PPA Las Vegas 2023

Jett Competes in PPA Las Vegas

Jett worked hard all summer refining his game and entered in the PPA Championships in Men’s Doubles 3.0 8-34. He also entered mixed doubles with his mother in 3.0 3-34.

Practice Session Sunset Park

We met up at Sunset Park pickleball courst Friday morning to get tuned up for the tournament. If you ever are in Las Vegas and want to get in some quality games, hit Sunset Park. It’s literally a 5 minute ride from McCarran Airport, so you can get in some games conveniently.

Darling Tennis Center

We need to take a moment to talk about the venue, Darling Tennis Center. We hear all the time about how amazing Lifetime Fitness is in San Clemente, but I think this venue in Las Vegas is equally as nice. Sure it’s not next to the beaches of Southern California, but there are so many places to stay, amazing restuarants, and entertainment that make up for it.

The venue itself is amazing. The only issue we had was parking. I had to walk about 2 miles from the nearest parking spot on Saturday to get to the main gates.

There are plenty of courts and the championship court is in a stadium bowl which made for an great spectating experience.

Jett watches the championship court at PPA Las Vegas between mixed doubles matches

PPA Junior Showcase

PPA Junior Showcase Friday night featured Allyce Jones

Later Friday night, Jett got to play in the PPA Junior Showcase hosted by Allyce Jones. She was amazing with all the kids and put on a great clinic.

My guess is that there were around 50 kids attending, aged 8-16. They broke them into groups based on age and skill. Unfortunately, Jett and his partner got misclassified, probably due to them being so young. After a couple of games where they blasted the other kids their age, they moved up in age and skill where they had much better games.

During the clinic they got to work on all aspects of the game including serves, drops, dinks, and speedups.

The most valuable part of the showcase was the networking. We got to see other kids who are taking pickleball seriously, guage their skill, talk to their parents, and look for potential partnerships moving forward.


I stayed at the Sun Coast Hotel. Jett stayed at Red Rock with his mother. Upon arrival there were several police cars and emergency vehicles at the entrance to the hotel.

Apparently somebody was shot in the parking lot and walked inside and collapsed near the cashiers cage.

This was not a great start to the weekend. I managed to check in and tried to get an upgrade from the the front desk with the old $20 bill with my license card. The hotel desk clerk informed me he didn’t have any upgrades, but that was fine, I was only staying two nights and I knew there weren’t many rooms available.

However once I hit my room, I was pleasantly surprised. While the room itself wasn’t particularly spectacular, the view from my room was amazing.

View from my room at the Sun Coast resort during the PPA Championship in Las Vegas

Saturday Men’s Doubles

Saturday Jett and his partner played in the men’s doubles 3.0 for ages 8-34. There were 8 teams in the draw, and the boys felt they had a good shot at a podium.

In their first match they were facing two guys who looked like they could be Division 1 football players. Very tall and fit, could pose some problems.

After the first few points it became apparent that Jett’s team had them overmatched in the skill department and proceeded to drub them without much problem.

What was hilarious is that both of their opponents girlfriends (wives?) were spectating. They were all dressed up for the event, brought the baby out in a stroller, and cheering on their guys.

The girls thought it was the funniest thing every watching their big strong men get sliced and diced by two kids. Everyone was a good sport and they guys even said “You two are literally the best pickleball players we’ve every faced.” It made the boys feel proud of their accomplishments and hard work.

Everyone took a picture, and my guess is their opponents tell that story for a laugh from time to time.
Final result: 11-2, 11-3.

Jett and Leland won their first round at PPA Vegas

Semi Finals, Semi-Famous?

During their semifinals match, the boys were put on a court right next to The Dinks very own Thomas Shields. I spoke with him earlier in the tournament and I’m pretty sure he was playing with his brother. It didn’t look like they were enjoying the desert climes much as I saw Thomas laying in the shade after their match, chugging liquids. It was either the heat, or the burden of carrying his brother all day. Maybe both.

The boys dispatched their semi-finals opponents and continued to roll to the finals, not dropping a single game. The only scare came in the last game. They were up 10-1 and their opponent came back but the boys ultimately sealed the victory 11-9.


Jett on the podium taking gold in Men's Doubles 3.0 PPA Las Vegas
Final results from PPA Las Vegas men's doubles 3.0 8-34

Mixed Doubles Saturday

Jett and his mother played in Mixed Double’s 3.0 8-34 on Saturday. Their campaign was not as successful as the previous day. They took second. To last. We don’t talk about it much.

The short video below is a microcosm of how the day went.


What We Learned

Playing competively with family is hard. There are so many social dynamics at play. If you don’t play well together recreati0nally and have good communication, the pressures of tournament play will expose these problems.

Both parties involved decided it was probably best if they didn’t partner up in the future.


We had a blast. Then venue was sick. The competition was fierce. We made a lot of new friends and made a memory none of us will every forget. In fact, we’re looking forward to the next event in 2024!