Some of the Best Pickleball Tournaments Around the World


Pickleball, a sport that has been rapidly gaining popularity in the United States, is now making waves internationally. With the exponential growth of pickleball players worldwide, it comes as no surprise that the sport is expanding beyond borders. While USA Pickleball governs the sport in the United States, the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) is one of the largest international governing bodies for pickleball. With 63 member countries across Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, Oceania, and North America, the IFP is dedicated to promoting pickleball globally and organizing tournaments around the world.

In addition to the IFP, other organizations such as the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA), Major League Pickleball (MLP), World Pickleball Tour (WPT), and Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) have also shown interest in expanding the sport and forming partnerships with international countries. These partnerships not only diversify the sport but also create more opportunities for tournament participants to win prize money. Many international competitions and invitationals offer round-robin style tournaments with separate rankings for amateur and professional players, allowing more pickleball enthusiasts to join in on the fun.

Here are just a handful of the many annual tournaments that can be found throughout the world:

World Pickleball Championship Games

The World Pickleball Championship Games, held most recently in May 2023 at the Pickle Ranch in Austin, Texas, is an international team competition. Each participating country selects a minimum of four women and four men, and a maximum of six women and six men, to represent their team. The event follows a format that is necessary for the eventual consideration of pickleball as an Olympic sport.

Pickleball in Spain

Spain has been hosting the Spanish Open pickleball tournament since 2015. This tournament attracts players from over 15 countries, and the most recent Spanish Open in 2023, powered by the APP, took place from September 1st to September 3rd in the city of Salamanca.

“The APP has a firm commitment to grow pickleball worldwide, so we’re pleased to partner with Pickleball Salamanca for one of Europe’s premier tournaments of 2023,” commented APP Founder Ken Herrmann. “Spain has a passionate pickleball fan base – as demonstrated by eight years of hosting the Spanish Open – and the APP is proud to support the game in Spain as global stewards for the game of pickleball. We look forward to a fantastic event in Salamanca, a place with a rich and vibrant cultural history.”

Pickleball in England

England hosted its first national championship pickleball tournament from August 12th to 15th, 2021 in Bolton, which was a resounding success. Most recently, the English Open, organized by the APP, was held at the Telford International Centre in Shropshire. With over 40 pickleball courts, this four-day event featured players from around the world.

Pickleball in Mexico

Mexico will host the Americas Championship from November 26th to December 2nd in Cabo San Lucas. Hosted by the Pickleball Federation of the Americas (PFA), the first continental pickleball federation encompassing North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean, this inaugural event is sanctioned and promises to be a tournament to remember. Registration is still open and will close on November 15th, 2023.

The tournament will feature Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Men’s Singles, Mixed Doubles, and Women’s Singles categories, along with four skill levels:

  • Advanced: 4.5 – 5.0
  • Intermediate: 4.0
  • Beginner: 3.5
  • Social: 2.5 – 3.0

“We’re delighted that our continental partners in Mexico, led by Javier Regalado, have stepped onto the court and are hosting the inaugural Americas Championship,” comments Tony Casey, a Global Affairs volunteer with Pickleball Canada.

Pickleball in Australia

The MLP recently announced its first international expansion through a partnership with the Pickleball Premier League (PPL). All future tournaments will be held under the Major League Pickleball Australia heading and adhere to the Major League Pickleball tournament format, with the exception of the Open and Masters events, which are held annually.

MLP CEO Julio DePietro said, “This partnership is a landmark moment for the sport of pickleball. Major League Pickleball is at the forefront of standardizing the best professional pickleball league, not just in the U.S. but globally.”

Pickleball in Canada

According to Ernesto Fajarado, Canada’s number two-ranked player, there has been a significant increase in the number of pickleball players acrossthe country. Canada has been hosting various pickleball tournaments, including the Canadian National Pickleball Championships. This tournament attracts players from all over Canada and even some international participants. The most recent championships were held in Kelowna, British Columbia, where players competed in different age and skill categories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the history of pickleball?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum. It started as a backyard game but quickly gained popularity and evolved into a competitive sport. The name “pickleball” is said to have originated from the Pritchard family’s dog, Pickles, who would chase after the ball during the game.

2. How is pickleball played?

Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with a modified tennis net. Players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over the net. The game can be played in singles or doubles format, and the objective is to score points by hitting the ball past the opponent without committing a fault.

3. What are the health benefits of playing pickleball?

Pickleball is a great sport for people of all ages and fitness levels. It provides a full-body workout, improves cardiovascular health, enhances hand-eye coordination, and promotes social interaction. The low-impact nature of the game makes it suitable for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.

4. How can I get involved in pickleball tournaments?

To participate in pickleball tournaments, you can join local pickleball clubs or associations. These organizations often organize tournaments and provide information on upcoming events. You can also check the websites of governing bodies such as USA Pickleball or the International Federation of Pickleball for tournament listings.

5. Can pickleball be played competitively at an international level?

Yes, pickleball can be played competitively at an international level. The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) organizes and sanctions international tournaments, allowing players from different countries to compete against each other. The sport is rapidly growing globally, and more countries are establishing their own pickleball associations and hosting tournaments.

In conclusion, pickleball is a sport that is rapidly expanding worldwide, with numerous tournaments being held in different countries. The International Federation of Pickleball, along with other organizations, is playing a crucial role in promoting the sport and organizing international competitions. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, participating in pickleball tournaments can be a thrilling experience that allows you to showcase your skills and compete against players from around the world.

So, grab your paddle, find a tournament near you, and get ready to join the exciting world of competitive pickleball!


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Written by Billy Pickles

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