With the major sports all in forced hiatus during this terrible and unprecedented time in world history, niche sports are doing everything and anything to gain some attention. Such is the case for the sport of “Pickleball.”
Four of the world’s top professional Pickleball players will vie for the first Pickleball Mania crown. They will battle it out in semifinals and finals action at a private residence under strict quarantine guidelines.
The four competitors will be joined by a small production and event crew of no more than six people as the event complies fully with present restrictions and social distancing practices.
Fans can tune in for all three matches live on ESPN3 via livestream. The final match will also be presented on tape delay on a variety of national and international networks at a later date.
The event is co-founded by former tennis professional Ryan Sherry, NFL veteran Brandon Siler and former professional football player Peter “P.J.” Jensen. They will also serve as Tournament Directors. Harry Cicma serves as the event’s executive TV producer through Harry Cicma Productions LLC, in partnership with ESPN.
“This is a very special event, as one of the only professional sports being televised live worldwide during this difficult pandemic,” said Cicma. “The most important thing is that the event and broadcast are intimate, in a private secluded residence, and it promotes staying at home in quarantine and social distancing.
“Pickleball is sweeping the world by storm and is currently the fastest growing sport in the world,” said Jensen. “I promise you this, if you ever pick up a pickleball paddle and play a game of singles or doubles you will be hooked! Pickleball is a combination of tennis, ping pong and requires speed, power, finesse and strategy. If you think for a second this is an old people’s game, you will be sadly mistaken and proven wrong! Tune in and watch live for yourself!”
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. The fast-growing, fast-paced game is played with a paddle and plastic ball with holes, as doubles or singles, on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.