What to Pack for a Big Tournament

What to pack for a big tournament

USAPA Nationals is only days away – What to pack for a big tournament? While some of you may be packing and getting ready for Nationals, other may be planning to venture to your local tournaments…. Where ever your BIG pickleball tournament is here are some pointers for what to pack:

Big Tournament Check List:

  • Paddles (at least 3 – or buy one there) Make sure you have your name on your paddles
  • Two balls (see explanation below)
  • Sweat towel
  • Water bottle
  • A second drink with electrolytes
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Sweat-proof sunscreen
  • Lip protectant with SPF
  • Extra pair of socks and shoes
  • Extra clothing if you sweat a lot or there is a weather change
  • Jacket, sweatpants
  • Sandals or flip flops (let your feet rest at end of play)
  • Anti-inflammatory medicine (ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Topical pain relieving creme
  • Band-Aids
  • Food, snacks (did  you see my Trader Joe’s list?)
  • Small rolling ice chest with your goodies – save your arm for play
  • Ice pack (World’s Best Ice Pack to make yourself )
  • Folding chair
  • Music / iPod / earplugs
  • Camera (remember to capture the moments)
  • Bag / tote to carry it all
  • Black sharpie pen – mark your stuff and your new purchases
  • Your ID for check-in
  • Cash or a credit card to support the vendors
  • Notepad to record your new pickleball pals’ info
  • Your game, your game face and a BIG smile

More about the list and what to pack for a big tournament:

3 or more paddles – I am a big believer that you need a few weapons. Two different paddles for the various weather (wind) elements is good. Similarly, but for a different reason (competitor style) a paddle that provides touch and one with more power may be needed. Some of you may have one paddle that does it all, so bring a few of that one. Paddles can get damaged rather easily in play—especially when you hit that winner and then meet the fence–but its worth it if you got the point! If the fence wins, your paddle may need to “rest in peace”. Also if you’re losing, why not pick up another paddle and start fresh—mentally that can be a huge boost!

Two balls – I picked two as a random number, but sometimes when you get out on the court for some reason there is not a ball on the court. As you only have a few minutes to warm up, and instead of waiting for the ref to provide one, use yours to get in a few more hits before the official ball arrives.

Band-Aids – Carrying the knuckle Band-Aids are now a must for me. It seems at least once a month I get hit on my right hand knuckle and it bleeds. Of course, since it is the knuckle and its always bending to grip the paddle regular band- aids don’t work all that well. If you’re a knuckle bleeder, this is good for you too 🙂


If you have items to add to this list, please reply below…

7 comments on “What to Pack for a Big Tournament”

  1. Packing right now so the list saved me from forgetting a couple things! A very thoughtful post on your part. Thanks!!

  2. Good Luck at the upcoming Nationals. Wouldn’t it be great to see Pickleball on TV?! Surely the time has come for ESPN to pick up at least one of the FINALS! It would put Pickleball on the map/ world stage as a legitimate sport- next stop- The OLYMPICS!??

  3. Bring lots of socks AND foot powder so that after a couple matches when your feet are all clammy you can readily change and feel like a new man/woman. Happy feet make for a happy player which means a better player too.

  4. Best TIPS yet! I thought I’d heard them all – surrounding pickleball – but having this list is PRICELESS!! Thank you very much.

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