What is APP Tour in Pickleball and Its Pros and Cons?

Est. Reading: 3 minutes

If you’re looking for pickleball tournaments to join, the ones in the APP Tour could be on your list. It is the first and, so far, the only pickleball tour sanctioned by USA Pickleball, the country’s governing body. The APP Tour is also a direct competitor of the PPA Tour.

But what exactly is the APP Tour? How does it work? How many events does the tour have? If you’re looking for answers to these questions, you are in the right place. This post has everything you need to know about the APP Tour, including its pros and cons.

What is the APP Tour in Pickleball?

APP stands for Association of Pickleball Players and was founded by Ken Herrmann in 2019. Formerly known as the Association of Pickleball Professionals, the APP Tour officially changed its name in May 2023 to make it more applicable to all pickleball players of different skill levels. Aside from the tournaments for pro players and amateurs, the APP Tour has some events for high school and college students.

Because the APP Tour is USA Pickleball-sanctions, all players should be members of USA Pickleball. Moreover, the tour uses the UTPR (Universal Tournament Player Rating) to rate their players’ skill level rating. To know how this rating system works and how it is calculated, check out our Pickleball UTPR Rating Guide.

How Does the APP Tour Work?

Starting in 2024, the APP Tour has used the round-robin format for its amateur plays instead of the traditional double-elimination. Each game will be up to 15 points, win by 2, while medal games are best of three games to 11 points, also win by two. But this time, all players will play at least four games and a maximum of six. 

There will be at least four teams or players who will go to playoffs. If a bracket has more than two pools of six teams or players, all of them may advance to the playoff. With these changes, players will have more matches, and the downtime between games is also reduced. This new format also makes the matches easier to watch.

The APP Tour also announced its first team-based pro-competition format, which will be used in five of its 20 events throughout 2024. It includes events in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles play (with pros) on a single day. So far, five APP events have been chosen as Golden Tickets to the 2024 USA Pickleball National Championships.

APP Tour Rules

As expected, the APP Tour uses the USA Pickleball rules for all matches. It includes the kitchen rules, serve rules and net rules. Note that rules change and are updated every year. If necessary, they are also changed in the middle of the year. If you’re unaware of the recent changes, check out our 2024 Pickleball Rules Changes and Updates Guide.

APP Tour Pros and Cons

In January 2024, the APP announced having its new headquarters at The Fort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But while this is a breakthrough for the association and pickleball in general, its tour has some flaws and room for improvement. With that, below is a summary of the pros and cons of the APP Tour.


  • All medal matches have a referee
  • Golden tickets for the annual USA Pickleball National Championships
  • Televised coverage and live-streaming
  • Tons of sponsors
  • Frequent experiments aiming for improvement
  • Aiming for global expansion
  • Players can request rule changes


  • You should be a member of USA Pickleball
  • Not so popular in professional tournaments
  • Fewer events compared to the PPA Tour
  • New format for amateurs can be unforgiving
  • UTPR needs some polishing

Final Thoughts

The APP Tour is geared towards amateurs, which is excellent for most players. However, merging the PPA Tour and the Major League Pickleball (MLP) is a massive blow to them. I think the APP needs some drastic moves and continuous steps to improve. In short, APP Tour events should be more attractive to join and watch.

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