What is the World Pickleball Federation?

What is the World Pickleball Federation?

The World Pickleball Federation (WPF) is an organisational body of Pickleball that was established in 2018. It was founded as a rival organization to the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP).

The board of WPF includes Seymour Rifkind, who is the President of the Pickleball Hall of Fame and the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association. The WPF has 39 countries as of 2023. Each of these countries is associated with a continental federation. Member nations are categorised as Probationary, Affiliate and Full. The Probationary members are those whom the WPF supports but does not consider it structured enough to become affiliate members. Currently there are nine such probationary members: Armenia, Lithuania, Portugal, Peru, Hungary, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Venezuela.

The WPF’s two main goals includes setting up a structured system of Pickleball globally and constructing the sport for the Olympic games. The WPF announced October 10 as World Pickleball Day and aims to attract 10,000 new players to the sport of Pickleball on an annual basis.

A significant step taken by the WPF towards the growth of Pickleball as an Olympic sport was by introducing the World Pickleball Games. In this team competition, the participating country’s federation chooses between 8 to 12 players to represent them. Teams are then pitted against each other in men’s and women’s singles and doubles and in mixed doubles categories. The first of these games was scheduled for May 2022 but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has be no provision made for wheelchair pickleball in the World Pickleball Games.

The WPF along side the IFP are the two main governing bodies of the sport.

Author: Nicholas Griffin