Message from APTA Board Regarding Paddle Holes


October 11, 2022

Player Committee Message To APTA Board

2022 NTS APTA Hole Size Test

The APTA would like to provide an update to our membership on the issue of paddle holes that may be out of compliance with our rule specifications.

As a reminder, after a preliminary investigation and multiple board meetings, the APTA Board made two decisions:

  • (a) all paddles previously approved by the APTA Rules Committee will remain approved, and
  • (b) a new committee will be formed to thoroughly review our rules related to paddle specifications and conformance.

Since that initial decision, the Board at the request of the Players Committee has engaged with an outside company to get a set of independent measurement results for paddle hole sizes across all manufacturers. The Board hired NTS Technical Systems to do these measurements. NTS does the official testing for pickleball equipment as well as testing across multiple industries.

NTS was sent two paddles from each of seven manufacturers. To conduct its test, NTS used a Coordinate Measuring Machine to make a laser scan of each paddle creating a 3D image for each paddle. It then looked at ten holes for each of the paddles and selected a "best-fit" cylinder for each hole and pulled the diameter of that cylinder to come up with the hole size. The results of the test (attached) were shared with the Players Committee with the names of the manufacturers labeled as Manufacturer A, Manufacturer B, Manufacturer C , etc.

The APTA is comfortable with the consistency and the accuracy of NTS's results but also acknowledges that there is no official specified test for measuring holes which is one of the reasons the Board made its initial two decisions mentioned above.

Based on these test results and lengthy discussions with the Players Committee (Players Committee letter to APTA Board attached), the APTA Board has decided that no further action is necessary for 2022/23 NRT or APTA Tour events.

The test results show that the APTA needs to improve its approval process for the following season. There must be no perceived competitive advantage on the court, and our newly formed committee is working hard to get this right. The committee will continue working with NTS and equipment manufacturers to review our paddle specifications and conformance rules thoroughly.

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