2021 National Indoor Championships FAQ

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When is the 2021 USA Pickleball National Championships going to be held?

June 8 – 13, 2021


Where will the Nationals be this year?

The Finley Center at The Hoover Met Complex in Hoover, AL


Who is eligible to play in the USA Pickleball National Tournament?

It is open to all.


What is the format of play?

This is a double elimination tournament. All winner bracket matches will be 2 out of 3 to 11 win by 2 points. Loser bracket matches will be one game to 15 win by 2. The bronze match will be 2 out of 3 to 11 win by 2 points.


How do I get an official USA Pickleball Rating?

If you currently do not have a UTPR contact ratingsadmin@usapickleball.org for your official 4 digit rating.


Who is eligible to play in the Open/Senior Open Divisions?

The Open Events are for 4.5 and 5.0+ rated players and the Senior Open Events are for 4.5 and 5.0+ rated players.  The player must have an official USA Pickleball/IFP UTPR Rating of 4.5 or 5.0 or higher at the time of registration to participate in any open category.


I have heard players will get to pre-register for Nationals, how do I get that opportunity?

If you win a gold medal in a skill/age or age only bracket as well as the Open and Sr Open events you will receive preregistration to National at Indian Wells Tennis Garden which beings on Oct 31st.  If the bracket has to be combined it is the overall combined bracket winner.


Can I play in both the Open and the Senior Open Divisions in the same event (i.e. Mixed Doubles)?

No, players may only play in one Open division event per day. Example: Male Player A (50 and above) may not play in both Senior Open Mixed Doubles and Open Mixed Doubles. However, Male player A (50 and above) may play in Senior Open Mixed Doubles and Open Men’s Doubles.


Will this tournament have skill level (3.5, 4.0, etc.) events?

Yes, skill/age events and age only for 70+ will be played per the schedule that will be posted soon to this website. Any skill/age events that do not have enough entries will be combined with another skill/age division being played on the same day. Example: If you sign up for 55-59 3.0, you may be combined with 50-54 3.0 players. Efforts will be made to not combine skill groups.  In the age only events if there are not enough teams to fill a bracket you will be combined by skill and keep age.  Example If you sign up for 75+ 4.0 you may be combined with the 75+ 3.5 if there are not enough teams to fill the bracket.  Efforts will be made to not combine if at all possible.


I do not reside in the United States; do I still need to meet the participation requirement?

If an interested participant does not live in the US for more than 3 months a year and is not able to participate in a sanctioned event, he/she may request a hardship exemption from the Tournament Director. Email karenparrish@usapickleball.org.


How do I determine my rating or skill level?

Your UTPR ratings will be used to determine your skill level.


What day do I play?

Detailed event start time schedules will be developed for each day after charts have been created. They will be available no later than June 6, 2021 on pickleballtournaments.com.  The coPickleball National Indoor Championshipsmpetition dates are listed on the flyer on pickleballtournaments.com as well as the USA Pickleball website


What determines my age?

Your eligible age is the age you will be on December 31, 2021.


What determines the age bracket of the team?

The age of the youngest player is used to determine the age group bracket. At the time of registration, a player or team may select to play in an age group younger than the team’s youngest player. Example: A team of two 64-year-old players may play in any age group below the age of 64 except juniors. This will be allowed at the time of registration only.

Players may play in any age group for which they qualify. Example: A 52-year-old player may play in 19+, 35+, or 50-54. Players may choose only one age group in each event. The age groups do not need to be the same. Example: A 59-year-old player may play in under 35 for Doubles, in 50-54 for Mixed Doubles and 55-59 for Singles. All players with a rating of 4.5 or 5.0 or higher can enter Open Division events.


How many players will be allowed in each division?

Player limits are at the discretion of the tournament directors, who reserve the right to limit the number of players playing in each event. Registration will close once all divisions are full. A wait list will be available for each event if the event is filled.

Each bracket will initially have an equal number of slots available. After the initial registration period any of the unused slots from 1 event will be moved to other events that have teams on the waitlist. This will be prioritized by which brackets have the longest wait lists and teams will be moved into brackets and off the waitlist by order in which they signed up.


What happens if there are not enough players in a bracket?

