FAQ: Doubles Dink for Cancer (DDFC)

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What is Doubles Dink for Cancer?

The Association of Pickleball Players APP), UTR Sports, and the American Cancer Society have joined forces to create Doubles Dink for Cancer – a first-of-its-kind community-based fundraising program designed to spark healthier living and raise crucial funds for the fight against cancer.

These volunteer-led, round-robin doubles tournaments can happen anytime, anywhere – from a local pickleball or tennis club to community courts, or even homemade, temporary courts lined with chalk.  Events are designed to be fun, supportive, and welcoming and are open to anyone – from the most experienced pickleball players, right through to someone picking up a paddle for the first time!

What is the competition format of the event?

Doubles Dink for Cancer tournaments are 100% doubles play – the preferred format for the majority of pickleball players! Why? Because it’s the most fun! Doubles matches are accessible and enjoyable for all, regardless of age or skill level.

Tournaments follow a round-robin format with pool play followed by a single elimination playoff. Play can be organized by gender, age, or skill level or simply co-ed open play. All games are rally scoring to 15, win by 1 – simple and easy for all!

What is rally scoring?

Rally scoring means that every rally ends in a point, regardless of what team serves.

What are the rules?

The Official Rules can be found in the Event Organizer Toolkit, found here.

How many people can play in Doubles Dink for Cancer events?

Tournaments can be as small or large as the Event Organizer prefers, from intimate neighborhood fundraisers of 10 people to large-scale tournaments of 100+ held at dedicated pickleball or tennis venues.

How long is a Doubles Dink for Cancer event?

The length of tournaments will vary depending on how many people participate and the number of courts available.

What is the tournament schedule like?

A 20-team (40 people) event at a venue with four courts should follow the below schedule.

10:00 AMEvent Starts
10:00 AM - 11:30 AMPool Play I
11:30 AM - 1:00 PMPool Play II
1:00 PM - 2:00 PMPlayoffs/Awards
2:00 PMEvent Ends

Can anyone organize an event?

Eventually, yes, but Doubles Dink for Cancer will initially be introduced as a pilot in Florida and then rolled out nationally later this year. Once it’s rolled out nationally, anyone anywhere can organize a tournament.

Event organizers do not have to be experienced tournament managers. The program is designed so anyone can organize a tournament, even the most novice players. For more information on being an Event Organizer, see the Event Organizer Toolkit, found here.

What is an Event Director and what are they responsible for?

Doubles Dink for Cancer would not be possible without Event Directors – captains of compassion that unite their community around pickleball and towards a single mission: to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Event Directors make a huge difference – and have a lot of fun while they’re at it! Your main responsibilities as Event Director include:

  • Finding and reserving (or creating!) pickleball courts
  • Recruiting friends to participate
  • Finding a few volunteers to help on event day
  • Organizing and running the tournament
  • Infusing fun and celebration into the event in your own creative ways!

How do I organize an event in my community?

Being an Event Director is a fun and easy way to do good and feel good! There are a few steps you need to take before officially creating an event.

Step 1: Go to UTRSports.net or download the mobile app and click Join or Get Started. Follow the instructions consistent with creating a profile. This process can be completed in a few minutes.   

Step 2: Plan your event by determining important details, such as:

  • What size tournament you want to organize
  • How many courts and how many hours you need to complete your event.
  • Where you’re going to host the event – local pickleball or tennis club, community courts, indoor basketball courts, a homemade court, etc.

From there, you’ll create your event page, invite your friends, and get ready for the big day! For step-by-step guides to running an event in your community, see the Event Director Toolkit here.

How do I determine how many courts I need and how long to reserve them?

One pool of five teams using two courts will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. With transition time and Playoffs, the event would last roughly two hours. The chart below shows the maximum event size given different numbers of courts and event lengths. If you need further assistance determining court needs, reach out to information@doublesdink.com.

Do I need to have experience running pickleball tournaments to run a Doubles Dink for Cancer event?

No. There are two ways to manage a Doubles Dink for Cancer event – all based on your level of experience organizing and managing pickleball tournaments. As the event organizer, you can select whichever method you’re most comfortable with! You can keep it simple and run the tournament by hand using materials we supply, or you can use UTR Sports’ innovative tournament management system to run the tournament digitally. Your tournament, your choice!

