3 tips for answering text invites to play in a pickleball game

A pickleball organizer’s text-message pain of finding a fourth player

I was desperately trying to find one last player to fill the 8th spot in my Wednesday night DUPR ratings session at local courts. The session was for men, so I looked down my list of men who attended previous DUPR sessions and texted one of them:

“Any chance you can make it to my DUPR session tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Tawasentha? There is one more spot available.”

The response:


Unprintable words rolled through my mind.

As some of you know, putting together a perfect foursome (or eightsome) is challenging. It means lots of text messages and waiting for responses.

Here are some tips I have for players who receive an invitation to join a game:

  1. Respond quickly
  2. Be decisive.
  3. Be clear.

Respond quickly

Slow responses create misery for organizers. Most of us put out invitations one-at-a-time and wait for a response, especially when we are just trying to fine ONE MORE PLAYER to hit that perfect number of 4 players. Please don’t make us wait. Organizers are happy to get a quick “No.” 

Be decisive

Say yes or no. If you are unsure if you can play, decline the invitation. You can always change your mind and check back with the organizer to see if there is space. By declining, you allow the organizer to move quickly through their list of potential players. A “maybe” is worse than no response – well, almost.

Be clear

I’ve received long responses with players’ life schedules that left me scratching my head about whether they are available or not. A “yes” or “no” is what the organizer is looking for.

Do you have any other suggestions? Have any of you found a great app/trick that eases the torture of finding a fourth.

And did I find my fourth (my eighth) for my Wednesday night game? I waited 20 hours and finally texted “possibly” guy: “Please give me a yes or no.”

He said “Yes” …

and then I canceled the session because of rain.


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