  • 1, 2 or 3 teams will be combined by skill/age or age only to provide the most competitive competition
  • 4 – 5 teams, Round Robin
  • 6 teams or more, Double Elimination


What is the Prize Money for the Open and Senior Open Division Winners?

There will be a cash purse this year for the Open and Senior Open Division winners. The prize amount is $25,000 to be paid out through 4th place.


What ball will be used this year?






When does registration open?

Registration opens on February 1, 2021


When does registration close?

Registration closes on May 7, 2021


How do I override my skill or age during registration to play up a skill level or down in another age group?

During the registration process on pickleballtournaments.com, after you add the event click the change button next to the event you want to do a skill or age override, then click the Skill/Age Group button to specify the skill or age group you want to play in.  Select the appropriate skill or age from the drop-down list and click Make Changes.


When I registered I listed my partner. Does listing my partner register him or her as well?

Only those individuals who have submitted their own registrations and paid registration and event fees by April 8, 2020, will be considered registered. Registration includes providing contact information, selecting events/partners and paying all fees. When a participant provides contact information their name is listed among players registered for the tournament and their name may appear on the “Needs Partner List” if they have registered for an event but have not identified a partner.


When I try to register online, it asks for my USA Pickleball membership number. How do I get a USA Pickleball membership number?

Go to www.usapickleball.org and apply for a USA Pickleball membership (or renew your membership if it is set to expire). Your USA Pickleball membership number will not be active until you have paid your USA Pickleball membership dues. To ensure that your USA Pickleball membership is processed promptly, it is suggested that you use PayPal for payment. Memberships completed and paid online are processed in real time and players will receive an email with their member number. Players who opt to pay for their membership with a mailed check are placed in a ‘pending status’ and must wait for their payment to be received, processed and cleared before receiving their member number. This could take 10-14 days. You will not be able to sign up for Nationals until you have received your member number.


When I try to register online, it says my USA Pickleball membership number is not valid. Why?

One of two things could be causing this issue:

  • Your number is not correct in your pickleballtournaments.com profile. To verify or update the number log on to pickleball tournaments.com and select Update My Profile.
  • Your USA Pickleball membership has expired or will expire during the tournament. If so, you will need to renew your USA Pickleball membership. If you have questions regarding your USA Pickleball membership, contact the USA Pickleball member services at membership@usapickleball.org.


How do I pay my registration and event fees?

Preferred payment method is online via PayPal or any major credit card. When paying online, you will be directed to a PayPal page, however, you do not need a PayPal account – you can pay using any major credit card. If you use PayPal or a credit card, your payment information will be forwarded to USA Pickleball registration department. USA Pickleball has a PayPal account but has no control over how PayPal handles your account. If you encounter any problems with PayPal, you need to contact PayPal. USA Pickleball is not responsible for any registration or event fee payments not processed by PayPal. Once an online payment is received along with the registration form, the player is considered registered. Paying with a Check: USA Pickleball no longer accepts checks, you must pay online to complete your registration.


When are my fees due?

Fees are due at the time of registration. Players who submit a registration but not a payment are NOT registered. Players are not included in an event until registration and event fees are paid in full.


When is my registration considered complete?

A registration is complete when the registration and event fees are paid for both you and your partner. Anyone not registered with a partner or unpaid fees on April 8, will be moved to the waitlist and replaced with a fully paid and partnered team.


What if my partner gets hurt during the tournament; can I find a replacement?

Yes.  Any registered player losing a partner must replace that partner with an already registered player. The replacement must be in the same skill/age group that you are scheduled to play. Keep in mind as you search for a replacement that players may play down in age and up in skill. Replacements need to be known and communicated to info@pickleballtournaments.com  by 4 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to play.  Any request for replacements coming in after 4p.m. the day before you are scheduled to play will be reviewed by the Tournament Director for approval. Replacements can be found on the players needing partners list, at the bottom of the main welcome page.


What if I want to register for a doubles event, but I don’t have a partner?

There is feature on the USA Pickleball website called “Partner Search”. We recommend you check Partner Search to see if you can find a partner before you register. In addition, players who have registered for an event without a partner can be viewed by clicking the “Needs Partner” button on pickleballtournaments.com. If you register without a partner, you have until midnight PST April 8, 2021, to register with a partner, sign the waiver and pay the registration and event fees. If both partners have not completed these items you will automatically be moved to the waitlist and priority given to teams on the waitlist that have met each of those requirements.


