Major League Pickleball: What Is It?

Major League Pickleball: What Is It?


Ever wondered what Major League Pickleball is all about? Did you know it’s the highest-tier competition in professional pickleballrapidly growing each year? This article will break down everything you need to understand the MLP— from its exciting draft process and match formats, to its star-studded events! Ready for an enlightening journey into this thrilling sport?

What is Major League Pickleball?

Major League Pickleball, often referred to as MLP, represents the peak of professional pickleball competition. It emerged from a strategic alliance between the Pickleball Pro Association and Major League Pickleball itself.

This heightened platform is where the best players in this rapidly growing sport display their skills against each other.

The first ever MLP draft took place in 2021 with eight teams battling it out at Dreamland resort; a world-class venue owned by Steve Kuhn. Four additional squads were added in 2022, setting new standards for excitement and competitiveness within this rising discipline.

Being part of the league means competing among an estimated 36.5 million Americans who have embraced this sport passionately.

The Rising Popularity of Major League Pickleball

Major League Pickleball is gaining traction and turning heads around the nation. Investors like LeBron James and Mark Cuban see the sport as a profitable venture, pouring their funds to foster its growth.

It’s not just big investors; millions of Americans are also embracing Major League Pickleball. About 36.5 million people took up their paddles in 2022 alone, contributing to pickleball becoming one of America’s fastest-growing sports.

The league further boosted its credibility by signing a sponsorship deal with Margaritaville, a reputable lifestyle brand known for supporting promising ventures. Attracting both amateur players and professional athletes looking to pivot careers, MLP has become a hotspot for talent and spectators alike, thanks in part to handsome player salaries reaching up to $200k per year including sponsorships.

It seems that everywhere you look – from local parks filled with enthusiastic ‘pickleheads’ taking swings on makeshift courts – Major League Pickleball is making waves!

Understanding How Major League Pickleball Works

Learn about the MLP draft, match format, and Dreambreaker™ round – all part of the exciting world of Major League Pickleball. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

The MLP Draft

The MLP draft plays a critical role in shaping Major League Pickleball. Each team owner, from LeBron James to Mark Cuban, takes part in this event to select their star players. In 2021, the first ever MPL draft took place at Kuhn’s Dreamland resort with considerable fanfare.

The unique format of the draft ensures gender equity by requiring owners to choose two men and two women for their co-ed teams. With twelve teams and forty-eight professional players making up the league, it provides an exciting avenue for talent selection in pro pickleball.

Last year’s venue was none other than the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York, which added another layer of prestige to this high-profile event.

Match Format

Major League Pickleball matches are set up in a unique and engaging way. Here’s how it goes:


  • Each match comprises four gameseach game has 21 points.
  • The games include various formatswomen’s doubles, men’s doubles, and two mixed doubles matches.
  • Rally scoring is an important part of the MLP experience: every rally earns you a point regardless of which team served.
  • The competition heats up when the first team reaches twenty points; from this moment on, teams must win by at least two points.
  • All games follow the USA Pickleball Association rulebook but expect some annual rule modifications to keep things interesting!


The Dreambreaker™ Round

In the intense world of Major League Pickleball, sometimes a tiebreaker is needed to determine the winner. Enter: The Dreambreaker™ Round. When both teams are tied at 2-2 after four games, this exciting format kicks in.

It consists of one player from each team competing in singles against each other, with players switching every four points. The goal is to be the first player to reach 21 points and win by two.

It’s a nail-biting showdown that adds an extra layer of intensity to the game. The home team has the advantage of presenting their singles lineup first, but the away team gets a chance to counter with their own configuration.


Major League Pickleball (MLP) is the premier level of competitive pickleball, bringing together top players from around the country. With a strategic merger between the Pickleball Pro Association and MLP, it has quickly gained popularity as the highest-tier league in professional pickleball.

As co-ed teams compete in thrilling matches of women’s doubles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles games, MLP offers exciting gameplay and attracts heavyweight investors like LeBron James and Mark Cuban.

Don’t miss out on this fast-growing sport that has captivated millions of Americans!


What is Major League Pickleball (MLP)?

Major League Pickleball, also known as MLP, is the Premier Level pickleball tournament that hosts geographic-based teams competing for event points and prize money.

Where do I find information about MLPlay ratings?

You can check the Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating (DUPR) at to see players’ performance on both Challenger and Premier Levels of play.

How are team lineups created in MLP?

Teams in MLP use a snake draft system where new players are added into men’s doubles, women’s doubles and singles line-ups.

What kind of games can we expect from 2023 Major League Pickleball events?

The 2023 MLP league includes exciting matches such as dinking – a finesse shot used in the non-volley zone called The Kitchen – and electrifying chainsaw or spin serves plus Super Season Finals.

Who sponsors Major League Pickleball matches?

Anheuser-Busch along with other brands like Skechers footwear, Franklin balls, Ora Organic nutrition products sponsor the MLPlay tournaments broadcasted widely on platforms like YouTube,Tennis Channel,CBS Sports,and large social media networks like Facebook & Twitter.

Does owning a team in Major League Pickleball require an Expansion fee?

Yes! Owning an expansion franchise comes with an expected fee which will contribute towards operating costs inclusive player salaries and potential $10 Million Prize money up for grabs by skilled professionals!