As of last week, we started posting our new weekly newsletter content in a blog post for those who are not subscribed. The best way to get access to this content is to subscribe to our newsletter as that will give you instant access right to your email inbox. For now, we’ll keep putting out the fresh newsletter content there 2 or 3 days later on the blog itself. It appears our technical issues from the 2nd newsletter are mostly resolved thanks to our IT manager. Again, let us know if there’s anything you want us to write about as the newsletter is more of a forum for random musings and smaller items that don’t garner enough from us for a full blown article.
Easy Fix to Challenges?
We have complained about line calls a number of times but we aren’t always the best at offering solutions to fix the intentional and unintentional bad line calls issue that permeates pro pickleball. Beyond some kind of punishment scale, we have generally left solutions to those who actually have to deal with the specifics.
However, with challenges becoming more prevalent with higher production values at events, there is one solution we think should absolutely implemented that does not require anything drastic. Both Zane Navratil and Hard Eights part-owner, Tim Parks, have discussed this concept on different podcasts, and that is the standard of review for overturning a call that is challenged.
In other pro sports, it is required that there is some version of indisputable/incontrovertible evidence to overturn a call. However, in a sport without refs, where players make their own calls and are inherently biased, it really makes no sense to require a beyond a reasonable doubt type of standard to overturn a player’s call that is almost always in their favor.
We’re not exactly sure what standard should be in place – 51% sure? 60% 75%? What does a percentage mean anyway? Regardless, it seems like the standard should be significantly less than 100% certain. Changing the standard to overturn a call in itself won’t stop bad calls, but at least it would make the playing field more level when a review does occur, especially with the less than perfect camera technology in place to identify the correct call.
Can We Stop With the Timeouts?
It all started on social media as it so often does these days. MLP Commissioner, Brooks Wiley, responded to a tweet asking to remove “mid pickleball game timeouts.” Wiley disagreed and we disagreed with Wiley. It sparked some discussion amongst other pickleball Twitter users that you can check out. (https://twitter.com/Brooksasaurus/status/1627684732614967302?s=20)
It has never bothered us enough for us to bring it up for the blog but we have talked quite a bit amongst ourselves how silly the total number of timeouts there are in pickleball, at least in traditional scoring. 2 timeouts per team per game to 11 is kind of insane.
For whatever reason, we love our timeouts in North American sports. In basketball, there are so many timeouts that the final 2 minutes becomes 20 minutes. In football, we give teams 3 timeouts per half despite how little on field action there is. Baseball finally put a cap on the number of total mound visits per game a few years ago, but for many years pitchers and catchers could talk as many times as they wanted in a game.
It’s like we think our athletes can’t work through adversity on their own. For the most part outside of football where timeouts are for time management, timeouts serve as a momentum killer when things aren’t going well. Why do we want it like this? It’s not a fatigue thing in doubles. If it is, pro athletes may want to think about getting on a fitness program.
From an entertainment perspective for pickleball, the timeouts don’t benefit fans in our opinion. The networks like them for commercials but they unnecessarily break up the flow of the game. If you want people to stay locked in, don’t give them so many opportunities to leave during a match. The professional athletes can figure out their issues during the match. Regardless of whether timeouts ultimately benefit favorites or underdogs, there are enough breaks in pickleball that you really don’t need any timeouts in a game to 11.
We don’t have to get too crazy though. We will settle for cutting the timeouts in half to one per team in traditional scoring. MLP already cut it down to one timeout per rally scoring game to 21, which also isn’t necessary considering there is already a timeout at the 11 side switch.
As we have said before, pickleball doesn’t have to be the same as other sports. We can stop the obsession with timeouts.
Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below or email us at email@example.com. You can subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.