Mary Brascia plays pickleball wearing blue sunglasses at Desert Ridge Open
Mary Brascia at the Desert Ridge Open earlier this year. PPA Tour

The pros talk eye protection

DALLAS, TX – With a variety of pickleball-related injuries on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to protect yourself from harm.

World No. 1 Anna Leigh Waters and the Brascia sisters, Mary and Maggie, are among the rather small number of players on the PPA Tour who consistently wear eye protection.

Last week at the Mesa Arizona CupAllyce Jones sported eyewear as well. 

Mary Brascia is a self-proclaimed “eyewear enthusiast” given just how quickly things are moving on the court these days.

“Maggie and I firmly believe that everyone needs to wear protective eyewear because the game is speeding up. The paddles are getting faster and everything is so quick. You need to have eye protection because the hands battles are just too fast,” she insisted.“We have seen it happen with our friends getting ricocheted pickleballs into the eye. It's dangerous, and we don’t want anyone getting hurt.”

Mary and Maggie Brascia on the pickleball court wearing eyeprotection at PPA National Tournament
Mary and Maggie Brascia at the 2023 USA Pickleball National Championships. PPA Tour

There’s no denying it, pickleball is only getting faster, which means injuries will only get more severe. These plastic balls fired from only a few feet away just aren't safe, especially if one hits you in the eye. 

However, Jones brought up a barrier that keeps a lot of pros from wearing eye protection. 

“The majority of us want to wear glasses, but it’s hard to find ones that you can get used to,” she confided. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with them and being confident enough to wear them in a tournament.”

Waters, meanwhile, set a good example in this department from the outset of her career - but it was originally out of necessity rather than protection. 

Anna Leigh Waters wearing clear glasses at night at the PPA Desert Ridge Open
Anna Leigh Waters at the PPA Desert Ridge Open. PPA Tour

“I found out when I was playing 4.0 and 5.0 tournaments that I was like half-blind. I can’t really see out of my one eye, so mine are prescription. That’s why I started wearing them at the beginning. Then as the sport got faster, they benefited me more because it protects my eyes and helps me see the ball,” said Waters. “I’ve been wearing mine since I was 10, so I’m comfortable with them, but I can see how it would be difficult to get used to them if you’re not comfortable.”

Pros who aren’t wearing eye protection need to get used to wearing it as soon as possible. These are the fastest and most powerful players on the planet. But even on the amateur level, paddles, gameplay, and hands battles are only getting faster. You don’t want to be too late!

And if you’re worried about eyewear being fashionable, Brascia treats it as a fresh addition to the overall outfit.

“Maggie and I have clear ones for the indoors, we have tinted ones for night, and our regular sunglasses, too. We have our different styles and like to mix it up. It’s just another fun accessory to the outfit,” she said. 

Anna Leigh Waters wearing blue tinted eyewear at PPA Desert Ridge Open
Anna Leigh Waters at PPA Desert Ridge Open PPA Tour

Pickleball Central has a variety of eyewear to choose from, so start your search there.

Emulate the pros and wear eye protection on the pickleball court.

Seriously, you won’t regret it.