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5 Surprising Facts from PPA Pickleball with Jim Ramsey | Ben Johns, Anna Leigh Waters, and More

Written by Adam (HV)

April 13, 2022

ppa pickleball, pro pickleball, professional pickleball

Have you watched a ppa pickleball match in the last few months and heard the announcers discuss some stats from the game or display some stats? If so, there’s a good chance those stats were collected by a man named Jim Ramsey.

Jim is the first broadcast statistician for the PPA and he has spent 35 years in the broadcast business. 

I got a chance to talk with Jim and discuss stats that are important to the pro world, themes that he’s seeing, and the 5 most surprising stats he’s collected over the last few months. 

What do you think? Are stats important to the future of pickleball? Let me know in the comments.

Below are the 5 stats that Jim shared from our conversation.

Join Jim’s pro pickleball stat page on Facebook here.

Watch the full video here.

PPA Pickleball Stat #1 – Ben Johns 

Recently at the PPA Arizona in the men’s singles tournament, Ben Johns (the number one player in the world) lost the second game to Tyson McGuffin, 11-0. Ben Johns was PICKLED. But having the mental grit we all see, he still found a way to win the match. He made adjustments and won the next two games and the match.

PPA Pickleball Stat #2 – Leigh Waters

This is a case where the numbers show the strategy. At the PPA National Indoor Championship in Minnesota, Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova played against Leigh Waters and Anna Leigh Waters. In that match, Callie and Lucy targeted their serve returns to Leigh and in doing so, Leigh hit 86 third shot drops and Anna Leigh hit two. ONLY TWO. 

PPA Pickleball Stat #3 – Collin Johns

Get ready to pick up your jaw off the floor. 

Ben’s brother Collin Johns doesn’t always get the credit he deserves, ’cause this guy is a fantastic player. The last three matches that Jim covered with Collin included 10 games. You know how many dinks Collin hit into the net? ONE. 

Collin likely hit over 1,000 shots in the 10 games and only ONCE did a dink go into the net. The majority of us can’t go 10 minutes down at the park without the ball going into the net.

PPA Pickleball Stat #4 – JW Johnson & Callan Dawson

This comes from the men’s doubles match in the national championship from Indian Wells back in December. 

JW Johnson and Callan Dawson hit 28 third shot drops and 0 third shot drives against Riley Newman and Tyson McGuffin. 

This match had an average of 21 shots per rally and it hit the high watermark of 81 shots two times.

PPA Pickleball Stat #5 – Anna Leigh Waters

There’s so many positives that we can all say about Anna Leigh Waters. She is an amazing talent, she’s super composed, and an incredible player. 

Anna Leigh and her mother launched onto the pro pickleball scene with a reputation of banging, you know, ripping third shot drives and being aggressive. 

They won the women’s doubles at the Nationals last December, playing mostly that kind of style. Anna Leigh in that match hit 14 third shot drives and only 3 third shot drops

Jump ahead only one month later to January 2022. She’s playing mixed doubles now with Ben Johns and in that match, the gold medal match that they won, she had 26 third shot drops and only 7 third shot drives

She flipped the script around based on who she was playing with to mesh her style with her partner, and that kind of versatility is very, very impressive, especially coming from a 15-year-old.

What do you think?

Were any of these stats impressive to you? Are stats important to the future of pickleball? Let me know in the comments.

 

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