5 minutes reading time (928 words)

How to Start a Pickleball Club


If you have been tasked with organizing your pickleball club, you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

You  have a list of requirements, and you are having a hard time finding a single software solution that can do it all. Your requirements probably look something like this:

  • Manage your membership
  • Collect membership and event fees
  • Organize leagues
  • Organize tournaments
  • Schedule events with sign ups
  • Communicate with members
  • Post news and announcements
  • Track playing levels
  • Take court reservations
But there is now way one system can do it all, and not cost a fortune right? But there is! At GPN we have spent over a decade building all the tools you need to organize your pickleball club, and the best part is, it cost nothing to run. Learn more about that here.

Below is a step by step guide to help you get started.

Step 1 - Create a network

​The first step is to create a network. 

A network is your own online pickleball community. Networks are ideal for pickleball clubs, schools, communities or even your pickleball team. Networks organize all your players, leagues, tournaments, ladders, news and events, into a single location. A network is basically your own social network.

Running a network is free, but it does require you to be a premium member. But don't worry, that is less than $2 a month.

​If you want to see a network in action, and give it a try, check out our demo network

Step 2 - Customize your network

Now that you have a network, you may want to update your network's settings. This can be done from the Settings page.

This is where you would upload a logo, add a description, or set up your membership fees. You can even add member fields to collect any additional data you may need from your members during registration.

Step 3 - Invite your members

Now that you have a network, the next step is to invite your members to join.  

Your network will come with an invitation tool that will send out links to join GPN and your network in a single step.

Once your members join, you can add them to your leagues, tournaments, events, and even send them private messages. 

Step 4 - Create a ladder league

Now the fun begins! The most popular feature GPN has to offer is our ladder leagues. A ladder is like king of the mountain. You earn points for playing in ladder matches, and the team with the most points climbs to the top. A ladder league typically goes on for weeks, and players RSVP to events to confirm their attendance.

Check out our demo ladder league to see one in action, and play around with it.

To create a ladder league, just go to your Leagues page on your network and click the Create a league button. See image:

The most popular format for a ladder, is a doubles ladder with rotating partners, that meet one or more times a week. Four or more players are assigned to a court, and they rotate partners.

Below is a video showing you how to set up this ladder format:

Step 4 - Run a tournament

Tournaments are a fun way to organize quick competitions between players of similar playing levels. 

To create a tournament, just go to your Tournaments page on your network and click the Create a tournament button. 

Your tournament can have as many brackets as you need, and we have all the most common bracket formats:

  • Single elimination 
  • Single elimination with 3rd place match
  • Double elimination
  • Round robins
  • First round consolation
Check out our demo tournament to see one in action, and play around with it.

Step 5 - Use events

Events are a powerful tool to simply determine who is coming to any activity. For example, you may have a ladder league that meets weekly, and you need to know who is coming each week.

You can easily see all your networks events  by clicking the event button at the top right of any page. This takes to a calendar view of all your network's events:

​Here are some of the features of events:

  • Minimum attendees for the event to begin
  • Maximum attendees
  • Gender and playing level requirements
  • Wait list for full events
  • Reminder and check-in emails
  • Repeating events
  • Fee collection
  • Event history
Check out our demo network's events here.

Step 6 - Award trophies

​After your ladder league or tournament ends, you can award digital trophies to your players. We have a large library of trophies to choose from. You can even add an inscription. 

These trophies can be seen on your member's profile pages. Here is what a trophy looks like:

Additional Network Features

Creating a network on GPN gives you access to some other pretty cool features, including....

Calculated Playing Levels

Your network members will receive calculated singles and doubles playing levels from the matches they play in. This will be a great help when you need to determine what players should be playing together in your leagues and tournaments.

Learn More

Court Reservation System

If you need to take court reservations for your club, HOA, or just your own private courts, your network has a built in court reservation system. It is free to use, and you can even take payments.

Learn More


Communication between your members couldn't be easier. GPN has a built in private messaging tool.

As a network admin, you can send mass emails. You can even send text messages to your members!

So How Much is This Going to Cost?

Running a network is completely free. There are no monthly fees, no member fees, no hidden fees. Nothing!

There are also no fees to run a tournament, or a league. In fact, most people who use GPN never pay a dime.

All you will need is a premium membership to create a network. Your members will have the option to get a premium membership too, but most of them won't need or want one. 

The good news is, a premium membership is only $14.99 a year! 

Learn More


Most Popular Blogs

Trevor Meier
03 April 2020
Featured Blogs
There is no app in the app store, but you can run the site as a web app. This will create an icon on your phone, and it will look and feel just like a downloaded app.​ For an iPhone... ...
Trevor Meier
16 January 2020
Pickleball Ladders
A pickleball ladder is a system for ranking teams (singles or doubles) based on the matches they win or lose.  As teams play each other, they receive points. The more points a...
Trevor Meier
24 January 2020
Featured Blogs
Have you ever had a question regarding a rule in pickleball?  Or how the scoring works? Or even just how to play the game? Well, most of your questions can probably be answered just by ...
Landon Meier
16 October 2018
Featured Blogs
Pickleball Locations
The growing popularity of pickleball has resulted in the development of some amazing facilities throughout the United States. Here are four of our favorites:Little Valley Pickleball ComplexAbout:...
Trevor Meier
31 May 2019
GPN News
​At Global Pickleball Network, we believe we have the best ladder league software available. Now all we need are people using it!!So to get people using our software, we are offering a ...

Random Blogs

10 October 2018
Featured Blogs
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong into one fun and exciting game. It was invented in 1965 on Bainbridge Island, Washington&nbs...
06 December 2018
Featured Blogs
Have you ever wanted to run your own pickleball tournament? At Global Pickleball Network, we give you all the tools you need to create a pickleball tournament in just a few minutes.Here are ...
04 January 2022
Featured Blogs
​We just released one of the coolest features, and we couldn't be more excited. It is the ability to award digital trophies for your leagues and tournaments.Imagine being able to see al...