The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is a multi-sport event organization that promotes programs across the U.S. It was recently announced that pickleball will be added to the group's roster and more opportunities to play will spring up in the AAU's 55 U.S. districts.
The AAU has around 700,000 members and 150,000 volunteers, and formerly served to establish global standards in amateur sports. It also helped prepare athletes for the Olympic games. In the 70's, they changed their focus to promoting sports programs for both adult and youth participants 'beginning at the grass roots level.'
This is an incredibly exciting development for pickleball—not only will the AAU provide yet another burst of visibility to the game, but the USAPA will work in conjunction to co-brand a series of recreational pickleball leagues and tournaments.
Those who are already part of the USAPA will be able to enjoy a special membership through AAU website (in conjunction with a full AAU membership) in order to enjoy these new programs.
Partnerships like this will form the foundation of credibility that pickleball needs to be recognized as a viable sport on a global stage. The more support the USAPA gets from longstanding organizations such as the AAU, the more easy it will be for pickleball to find its way into schools, rec centers, and hopefully one day, the Olympics!
If you're interested in taking part of these competitions, keep an eye on the AAU Pickleball site to see upcoming events.
The Junior Olympics took place on July 30, but the Indoor Nationals will happen August 13-19 while the Outdoor Nationals in Nov. 28 - Dec 2. Both will be taking place in Florida, where the AAU's headquarters are located.