PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2019) – The first-ever World Pickleball Championship in the history of the sport will take place Dec. 27 – 30 at the brand new PicklePlex® of Punta Gorda on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College. Professional players will vie for their share of the $100,000 prize purse while amateurs will compete in their age and skill categories over this four-day event. Players from across the globe, including from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Denmark, England, Germany, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Singapore, have been invited to compete for the title of World Pickleball Champion. 

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S., with over three million players participating, according to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. The sport is also growing in other parts of the world. As the sport advances, so too will the number of players and professional athletes that actively participate in tournaments. The level of play will increase as will the prize money.

The tournament will offer the largest cash purse in history to the professional and senior professional players. Sixty projected World Champions will reign at the end of the event from all categories and divisions.

“What makes this event so special is that based on their Global Pickleball Ranking, only the world’s best pickleball players have been invited to play at the final tournament of the year, which will crown the first-ever World Pickleball Champions for the year 2019. Punta Gorda offers the best possible combination of the local support from both the local government and local pickleball community, not to mention the fabulous facilities provided by the PicklePlex of Punta Gorda,” said Jan David, owner of Pickleball Global.

The 16-court PicklePlex of Punta Gorda held its first tournament in June 2019 and has hosted four others since. The Pickleball Global World Championship will be the PicklePlex’s largest tournament to date, as it’s expected to draw in an estimated 500 participants generating a sizable economic impact for the area. The PicklePlex of Punta Gorda is committed to hosting high-quality tournaments and is planning to add an additional 16 courts to the complex in the coming months allowing for the expansion of existing tournaments without impacting the capacity for recreational play.

The venue is ideally situated on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College’s Punta Gorda Campus offering ample parking and located just off Interstate 75 and five minutes from downtown Punta Gorda. In addition, Punta Gorda and neighboring Port Charlotte feature nearly 1,500 quality hotel rooms within a 5 -15-minute drive along with many dining and entertainment options.  Flying into the area is easy as Allegiant Air flies directly into Punta Gorda Airport from approximately 50 destinations. Southwest Florida International Airport in Ft. Myers is serviced by major domestic carriers and is 30 minutes to the south.

One of the core foundations for the Pickleball Global World Championship is Global Pickleball Rankings (GPR).

GPR recognizes the following main categories: 

  • Singles (Gentlemen and Ladies)
  • Doubles (Gentlemen, Ladies, and Mixed)

These main ranking categories are age-based and professional:

19+, 30+, 40+, 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+, Pro, and Senior Pro.

Age/Skill categories in the tournament are the 19+, 30+, 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+, and 80+ categories.

Participants can also register according to their International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) rating ranging from intermediate (3.000-3.999) to advanced (4.000-4.999). Professional and senior professional categories are Open and 50+, respectively.

Tickets can be purchased to the stadium court area which offers general admission sessions and VIP seating options. The event will be live-streamed internationally to a global audience of pickleball enthusiasts on the Pickleball Global Facebook page, www.facebook.com/pickleball.global

Learn more about the event, registration, and ticket options on the website www.worldpickleballchampionship.com or contact Pickleball Global at 239-301-2141 or email info@pickleball.global.

For information, contact Jan David, owner of Pickleball Global, at 239-301-2141 or  jan@pickleball.global; Gloria Reilly with PicklePlex of Punta Gorda at 314-757-4933 or gloria@pickleplex.org; or Sean Doherty, Sports Marketing Manager with the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau, at 941-743-1900 or sean.doherty@charlottecountyfl.gov.