For those new to running pickleball events, you create your event and manage registration, payments, and player communication using the UTR Sports platform, but when it comes to event day, we arm you with all the materials you need! It’s simple – you simply print the player roster, pool play scoresheets, and playoff bracket and run the tournament on the go!

If you’re an experienced tournament manager or venue operator, you can run your entire event on the UTR Sports Platform and utilize their pickleball Tournament Management System (TMS) including creating draws, setting the event schedule, recording results, adding event details, and communicating with players before, during, or after the event. For event organizers not familiar with the UTR Sports Pickleball platform, you can schedule a demo with a member of the UTR Sports team directly through Calendly.

How do I find a Doubles Dink for Cancer tournament to play in?

During the pilot, the majority of events will be private. As in, event organizers will create events and invite their friends. As the program scales and launches nationwide, players will be able to search for and participate in events in their area.

How do I get involved if I don’t live in Florida?

You cannot participate in tournaments outside of the state of Florida during the pilot, but you are welcome to donate to the cause by visiting the Doubles Dink for Cancer website. If you want to be the first to know when the program is scaling beyond Florida, sign up here.

How often are events held?

While the format is consistent across events, event organizers have ultimate flexibility on when, where, and how often events are held and how they come to life creatively. Whether a Mother-Child event around Mother’s Day, a Date Night on the first Friday of the month, or a World Cancer Day tournament in February, all Doubles Dink for Cancer events will be focused on fun, living an active lifestyle, and supporting a great cause!

How much does it cost?

The registration fee is $75 per player, similar to what you’d pay to compete in other locally organized tournaments – only this time, your money supports the fight against cancer.

Where does my registration fee go?

Seventy percent (70%) of your event registration goes towards supporting the mission of the American Cancer Society: to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. The remainder (30%) goes towards the overall management of the Doubles Dink for Cancer program, including technology, marketing, and personnel.

What is pickleball?

Pickleball is fun, social, and friendly! The rules are simple and the game is easy for beginners to learn, but can develop into a fast-paced, competitive game. For more about the sport and to learn the basics, visit USA Pickleball.

Are there health benefits to playing pickleball?  

About 1 in 5 cancers in the US are linked to excess body weight and lack of physical activity. 16 out of 100 cancer deaths are related to those same factors. Some of these cancers could’ve been prevented. Regular physical activity has been linked to a lower risk of several types of cancer and a physically active lifestyle may also lower a person's risk of other health problems. To adopt a physically active lifestyle, the American Cancer Society recommends people move more and sit less… and what better way to do that than pickleball!

Pickleball is a great way to stay physically fit and tone muscles. The Apple Heart and Movement Study, published in October 2023, analyzed over 250,000 pickleball workouts and concluded that playing pickleball was associated with helping players reach moderate to vigorous heart rate zones that have been linked to an improvement in over health.

What is the American Cancer Society?

The American Cancer Society is the leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision of ending cancer as we know it, for everyone. We are the only organization working to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer.

Learn more about who we are, what we do, and our plans for the future by exploring the areas below. To learn more, visit cancer.org or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What is the APP?

Founded in 2019, the Association of Pickleball Players (APP) serves professionals, senior professionals and amateurs in the fastest growing sport in the USA. The first and only tour officially sanctioned by USA Pickleball, the 2024 APP Tour slate has 12 tournament stops, plus international and signature events, including the APP Women’s Open, APP U.S. Collegiate Championship, APP Atlantic Cup, and APP Champions Cup. All APP Tour events are nationally broadcast on CBS, ESPN, or FOX networks.

The APP also prides itself on developing the next generation of pickleball champions through its Next Gen Series, Next Gen National Team, Collegiate Series, and other youth initiatives.

What is UTR Sports?

The mission of UTR Sports (formerly Universal Tennis) is to connect and grow the sports of tennis and pickleball with accurate global ratings, innovative events, and a global community centered around level-based play.

For Doubles Dink for Cancer, UTR Sports provides the technology tools and solutions relevant and valuable to organizers and players. All registration, payments, and player communication for all Doubles Dink for Cancer events happens via UTR Sports. In addition, experienced Event Directors can use UTR Sports’ innovative tournament management system to run the event as opposed to running it by hand.

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