If I have to cancel my registration and withdraw from the tournament, can I get a refund?

Yes, players must withdraw themselves prior to May 7, 2021, in order to receive a refund. Registration and event fees will be refunded less a $25 processing fee. Refunds will be processed as a credit to the original form of payment where possible. Checks will only be issued when electronic forms of payment are not available (i.e. closed accounts or other reasons precluding an electronic transaction). Refunds will be processed by June 30, 2021.

Withdrawals after this date will only be accepted for medical reasons and must be accompanied by documentation from a treating physician.

Questions regarding refunds should be sent to karenparrish@usapickleball.org


How can I check to see when my USA Pickleball membership expires?

All current USA Pickleball members can check the status of their membership by logging into their USA Pickleball account (click here).  Once in, go to the ‘Member Area’ and click the link that says ‘Membership Status/Billing Info’.



VENUE (17)


What is the address for The Finley Center?

It is 1000 RV Trc Hoover, AL  35244 it is located at The Hoover Met Complex.


What is the best airport to use for getting to Hoover, AL?

Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport


Will there be practice courts at the venue?

Practice courts are available the day prior to the tournament starting and as event brackets are completed and no longer needed.


Will there be parking near the courts?

Yes there are over 1000 parking spaces at the Hoover Met Complex and near the Finley Center.  There is also an RV park outside the facility with 170 Full Service RV slots.


Will food be available at the courts?

Yes there is a very large concession area at the facility with a wide arrange of food and beverage options.


Will there be water at the courts?

Yes we will have water and snack stations in the facility.


Are dogs or other pets allowed?

We welcome the presence of service animals assisting people with disabilities. A service animal is defined as an animal that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Family pets or other animals are not allowed on-site.


Will there be access to showers or fitness equipment at the venue?

There are locker rooms onsite with showers as well as day lockers in the hallway.  Don’t forget to bring your own lock!  There is not fitness equipment at the venue.


Can I bring a cooler?

No personal coolers or outside food will be permitted.  We will have a large selection of food and beverages available at the tournament.


Can I bring lawn chairs?

No lawn chairs are permitted or needed.  There will be plenty of seating throughout the venue.


Can I live stream matches?






Does USA Pickleball have a Host Home program?

There is no host home program for this tournament.  We have secured excellent rates at hotels within 10-15 minutes of the facility.






I want to volunteer during the 2021 National Championships – who do I contact?

A Sign-Up Genius link will be provided on the welcome page very soon.  Please click on this link for a list of opportunities and how you can make a difference.


Will there be a referee for every match?

This will be an MMP (Medal Match Plus) style tournament with referees for Gold/Silver and Bronze medal matches as well as the winners bracket
and consolation bracket finals.  All other matches will have court monitors.


Why must I check-in each day I play?

You must check-in each play day so we know if all the players have arrived and to provide an opportunity to ensure your tournament registration is in order. Players will not be allowed to play if any part of their registration is incomplete or their event fees have not been paid.


What time do I need to be checked in by each day I play?

Players must check in a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the event start time.


Will the results be on the Internet?

Yes, all results, brackets, schedules, court assignments, matches waiting for court assignments and find a player can all be accessed here or via pickleballtournaments.com. Results will be posted on the internet as soon as a match is completed and the score sheet is returned to the Tournament Desk. Court assignments and match waiting lists will be updated when the score sheets are entered.


When will the Event Player List be available?

February 1, 2021


When will start times be available?

Detailed start times will be available after charts have been created and seeded. Court assignments and matches waiting lists will be available at midnight the day that each event is to be played.


When are the charts for play going to be posted?

Charts will be posted for each Division and Event at midnight on the day of play for that event. However, due to last minute team or player withdrawals, charts may change until the scheduled start time for an event.


How do you know if a player is playing with an approved paddle?

Please check the USA Pickleball website (https://equipment.usapickleball.org/) for a list of approved paddles.


What is the policy for recording matches at the event?



How do vendors or sponsors get engaged with the USA Pickleball for possible space at the Nationals?

Please contact George Bauernfeind our head of marketing @ gbauernfeind@usapickleball.org


What is the policy for recording my matches to a GoPro or other device?



Will there be practice time before the tournament starts?

Yes, we will have open play starting on Monday, June 7.  Time TBA.



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