What is the APP Tour in Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fast-growing sport that is gaining popularity across America and around the world. The APP Tour is one of the biggest professional circuits in pickleball, but what exactly is the APP Tour? How did it start, what events does it consist of, and who are the major athletes currently competing? Below, we take a deep dive into the history, format, events, and athletes on the APP Tour.
History of the APP Tour
The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) Tour is the premier pickleball tour for professional athletes, and currently the only tour officially sanctioned by USA Pickleball. It was first founded in 2019, along with the APP itself. Currently, the tour hosts 16 annual events for pro athletes, and also holds international and collegiate-level events, with the goal of developing future generations of pickleball athletes through its youth initiatives, including the Next Gen Series.
While the APP Tour is relatively young, it has already managed some notable moments in the world of pickleball. Among these include three APP Tour Triple Crown winners, with the most recent being Parris Todd at the 2023 APP Punta Gorda Open in Punta Gorda, Florida. With many events and years ahead of it, the APP Tour is growing rapidly, and reflects the quickly-growing popularity of pickleball on the whole.
APP Tour Rules
There are a number of rules which players must follow to participate in the APP Tour. Obviously, these rules include all of the rules of pickleball. Additional, APP Tour-exclusive rules include the following:
- All athletes must have a USA Pickleball membership.
- All pro and non-pro matches must have a referee.
- Athletes with Pro Credentials must pay an $80 registration and a $130 event fee per event.
- Athletes with Senior Pro Credentials must pay an $80 registration and a $120 event fee per event.
- Non-Pro athletes must pay an $80 registration and a $40 event fee per event.
In terms of prize money, cash prizes for winning APP Tour events can range between $25,000 and $75,000.
List of APP Tour Events
There are 16 scheduled events on the APP Tour in 2023, with dates and locations as follows:
|January 11-15, 2023||APP Punta Gorda Open||Pickleplex, Punta Gorda, FL|
|February 8-12, 2023||APP Daytona Beach Open||Pictona at Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, FL|
|March 15-19, 2023||APP San Diego Classic||The HUB, Spring Valley, San Diego, CA|
|March 29-April 2, 2023||APP Mesa Open||Bell Bank Park, Mesa, AZ|
|April 26-30, 2023||APP Sacramento Open||Spare Time Sports Club/Johnson Ranch, Rossville, CA|
|May 10-14, 2023||APP Cincinnati Open||Sawyer Point Pickleball Facility, Cincinnati, OH|
|May 24-28, 2023||APP New York City Open||Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York City, NY|
|June 21-25, 2023||APP San Jose Open||Venue TBD, San Jose, CA|
|June 28-July 2, 2023||APP Newport Beach Open||Tennis & Pickleball Club at Newport Beach, Newport Beach, CA|
|August 23-27, 2023||APP Philadelphia Open||Upper Main Line YMCA, Philadelphia, PA|
|August 30-September 3, 2023||APP Chicago Open||Danny Cunniff Park, Chicago, IL|
|September 6-10, 2023||APP New Jersey Open||Avalon, New Jersey|
|September 27-October 1, 2023||APP Atlanta Metro Open||Spalding County Pickleball Complex, Atlanta, GA|
|October 4-8, 2023||APP Dallas Open||The Oasis, Dallas, TX|
|October 25-29, 2023||APP Hilton Head Open||Palmetto Dunes Tennis & Pickleball Center, Hilton Head Island, SC|
|November 29-December 3, 2023||APP Houston Open||Houston Memorial Park, Houston, TX|
APP Tour Athlete Rankings
The APP Tour ranks its athletes on a points-based system, awarding point values based upon match placement. The point values are determined as follows:
Tier I Matches (Singles, Doubles, Mixed):
- First Place: 600 points
- Second Place: 480 points
- Third Place: 360 points
- Fourth Place: 240 points
- Main Draw Win (Non-Top Four): 40 points
- Back Draw Win (Non-Top Four): 20 points
Tier II Matches (Singles, Doubles, Mixed):
- First Place: 300 points
- Second Place: 240 points
- Third Place: 180 points
- Fourth Place: 120 points
- Main Draw Win (Non-Top Four): 20 points
- Back Draw Win (Non-Top Four): 10 points
What is the APP Tour in pickleball?
The APP Tour is a professional pickleball tour which consists of approximately 16 annual events that showcase USA Pickleball-sanctioned athletes competing in singles, doubles, and mixed matches. Athletes must have USA Pickleball memberships to participate in the APP Tour, and professionals are awarded points based upon their placement in either Tier I or Tier II matches.
Who sponsors the APP Tour?
Currently, the APP Tour has a number of high-profile sponsors. These sponsors include companies such as Skechers Pickleball, SunMed, Joola Pickleball, Selkirk, Onix, Power Plate, Pickleball United, Pickleball Central, USA Pickleball, and Pickleball Magazine.
Which pickleball players have the most APP Tour Points?
Currently, the men’s and women’s pickleball players with the most APP Tour points on the pro circuit are JW Johnson for the men and Jorja Johnson (his sister) for the women. The Johnsons come from a family of pickleball players, which includes their mother, Julie. JW currently has 22,200 APP Tour points, while Jorja has 16,980. Their mother, Julie, currently possess the second-highest point-total on the Senior Pro women’s circuit, with 13,670 points.