a pickleball court with net App vs. Ppa vs. Mpl in-depth review

“Explore the in-depth review and comparison of the App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and MLP in the world of pickleball. Learn about their unique approaches, technologies, accessibility, and entertainment elements to choose the right one for your pickleball experience.”

Pickleball, the sport that has captured America’s attention and gained popularity worldwide, combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping pong. As pickleball enthusiasts strive to showcase their skills and compete at a higher level, three leading tours have emerged: App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and Major League Pickleball (MLP).

These tours attract the best players from all around the world for their thrilling competitions. Which one fits you the best? To help you decide where to direct your pickleball passion, we’ve thoroughly reviewed each tour’s format, benefits, and drawbacks in this blog post.

History of App vs. PPA vs. MLP

PPA Pickleball was founded in 2017,2018 by Connor Pardoe. It is the largest professional pickleball tour in the world, with over 3,000 players and over $5 million in prize money awarded in 2022. PPA Pickleball hosts tournaments throughout the United States, and its matches are broadcast live on CBS Sports Network and ESPN+.

The App Tour was founded in 2019 by Ken Herrmann, a former professional tennis player and coach. Herrmann wanted to create a pickleball tour open to all skill levels, from amateurs to professionals. He also wanted to create a tour that would help to grow the sport of pickleball. The App Tour has been successful in both of these goals. It has grown rapidly in popularity and now hosts tournaments throughout the United States. The App Tour has also helped to attract new players to the sport of pickleball.

Major League Pickleball (MLP) was founded in 2021 by Steve Kuhn, Tom Dundon, and Jeff Zucker in Dripping Springs, Texas. MLP is a highly competitive pickleball league showcasing the world’s best professional players. Each team has one male and one female competitor, making up its four players. The teams compete in a round-robin method, with the winner taking home a massive $1 million prize.

Association of Pickleball Players (APP)  

App Tour, started in June 2019, welcomes beginners and professionals. It hosts singles, doubles, and mixed doubles tournaments. Players can earn prize money and ranking points at App Tour tournaments across the US. App Tour prioritizes diversity and inclusion. Beginners to experts can play in divisions. This allows everyone to compete and enjoy it. Another unique aspect of App Tour is its use of technology. The app provides

  • Real-time scoring updates.
  • Player statistics.
  • Even live-streaming options exist for fans who can’t attend the tournament venue.
  • This enhances the viewing experience and helps players analyze their performance and track their progress.

The success of App Tour lies in its ability to bring together pickleball enthusiasts from different backgrounds and skill levels. It creates a sense of community within the sport by providing opportunities for players to connect with like-minded individuals who share their passion.

App Tour has revolutionized how players and fans organize and enjoy pickleball tournaments. Its user-friendly interface, focus on inclusivity, and technology integration have made it a popular choice among amateur athletes looking for competitive opportunities in this rapidly growing sport.

Professional Pickleball Association (PPA)

The Professional Pickleball Association, usually known as PPA Pickleball, is one of the most famous tours in the United States. It was founded at the end of 2018 but did not hold an event until 2019; it has quickly gained popularity among professional pickleball players and fans.

Top players compete in stunning competitions on the PPA tour to show off their talents and stamina. Competence and high-quality production value make PPA tournaments engaging for players and fans.

What sets PPA apart from other tours is its commitment to growing the sport at all levels. The organization hosts professional tournaments and offers clinics, coaching programs, and grassroots initiatives to introduce more people to pickleball. This dedication to development ensures a sustainable future for pickleball.

PPA focuses on developing players and understands the significance of involving fans through media coverage and promotions. By live streaming matches, sharing match highlights, and providing behind-the-scenes content, fans can stay connected with their favourite players and teams even if they cannot attend live events.

Major League Pickleball (MLP)

Major League Pickleball (MLP) is the newest addition to the pickleball tournament circuit, bringing a fresh and exciting twist to this rapidly growing sport. Created by professional athletes who have fallen in love with pickleball, MLP aims to showcase the highest level of competition and athleticism on the court.

MLP’s focus on top players from multiple sports stands it from other tours. These athletes bring unique skills and styles to pickleball from tennis, basketball, and football. Seeing familiar faces from other sports competing in a different setting adds an extra layer of excitement for fans.

In addition to featuring star athletes, MLP also emphasizes entertainment value. The tournaments are designed as competitive events and spectacles where fans can enjoy live music performances, celebrity appearances, and engaging daily activities. This blend of high-level athleticism and entertainment creates an immersive experience for players and spectators alike.

The popularity of Major League Pickleball has been steadily increasing since its inception. Its innovative approach has attracted attention within the pickleball community and among mainstream media outlets. As more people become aware of this dynamic tour, it will likely continue to drive interest and participation in pickleball at all levels.

While some argue that traditional tournaments or local leagues offer a more grassroots experience for players looking to improve their skills or connect with fellow enthusiasts, Major League Pickleball brings a new level of excitement and exposure to this beloved sport. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious about the buzz, MLP offers something special for everyone involved.

Which is the most prestigious?

The PPA is the most prestigious professional pickleball tour. This is due to its exclusive contracts with top players and televised tournaments.

Which is the most popular?

The APP Tour is the most popular professional pickleball tour. This is due to its open-to-all format and tournaments throughout the United States.

Which is the newest?

The MPL is the newest professional pickleball league. It was founded in 2021 and is the first professional pickleball league to offer team-based competition.

Prize Money

The prize money for the App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and Major League Pickleball (MLP) varies depending on the tournament. However, MLP generally offers the highest prize money, followed by PPA Pickleball and the App Tour.


The winning team in each MLP event receives a $1 million reward. The overall prize money for the MLP season exceeds $5 million.  

