Junior PPA Masters 2023

Jett Competes in the 1st Junior PPA Masters in Palm Springs

After taking silver at Junior Nationals and Duel in the Desert, Jett worked extra hard to be ready for the inaugural Junior PPA event.

Originally, I wasn’t going to go due to work, but due to the late start time and a little shuffling, I blasted down there Thursday morning, arriving about 15 minutes before his first match.

When I walked up to my son, I could tell he was excited, which felt good. He said “You made it! Mom, Dad’s here, OMG!” Great start to the weekend.

12U Singles

Jett lost in the first round to Jack, meaning the best he could do was 3rd. He won his second round easily, but was out by round 3. This is only his 2nd singles tournament, so it was a learning experience. He’s going to work on his conditioning and practice more singles to be ready for the next event.

The Main Event

After the singles tournament, the boys played dozens of pickup games of double, scurrying between courts as new official matches started. As parents we wanted our son to get to know all his contemporaries, as well as get in some quality games. But it was so cold. I prepared for the cold and was still freezing.

Day 2: Coed Doubles

Jett’s team luckily received a bye in the first round, and were already in the semi-finals before the match started. In their first match they balled out, quickly dispatching their opponents.

The real battle was in the finals. They knew their opponents from previous tournaments, and considered themselves underdogs.

They lost the first game 11-1. Both Dads chipped in, changed the strategy a bit, and they boys rallied back to take game 2 11-4. Unfortunately, they got down 7-3 in the third. But then this miraculous point happened:



The boys went on a run to close out the tournament and take home the gold medal!

Jett and his partner Dylan took home the gold at the Junior PPA Masters Coed Doubles 12U
Bracket results Junior PPA Masters Coed Doubles

Championship Court

The next day, the PPA paraded the medal winners out on Championship Court for a shoutout! They got a taste of what it feels like to be a pro and some exposure.

Dad’s Accomodations

I didn’t book until the night before, so many hotels were full, and every lodging option jacked up their prices. I stayed a Days Inn, because I get a reduced rate as a member. I’m sure the place was nice 50 years ago, but time took a toll.

The Days Inn Travelodge in Palm Springs

The view was amazing but the accomodations could use a refresh. When I first pulled in, I thought I was at the wrong spot. The property looked like a run down weekly rental place. But the bed was comfy, the internet had just enough bandwith to stream the matches at night, so I was happy.

The two redeeming qualities of the place are the views and the restuarant next door.

Great view, not so new motel

See I saved probably $40 to $50 by staying at this motel. But what I forgot to calculate was the cost of breakfast. We usually stay at La Qunita when possible, and the free breakfast is servicable. The Days Inn had no free breakfast. That oversight cost me $52 when I ate at Rick’s Restuarant and Bakery next door. The food was amazing and the service above and beyond. I had barely sat down and they poured me a hot cup of coffee.

Unfortuately an order of eggs, canadian bacon, toast and hashbrowns cost $42 when you add a side of fruit and a blueberry muffin to the side. But I was so happy to have a good meal the $10 tip seemed reasonable.


Rick's Restaurant and Bakery next door had a great breakfast but high prices

My only regret is that I missed my chance to stay across the street at the L3 Oasis Hotel. The L3 stands for “Live Laugh Love.” I can only imagine the missed meme opportunity. I envsion every room strewn with Live Laugh Love festooned pillows, blankets, towels, and inspirational plaques.

Could have been a real trip highlight, but now I know for next year!

The L2 Oasis Hotel - AKA the Live Laugh Love Hotel was a missed opportunity

The Tournament

Due to winds Wednesday night, the tournament got pushed back two hours to 3:30 PM. Which worked out great as I got there 30 minutes before his singles matches started. Compared to our experience in San Clemente last year, the tournaments quickly progress through the brackets. There wasn’t much time wasted waiting for court assignments.

That being said, there were still plenty of courts where you could sneak in a few points between matches if you want. The boys spent their off time scurrying between open courts, stringing together ad hoc matches between their friends. I think Jett got in more quality pickleball games in two days than he does in a month on our home courts. 

And the friends he’s making all share the same passion. It’s amazing to see.