Nationals Thank you Message from Karen Parrish

It’s a Wrap!

The 2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships presented by Pickleball Central is in the books.  There was an undeniable buzz in the air from this year’s national championships.  Another year of 2000+ participants and fans alike gathered for an event like no other.  From world-class courts, flavorful dining and majestic scenery surrounding the venue, there’s simply nothing like Nationals in Indian Wells.  This year’s National Championships was the largest pickleball tournament ever held with over 2300+ players competing in both amateur and pro divisions.  From 13 to 91 years old, these players battled it out on the court in their respective divisions for the gold medal and the golden ticket for the 2022 National Championships.

We are very grateful to our volunteers and all the hard work and time that they put in each day making sure that an enjoyable experience was had by all.  More smiles were seen this year because of your volunteer efforts during this year’s national championships.  I would personally like to thank Mike Hoxie our medal stand attendant.  We will never forget your willingness to be there each day of the event and we are thankful for your generosity.

I cannot say enough about our USA Pickleball referees.  We had 87 referees with 81 USAP certified referees and 6 Level-2 referees led by USA Pickleball Director of Officiating and Head Referee Mark Peifer.  From classroom to on-court training your devotion and faithfulness to the referee program is a clear example of excellence. Countless hours are spent each day on and off the court preparing for nationals each year.  From the professional demeanor on the courts, there was no shortage of compliments given out thanking our referees for their diligence, self-motivation as well as dedication in making our referee program the gold medal standard.

Tournament Operations is truly the unsung heroes of every tournament.  This year’s nationals could not have been run without our partner team.  Thank you to Kelly Gent and Jim Wiggins who ran our pre-registration, registration and player messaging to ensure that everyone was up-to-date with information regarding the tournament and it’s many changes from 2019 to 2021.  Your attention to detail and countless hours of work is immeasurable.  Our team of Craig Haas and Becky Gibbs running the largest tournament to date onsite along with Melissa McCurley via zoom was poetry in motion.  A big thank you for all your hard work and many hours spent behind the computer and behind the scenes ensuring that we were on track.  Last and certainly not least, thank you to our tournament referee coordinator George McCulley, his wife Therese along with Lynn Plesha and Nancy McManus, who ran a tight ship, and due to their commitment and diligence we were on-time each day.

I cannot thank our Nationals Committee and tournament team enough for all the innumerable hours that was spent year-round in making this our best National Championships.  A huge thank you goes out to our Volunteer Coordinator and Co-Tournament Director Teri Carter and our Operations Coordinator and Co-Tournament Director Donn Paben for their dedication, hard work and passion in making this a great experience for everyone involved.   Arriving each morning at 6am and most days leaving after the last match was complete shows your commitment to making this the best nationals to date!

We are filled with gratitude to each participant, spectator, sponsor and pickleball lover alike.  As we look forward to 2022, the Desert Champions team, our tournament hosts, have already begun planning for next year’s event.  A tournament of such magnitude cannot be accomplished without a great team.  The spectacular venue at Indian Wells Tennis Garden is unmatched along with the commitment that your team puts in all year long to guarantee a state-of-the-art experience.  I would personally like to thank the entire Desert Champions team for their enthusiasm and commitment in making this year’s event memorable.

Save the Date for next year’s NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: Nov 5 – 13, 2022 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden!

We look forward to seeing you there.


Karen Parrish

USA Pickleball Managing Director of Competition

2021 Margaritaville USA Pickleball National Championships presented by Pickleball Central Tournament Director

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