Crowdsource Pickleball tournament streaming of ALL matches

tl;dr Wouldn’t it be nice if we could watch a live stream of any player we desire, instead of just the ones coming onto the championship court, where the live stream is usually recording?

  1. Imagine if you could select players that you want to watch
  2. Have fellow Pickleballists volunteer to live stream to the community feed, ensuring all courts are covered.
  3. Get a notification whenever your selected players are playing

More Context:

Since the first tournament that I watched, on some Facebook page, I’ve loved watching the live streams of tournaments, around the nation. It makes you feel like you’re there, with your Pickleball peers, and enjoying the real-life action! It also opens the door for more eyeballs and more overall attention from the Pickleball community.

It’s interesting as I watch some of the matches that are streaming just one, championship court. It seems most tournaments are not investing in having the video equipment set up to show multiple courts. Maybe there’s a strategic reason for this?! :man_shrugging: Perhaps they want everyone watching their main live stream. I’m not sure.

Another observation I’ve had is that when the person who is commentating on the live stream matches, asks people to click the SHARE button, hundreds of new people start showing up in the live stream. I know that this is the case when I personally text a handful of friends the direct links to matches. They usually ALWAYS join and watch the entire match, when possible!

I would love to be able to allow community members to select the names of a handful of players/pros that they are interested in following and watching their live stream matches. These folks would almost certainly jump on the live stream if they knew their favorite players were live!

Then imagine if we, as a community, could work together to crowdsource live-streams of these events… specifically the ones not being recorded/streamed on the championship court.

One thing I thought about would be providing a “Streaming Kit” with suggested equipment like a mini tripod… something like this selfie stick/telescoping tripod…

That’s the only equipment you’re really need, other than your phone, and probably unlimited data plan that doesn’t throttle your data.

I guess the other “equipment” you’d probably need would be a powerbank to keep your phone charged and going strong. The live streaming will quickly deplete your phone battery.

A charger like this one pictured would probably do. If the live streamer was streaming multiple matches in the same day, they would definitely need a power bank in order to stream throughout the day.

Let’s talk about ways we could make this happen!

What other things have I not considered? Why is this feasible? Why is it not feasible?

Can you think of any other ways that players, pros, and vendors can work together to simplify this process?


If people are trying to live stream games that they are at, maybe we can let them know somehow to commentate. Since it is probably being live streamed from a phone, there is probably not the graphics of the score in the bottom of the screen. There is also no way that you can hear the score with people talking around the game and also wind and other white noise. I don’t think that you would have to be an expert at every play, just be able to update people that are watching. I don’t mind watching games on live stream but I would love to know if a match was in the third game and the score was tied at 10. It would be more exciting to the viewer.


Wow, Paul! This is a fantastic observation and an absolute necessity.

Perhaps a good rule of thumb, if you are commentating, is to ask your live streaming audience if they can hear the ref who declares the score before each serve. Sometimes they are very loud, but quite often, on the live streams, they may not speak lout enough, or they are too far away to hear.

If the commentator asks the live audience if they can hear the ref declaring score then they can know whether they need to be saying the score or if the ref’s declaration is sufficient, and if not, the commentator can start mentioning the score.

Some folks might not feel comfortable doing play-by-play commentating. I’m probably one of those people :laughing: but at very least, I agree with you @SirPaul, that they could say the score, and/or give a reminder of what game number we’re on, or other simple facts.

One thing I love about some recent commentating by @brandon and Gizmo, at the Hawaii Open is that they made it feel like you were there!! They don’t just talk about the score, but they talked about the weather and what’s going on, all around. We could def take notes from their commentating book :stuck_out_tongue:

They talked about personal details about the players. And then they might mention something about the way they a player hit the ball… why they did that… and how it’s effective in a certain situation. It really is an art to be able to be a great commentator

One thing I love about Mark Renneson as a commentator is he always takes it back to ground zero. He recognizes that there may be some folks that are totally new to the sport so he’ll mention some basic fundamentals about pickleball to help a new watcher better understand a rule or basic game mechanic. But the best part is that he does it in a way that doesn’t feel annoying to a pickleball veteran.

There were signs at Nationals 2019 (Indian Wells Tennis Garden) that said there was no live streaming allowed. I’m guessing this has to do with some contractual agreement with the venue or maybe the main event sponsor didn’t want people watching anything other than the professional announcing going on, on the championship court. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway… I think we’re not too far from this happening. It would be great if we could set a cultural standard for this. And getting more live streams out there gets this great game in front of more circles of friends and more eyeballs!


I think there are still a lot of problems with live streaming.

Problems I’ve personally had with live streaming

  • Sometimes your phone connection isn’t good enough to stream in a good quality or it cuts out half way. Or it seems fine on your phone but the video the viewers have isn’t great.
  • Sometimes you have wifi but even that isn’t strong enough
  • Facebook limits most live streams to 720p. Unless you are using a GoPro Hero8 Black or I think there are a few other exceptions to this but the GoPro Hero 8 Black is the only one I have tried.
  • Live streaming to Facebook in 1080p with a GoPro Hero 8 Black is so much more complex than pressing Go Live. If you want to know more about my frustrations with GoPro and live streaming and why I gave up even trying just ask. But that could be a whole post.
  • Usually when I am recording games I wan’t to be able to use the video for my own analysis later. I have had times at the end of a Facebook video where it wouldn’t let me save the video to my phone full resolution and at the same time it wouldn’t give me the option to upload the HD version. Even if I did upload the HD version to Facebook and didn’t save it to my phone, Facebook makes it next to impossible to download your own HD version of a live stream.
  • Another reason why I see a lot of major tournaments not streaming more matches is because Mofia Pickleball wants to sell you the video of your game afterwards. I can understand when this is the case but when they are not at the tournament I would like to see more live streaming going on.

Live Streaming to YouTube seems to offer better resolution capabilities but now you wonder if anyone would even find it. It’s not like I have a YouTube channel with 1 million subscribers.

Hopefully 5G will greatly improve live streaming capabilities so we can watch seamless HD video of some good pickleball.


I’ve been live streaming for well over a year. I work with Carl Schmits and Pro Pickleball, TOC, Mark Renessen, Pickleball Channel, and I am on the commentary team of the APP.
The Facebook live streaming format works, works even better with a one camera, one audio mixer and lapel mics. The key is network connectivity. I am sure this the best I can using two networks. I have a Verizon card and I have an AT&T card, and I can switch it out instantly. And with lapel mics and hand-held microphones attached to my mixer I can hear the ambient noise as needed and my commentary is directly fed with controlled audio levels. I’ve built my system now for quite a while with all the working pieces and a 77 inch tripod.


I :heart_eyes: this, Randy!

Next time you put your rig together, it would be awesome if you could do a little video to show what you do and how you set it up and all the tips and tricks.

Sounds like you’ve been at it for a while and have probably learned a handful of pitfalls along the way, to avoid. It would be cool if the pickleball community could rally together and a handful of others (in tourney’s where it’s allowed) could coordinate an effort to get more video action live streamed to the masses.

I agree that the Facebook live streaming platform is second to none. Definitely wise to use that best of breed technology here! The way they handle variable bandwidth scaling for streamers and viewers, and so much other tech they have in their tools, just blow my mind!