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National Pickleball League: The First Nationwide Team Competition For Champions Division Professional Players

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The National Pickleball League™ (NPL™) is the first ever nationwide team competition for Champions Division (50+) professional pickleball players. Launching in 2023, six city-based team owners will build their rosters through a live player draft that will take place in April. NPL will host the first ever Pickleball Combine the weekend of March 25-26 for players hoping to showcase their pickleball skills and abilities to team owners and league evaluators ahead of the April draft. Teams will compete in five action-packed regular season weekends from June to September, culminating in a season-ending Championship weekend in October with the title and $100,000 in prize money on the line – which is the largest prize pool for Champions Pros!

NPL Combine

NPL will host the first ever Pickleball Combine the weekend of March 25-26 for players hoping to showcase their pickleball skills and abilities to team owners and league evaluators ahead of the April draft. The Combine is already sold out, and people are coming from all over the world, including Singapore and Australia in the hopes that their performance at the Combine will give them a better chance to be drafted into the league.

Naples Announced as First NPL Team Owner

The NPL recently announced that Naples Pickleball Center (NPC), the Pickleball Capital of the World®, has signed on to be one of the first team owners of the league. The team will be based in Naples, Florida, and will be called Naples JBB United. Bob Strommen, Managing partner of NPC explains the story behind the name, “This Naples team is a tribute and recognition to the legacy of Pickleball. JBB represents the senior “legacy” players AND the founders/creators of the game in 1965. The founders were Joel Pritchard, Barney McCallum, and Bill Bell (JBB). United represents the 12-20 professional pickleball players as a TEAM striving for excellence and fun.”

Facility Deal with Chicken N Pickle

The NPL has partnered with Chicken N Pickle® (CNP) and will be holding its league play at CNP’s unique indoor/outdoor entertainment complexes around the country. Every NPL event weekend will feature a variety of social gatherings for all players utilizing CNP’s unique and widely popular entertainment areas. “All of their facilities have indoor courts,” Strommen said. “They thought this was a great way to assure every team and every match would occur. But also, in an environment that has some excitement. And everyone likes to have a beer once in a while.”

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2023 Schedule of Events

Pickleball Combine:
March 25-26— Oklahoma City, OK

Live Player Draft:
April 14 — Naples, FL

Regular Season:
June 3-4 – Grapevine (Dallas), TX
July 1-2 – Overland Park, KS
July 29-30 – Grand Prairie (Dallas), TX
August 12–13 – Wichita, KS
September 16–17 – San Antonio, TX

October 13–15 – Glendale, AZ

Leaders of NPL

The leaders of NPL include #1-ranked Champions Pros Beth Bellamy and Rick Witsken, and former CEO of GE Capital’s Media Financing Division and Champions Pro Player Michael “Hammer Mike” Chen.

Best Thing about NPL that People Might Not Know

The NPL was founded BY Champions Pros FOR Champions Pros.

The NPL was co-founded by a group of Champions Pros (50+) who wanted to provide the opportunity for all Champions Pros to be showcased while participating in a fun and competitive team format with significant prize money and a title on the line! “It is important to us that the events be held at great full-service facilities, with a set match schedule, and special events where players can socialize and network with their peers and others in the pickleball industry,” exclaimed co-Founder Beth Bellamy. “We can’t wait for our inaugural season to begin and for our fellow Champions Pros to experience what we have planned at the NPL!”

Written by: Beth Bellamy, Co-Founder at NPL




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