge their opponent’s paddle and post-match testing demonstrates nothing was against regulation
  • Have their own paddle challenged and post-match testing determines they were using a paddle against regulation

The punishment in either case? The guilty player will be subject to forfeiting any medals or prize money and they will receive a one-year suspension from participating in the next US Open.

The phrase “mutually assured destruction” comes to mind. If a paddle challenge is issued, someone is going to suffer. Will this have a chilling effect on pros making these calls? Only time will tell.

Ben’s Take

The one and only Ben Johns recently recorded an episode of PicklePod with us following up a juicy ep with Lea Jansen (below). But while his episode releases later this week, he graciously offered to send us a detailed blog explaining the current drama surrounding paddle testing and his idea for a solution.

We’ve published Ben’s blog in its entirety here, but this is the TLDR version:

What should we do:

Transfer the Deflection test, intended to measure the power of a paddle, to an Exit Speed Velocity test (ratio of impact velocity to exit velocity of the ball when impacted with the subject/paddle), and/or a Coefficient of Restitution test (measure of how "bouncy" the equipment/paddle is, or the efficiency with which energy is transferred from paddle to ball during a collision).

How would this be done:

Take the current test we have in the rules for power, the deflection test, and a paddle that maximizes that test when brand new, and put that paddle through an ESR and CoR test.

Take those readings with that paddle as the new “max baseline” for the rules of all paddles. Then vary it as needed if pros collectively agree the power rules should be expanded or retracted.

Why did I write this:

I think it’s important for any sport to have a fair playing field with enforceable rules.

The rules are currently flawed. This isn’t a knock on USAP. Rules are difficult. The MLB changed their rules for power of baseball bats as recently as 2011…for a sport that’s been around over 100 years.

If we get better rules anytime soon, we’d be way ahead of the curve as a sport.

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Landon Hallam

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