PPA Finals Showdown: Top 8 in Innovative Pool Play Format

Tyson Mcguffin
Tyson Mcguffin (Image credit: Nick Uzunyan)

The PPA Finals are this weekend. For those who like watching the best players, it fits the bill since only the top 8 players in each category (singles, gender doubles, and mixed doubles) played it. The cool part was the pool play format (World cup format), where there were two pools of 4, and the top 2 from each made it to the elimination round. Today is Championship Sunday where players will vie for GOLD!  As usual, Ben Johns and Anna Leigh Waters (ALW) are fighting for the triple crown. In a departure from the usual, there were some interesting upsets in the pool play. National champion, JW Johnson, went 0-3 in singles and Ben Johns lost a match to Connor Garnett. The biggest upset, however, was Ben Johns and ALW losing only their second match all year, 8-11 8-11 to Anna Bright and James Ignatowich. 

If you are less in touch with the pro game, this was a very interesting tournament because the Pro players played a different style, much more like that played by amateurs. We have seen that the Tours are trying to look at new ways to enhance and grow viewership, and they are changing formats in various ways.  You have the traditional bracket style, the MLP team format, the progressive draw format (where you play one round of singles, mixed, gender each day) and now this pool plays into a playoff format. The interesting thing will be next year if we will see them settle on 1 format or if the tours (especially the PPA) will keep trying new things to see what sticks.

Photo of author

At just 21 years old, New Jersey native Richard Livornese, Jr. is a rising star in the professional pickleball world and a member of the 2023 APP Next Gen National Team. Initially a college lacrosse player at Stevens Institute of Technology, Richard switched gears to pickleball during the COVID-19 pandemic, co-founding a pickleball academy in his hometown and setting his sights on professional competition. Most recently he has committed to a three-year contract with Major League Pickleball, 2024 through 2026. Richard is an aggressively enterprising person and athlete that is not only finding success on the court, but plans to use his influence to promote the sport’s growth. As a regular contributor to Pickleball Portal, he provides valuable insights through news articles, reviews, and how-to guides. richard@pickleballportal.com

Leave a Comment