The Bainbridge Cup dilemma….. EU vs ROW?

The one advantage of writing your own blog, is that you get to say whatever you want!  Today’s post is an example of this.


Today I want to talk about the Bainbridge Cup tournament.  Quoting directly from the IFP website, “The “Bainbridge Cup” is a Team Competition featuring “Team North America” versus “Team Europe”.

The first Bainbridge Cup tournament was held in September 2017 in Madrid, Spain.  I participated in this tournament, and can’t say enough about how much fun it was, and how many new pickleball friends I made.  There is such a feeling of pride to wear your team’s flag(s) on your chest, and know you are competing for your continent.

The 2nd was in 2018 in Montesilvano, Italy.  Both events were a huge success with the North American team taking home the Cup both times, so far.  The Europeans are constantly improving, and present a formidable challenge every year!

The third Bainbridge Cup will be held in July 2019 in Essen, Germany, and I will again be going and playing on Team North America!  OR will I…..?

It seems that the tournament format has been changed suddenly.  It seems that a decision has been made, and there is no longer a Team North America.  It is now Team Europe vs The Rest of the World (ROW)!  What?

Now, before anyone gets ideas that I don’t want to play the ROW,  you couldn’t be more wrong!  I look forward to meeting new friends from Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, and any other continent outside of NA or the EU!  Pickleball truly unites the world! That’s what I love so much about this game.

BUT……this is the Bainbridge Cup tournament!  It was created as a competition between Team North America and Team Europe!  Just like the Ryder Cup (men) or Solheim Cup (women) in golf.   It’s always been and always will be Team USA vs Team Europe.  It does not and never will include the ROW!  There are other cup tournaments for that in golf, such as the President’s Cup pitting the USA against the ROW (except Europe).

While the vast majority of players in the Bainbridge Cup are amateur players of every skill level, and most come for the fun of meeting and playing with old and new friends, it cannot be denied that there is a pride in competing for your continent!  There is a thrill in winning and taking home the Cup.  Team North America has won in the past two years, and Europe is eager to prove this year that they can win the cup!

Now the dynamic of the team that Europe is competing against has been compromised.  No longer will our win/loss score be based just on players from North America.  If Team ROW wins, will it be because they have the best players, or because the team was fortified with players from other continents?  Or the opposite if they lose? And, if Team ROW wins, who gets to take the Cup home?

Now, I can hear those who are saying I’m putting too much weight on winning and the physical cup.  And you’re right.  That’s what the Bainbridge Cup is all about.  Two teams, two continents, competing against each other, just like they have in the past two competitions and the way it was created and intended.  And as of this minute, it still is, according to the IFP Bainbridge Cup website page.


Germany USA

The German Open takes place the same weekend on Saturday and Sunday.  All the world is welcome to participate.

Ok…..enough said.  I have my soap box, and I’ve used it.  Again, that’s the perks of writing your own blog!  See you in Germany!

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5 thoughts on “The Bainbridge Cup dilemma….. EU vs ROW?”

  1. I could not take part in last 2 Bainbridge cup but this time I enrolled for German Open and Bainbridge cup.
    I am from India so I am neither from Europe or North America but want to play in this cup as I heard a lot about this cup.
    Totally understand that this is Cup between North America and Europe so how can Asian or other countries play this Cup.
    In my opinion, we can do one thing let count the players If north American players are more than European players then merge the Asia players (India, Thailand, Hongkok) with European and merge the Candian players with North American players.
    So that everyone can play in this Cup.

    From next year onwards Just mention this is only for North American and Europe or change the format of this cup and add few other continents.


  2. Typical shelia, Madrid captain was Marcin, lives in USA, Simonie, lives in USA, you can argue too the cows come home, what does it matter, if so why haven’t the USA run the cup yet?,
    Most interest is from Europeans, it grows the game, Betsy & Louise, I was in Spain also, had a good number of issues running tournament, I didn’t see either of you helping out or getting involved, but let’s criticize this great event because you can.


    1. Hello David, Thank you for commenting on my post. I welcome all sides (agreement or not) to anything I write! However, I don’t see where you have addressed the topic of my post in your reply.

      I do have to ask…….what does the first paragraph of your reply mean or have to do with my post? What does “typical shelia” mean, and what do Marcin and Simone have to do with the format change of the Bainbridge Cup. I am missing that point.

      Regarding your assumption that Louise and I don’t do our part, and just spout opinions “because we can” ……..be assured that we each contribute and work to lofty goals in our own communities to promote the game we love, and speaking for myself, I DID offer to help in Madrid in any way I could, and will always be available to do anything to help a tournament director. Ian and Mike both knew that.

      I was hoping to get some feedback in the form of replies that would either support or completely disagree with my opinion. That type of respectful feedback is what helps make decisions down the road. I didn’t expect a reply to be a personal attack, especially from someone who I have not met! But, I look forward to meeting you in Essen and shaking your hand……and then competing with you for a common goal! To win the cup for North America!


  3. I couldn’t agree with you more Betsy. Well said, well written and well……. correct! It won’t be the same to me. It’s lost it’s value. As you say if Team USA/RoW win, it’s because it’s the whole world, if Europe win, it’s because USA was weakened by RoW. Like you I want to meet as many players from around the world as I can but the Bainbridge Cup is the Bainbridge Cup and should remain so x


    1. David Killen
      I don’t know Betsy personally yet but Louise is certainly a top Pickleball advocate in the UK and “her” club, SLAP, is one of the best run in the world in my opinion. She has certainly earned the right to call me an idiot!


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