Wednesday, November 2, 2022
By now the entire pickleball world has heard that the well loved Major League Pickleball has a pretty viable competitor. Will the Vibe League run by the PPA be bigger than MLP?
It's no secret that some of the contracted PPA players were disappointed about not being able to participate in the Major League Pickleball events in the 2022 season. It boasted the highest prize money in pickleball and the team format added a new and different flare to the landscape of pickleball that pro players enjoyed. Tyson McGuffin spoke out in an interview on YouTube about his dismay that he and the other signed PPA players were unable to participate in Major League Pickleball and unable to have a chance at the piece of the money pie that the MLP organization was offering.
Our article outlining previous PPA and MLP news read HERE.
At one time, not that long ago, the PPA was going to allow their players to participate in the team formatted event as long as their players attended a certain amount of PPA events throughout the year. This quickly fizzled as MLP announced that they would be getting into tournament formats similar to the APP and PPA as well as an adjusted team format schedule at the end of each tournament. MLP shot itself in the foot because instead of not fixing what was not broken, they awoke a beast in upset celebrities who were unable to acquire teams who knocked on the PPA's door complaining that they wanted to buy a team. Tom Dundon, owner of the PPA, fulfilled a void that the MLP did not embrace. In the biggest shocker that came from the Vibe Pickleball Instagram was that MLP's all-stars JW Johnson and Dylan Frazier have submitted their names for the 2023 VIBE Pickleball League Draft. This begs the question have they signed with the PPA regular tournament schedule as well? PPA nor Johnson or Frazier have disclosed that on any of their social media outlets, however, recently the PPA for the first time was posting JW Johnson clips which was out of the ordinary as they mostly promote their signed and contracted players.
Sources tell us that the PPA is allowing their contracted players to play two out of the three organizations; PPA and APP/MLP. We have not confirmed this and we believe that everyone's contract is probably different. However we know they want to give their players the opportunity to be happy and make the most amount of money and get the most amount of exposure. Happy players, happy organizations, happy fans. Not all is lost! Major League Pickleball has yet to respond to the new VIBE League and we are hoping when they do, they make some changes to the next season. They have something special going with their team format and they need to build and grow that without diving into the regular tournament grind that the players get enough of at the APP and the PPA. Their team format makes them stand out in the crowd. Why change it? Pickleball is on the upswing and we will start to see more and more famous athletes, especially tennis players get involved as pickleball gets more television time and as more sponsors come in with more money.
Some players view this as potential for more opportunities, others think it's terrible for the sport as the organization's throw their money and ego at each other. One thing is for sure, most of us love this sport and want to see these organizations thrive in each of their chosen lanes instead of trying to create monopolies to destroy the others. Rick Barry said it best:
VIBE pickleball league has a long way to go to get a team format going but we cannot wait to see how this shakes up the space of pro pickleball.