The United Pickleball Association of America made headlines on Tuesday.
The United Pickleball Association of America made headlines on Tuesday. Shutterstock

UPA-A launches professional paddle certification program

DALLAS, TX - The United Pickleball Association of America (UPA-A) announced on Tuesday the establishment of the UPA Certification Program in partnership with the third party and independent equipment testing organization Pickle Pro Labs (PPL).

PPL will collaborate with the University of Massachusetts Lowell, renowned for its work with Major League Baseball on bat and ball testing, to further standardize the regulatory criteria and implement the testing process for the professional game across the United Pickleball Association (UPA), which oversees the PPA Tour and Major League Pickleball.

This partnership will seek to create the most advanced and rigorous testing program in pickleball to ensure that all UPA certified pickleball paddles meet the highest benchmarks of performance and quality.

"The United Pickleball Association of America is committed to upholding the integrity of the game and ensuring pickleball’s continued growth," said Jason Aspes, President of UPA-A. "The collaboration with PPL and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, an institution that has set the gold standard in sports equipment testing, signifies our commitment to excellence and innovation. This partnership will ensure our testing and certification program is unmatched in the industry."

UPA-A will offer an interim certification program to provide expedited, short-term certification based on Paddle Face Deflection and RPM measurements until the full certification program launches later in 2024. Details of the Interim Certification testing will be made available in the next 30 days. All paddles certified by UPA-A will be subject to an ongoing compliance program to ensure that the paddles submitted for certification match the paddles made available to consumers.

Once UPA certification is established, it will be mandatory for all paddles used in United Pickleball Association professional events to have the UPA-A certification.

To provide a wider range of views, UPA-A will be adding representatives from independent paddle brands Volair, ACE and Six Zero to the Equipment Manufacturer Advisory Board.

More information and details about the UPA-A’s new testing, licensing, and certification program, including test protocol documentation, will be posted as available on