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Doubles Rallies Getting Shorter in 2024

Author: Jim Ramsey | April 8, 2024

A subtle change is happening across the early portion of this PPA season. Championship doubles rallies are shorter this year. That’s using the statistics from the three PPA gold medal doubles matches in each of the first five tournaments of this year, compared to those same tournaments at the start of 2023. 

Using those two sets of 15 matches from 2023 and 2024, doubles rallies are more than one-shot-per-rally shorter this year, falling from 10.78 shots per rally to 9.64.

  • Men’s Doubles: 10.57 shots per rally in 2023, 10.96 shots per rally in 2024, a 0.39 shots per rally increase.
  • Women’s Doubles: 12.11 shots per rally in 2023, 9.14 shots per rally in 2024, a 2.97 shots per rally decrease.
  • Mixed Doubles: 9.80 shots per rally in 2023, 8.70 shots per rally in 2024, a 1.10 shots per rally decrease.

In the Women’s Doubles finals, each of the five tournament finals in 2024 had fewer shots per rally than its counterpart in 2023.

This observation comes from a statistical sample size of more than 40,000 shots during nearly 4,000 rallies. 

What is causing this change? There are several variables, including tactics, the new Vulcan ball, new paddles, different players involved, etc. My intent is to add statistics to existing perception to facilitate conversation about the sport. I will revisit this comparison later this year.

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