PPA Pickleball

The total prize money for the season is over $5 million. The prize money for each tournament varies according to the event’s size and popularity. For example, the PPA World Championships prize money is $1 million.

App Tour

The App Tour season has nearly $2 million in prizes. The level and status of each tournament determine its prize money. App Tour Majors winners receive $100,000.

Comparison of the Three Tours

Regarding pickleball tours, the game has three leading tours: App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and Major League Pickleball (MLP). Each tour offers its own unique experience for both players and fans alike.

The App Tour is known for its innovative approach to the sport. This tour focuses on technology and analytics to revolutionize how pickleball is played and analyzed. Players can modify their strategy during matches using real-time performance statistics. The App Tour also utilizes cutting-edge equipment and facilities, providing a top-notch playing experience.

PPA Pickleball focuses on promoting grassroots participation in the sport. This tour often hosts tournaments at local clubs and community centres, making it accessible for players of all skill levels. PPA events create a welcoming atmosphere where beginners can learn from seasoned professionals while enjoying friendly competition.

Major League Pickleball (MLP) takes pickleball to another level of excitement with its fast-paced format. MLP matches feature high-energy rallies and intense competition between some of the best players in the world. The incorporation of music and entertainment elements adds an extra layer of fun for spectators attending live events or watching from home.

Tournament structure

The App Tour features a traditional tournament structure, with players competing in individual and doubles matches. The PPA Tour features a mix of individual and team tournaments. The MLP Tour is a team-based league.

Prize money

The App Tour offers the largest prize pools in professional pickleball. The PPA Tour also offers significant prize money. The MLP Tour is a team-based league, so prize money is distributed to the teams rather than individual players.

Player Eligibility

Everyone who wants to play is allowed for the App Tour, regardless of where they rank or how much experience they have. Both the PPA Tour and the MLP Tour are invitation-only competitions open only to the best players in the world.


The App Tour is streamed live on Pickleball Channel and its tournaments are also televised on CBS Sports Network and ESPN. The PPA Tour is streamed live on ESPN+. The MLP Tour is streamed live on CBS Sports Network and ESPN+.

Other factors

There are a few other things to consider when choosing a professional pickleball tour. For instance, the App Tour is renowned for placing a high priority on player development. The PPA Tour is known for its innovative tournament structure and its focus on fan engagement. The MLP Tour is known for its unique team-based format.

Pros and Cons of Each Tour

App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and Major League Pickleball (MLP) have unique strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each tour.

The App Tour is known for its accessibility and inclusivity. The App allows players of all skill levels to compete in local tournaments. This allows more people to participate in pickleball without traveling extensively or committing to a full-time touring schedule. However, some may argue that the lack of physical presence and face-to-face competition detract from the overall experience.

PPA Pickleball offers a professional platform for top-level players to showcase their skills. With high-quality production values and live streaming options, fans can enjoy watching matches from anywhere worldwide.

Additionally, PPA events often feature top-ranked players who consistently deliver thrilling performances on the court. On the downside, PPA events are limited in number compared to other tours.

MLP brings a new level of excitement by combining pickleball with entertainment elements such as music, lights, and celebrity appearances. This innovative approach attracts die-hard pickleball fans and individuals who may be curious about this fast-growing sport. However, some traditionalists might argue that these additional aspects detract from the purity of competitive play.

Impact of Each Tour on the Growth of Pickleball

The App Tour, PPA Pickleball, and Major League Pickleball (MLP) have all significantly influenced the growth of pickleball. Each tour has unique features and benefits contributing to this exciting sport’s popularity and development.

The App Tour has been instrumental in introducing pickleball to a broader audience through its user-friendly mobile application. The convenience of watching matches live or on-demand from anywhere has revolutionized how fans engage with the sport. This accessibility has attracted new players and enthusiasts, fueling the growth of pickleball communities worldwide.

PPA Pickleball, founded by top professional players, focuses on providing high-quality tournaments for professionals and amateurs alike. By hosting competitive events featuring some of the best players in the world, they inspire others to take up pickleball or improve their skills. The PPA’s dedication to promoting fair play and sportsmanship nurtures a positive environment within the sport.

Major League Pickleball (MLP), as one might expect from its name, brings an element of excitement similar to other major league sports. With big-name athletes crossing over into pickleball, MLP showcases thrilling matchups that capture attention beyond traditional pickleball audiences. These crossovers generate media buzz and attract new fans curious about this rapidly growing sport.

Each tour contributes differently but significantly towards expanding interest in pickleball at various levels: recreational players are drawn by easy access. At the same time, aspiring competitors gain inspiration by watching professionals battle it out! As these tours continue to evolve and innovate upon their formats, we can expect more people to get involved in playing or supporting this fantastic game!

Role of Celebrities and Athletes from Other Sports in Pickleball

Pickleball has been gaining popularity among recreational players, celebrities, and athletes from other sports. These famous individuals have played a significant role in promoting the sport and attracting new participants.

Pickleball has become popular among celebrities because it offers an enjoyable way to stay fit and engage in friendly competition. Numerous well-known individuals, such as tennis legend   Serena Williams, NBA player Kevin Durant, and singer Justin Timberlake, have openly shared their love for pickleball on various social media platforms.

Moreover, athletes from other sports often find that pickleball complements their existing skills while offering a fresh challenge. Professional football players like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have incorporated pickleball into their training routines to improve agility, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes.

The involvement of these well-known figures in pickleball helps remove any stigma associated with the sport being solely for older adults. By showcasing their enthusiasm for playing pickleball, they break down barriers and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved.


Which professional pickleball tour suits you depends on your aims and preferences. App Tours are suitable for high-competition tours with substantial prize pools. You should choose the PPA Tour if you want an innovative tournament structure and fan interaction. You should choose the MLP Tour for its unique team-based format.

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