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JOOLA Takes Legal Action Against USAP Over Gen3 Paddle Ban

JOOLA Takes Legal Action Against USAP: In a dramatic turn of events in the world of pickleball, JOOLA has initiated a lawsuit against USA Pickleball (USAP) following the removal of its Gen 3 paddles from the Approved Paddle List. The decision, upheld by USAP just over a week ago, has ignited significant controversy and led to legal consequences.

JOOLA, a prominent name in the sport, has asserted that the Gen 3 paddles introduced to the market in April are “materially and structurally the same” as the paddles approved by USAP in September of the previous year. The company had previously indicated potential legal action if the paddles were not approved., and it appears that they were serious.

Central to the dispute is the timeline and procedural compliance by USA Pickleball (USAP). According to the Rule 2.F.1 of the USAP Equipment Standards Manual, states that the “Approval and authorization of a specified piece, brand, version, design, or type of equipment may be revoked by the Board of Directors upon 18 months’ notice on the USA Pickleball home page.” In JOOLA’s case, the notice provided was far less than the required 18 months, raising questions about the legitimacy of the process followed by USA Pickleball (USAP).

 

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In a statement released on June 4th, USAP addressed this procedural concern, asserting that the rule does not cover all scenarios, especially those involving what they describe as the submission of the wrong paddles for certification by JOOLA back in November. USAP argues that the unique circumstances surrounding the Gen 3 paddles warranted an expedited decision.

JOOLA, however, disputes this characterization, arguing that the paddles in question should have remained on the approved list given their structural consistency with previously approved models. The removal of these paddles from the Approved Paddle List, JOOLA claims, has significant implications for their business and for players who have adopted the Gen 3 paddles in competitive play.

The controversy shows the complexities and high stakes involved in equipment approval within the rapidly growing sport of pickleball. For players, manufacturers, and governing bodies alike, maintaining the integrity and transparency of the approval process is crucial. This legal battle between JOOLA and USAP will likely serve as a critical case study in the governance of sports equipment standards.

As the case unfolds, the pickleball community will be closely watching for the implications it may have on equipment approval processes and the broader dynamics within the sport. For now, the spotlight remains firmly on the court, not only for the play of the game but also for the legal battles that will decide the fate of JOOLA’s Gen 3 paddles and potentially establish a precedent for handling similar disputes in the future.

JOOLA Takes Legal Action Against USAP

News in Brief: JOOLA Takes Legal Action Against USAP

JOOLA has filed a lawsuit against USA Pickleball (USAP) after its Gen 3 paddles were removed from the Approved Paddle List. JOOLA argues that these Gen 3 paddles are structurally identical to previously approved models and questions the validity of USAP’s decision, citing procedural inconsistencies and insufficient notice under USAP rules. USAP contends that the circumstances justified an expedited decision due to JOOLA’s initial submission errors. This legal dispute underscores the complexities of equipment approval in pickleball and its impact on players and manufacturers, highlighting the importance of transparent and equitable governance in sports standards.

Also read: Joola Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Misrepresentation of Pickleball Paddles

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