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What Is the USA Pickleball EEC

In addition to contracting with NTS for testing services, USA Pickleball has established the Equipment Evaluation Committee (EEC). The EEC is led by the USA Pickleball Managing Director of Equipment Standards and consists of others with engineering backgrounds and/or diverse experience in sports. The EEC evaluates manufacturers’ prototypes and new product introductions, which may use new shapes, configurations, or surface treatments. The compliance program ensures that once equipment enters the marketplace, it is still manufactured to the strict specifications needed to ensure a level playing field for both players and manufacturers. The EEC is a review body that ensures these developments are consistent with maintaining the nature of the game and makes recommendations to USA Pickleball’s Board of Directors relating to equipment testing and the approval process.


Members of the EEC include:

Carl Schmits

Managing Director of Equipment Standards

Carl, trained as an industrial/systems engineer at Battelle Memorial Institute. Most recently he held operational leadership in product development with mobile technologies at a large semiconductor manufacturer, as well as high-speed super-computer interconnects at a leading European manufacturer. He has a 5.0 USA Pickleball rating, is an Open level racquetball competitor, and certified instructor for both pickleball (IPTPA) and racquetball, with product development experience in those sports as well.

Donn Paben

Managing Director of Equipment Compliance

As a member of the Equipment Evaluation Committee, Donn works in conjunction with the Managing Director of Equipment Standards to develop policy and direction concerning the proper testing of all balls and paddles submitted for USA Pickleball approval. As Managing Director of Equipment Compliance, Donn facilitates USA Pickleball’s transparent equipment compliance program, designed with the goal of working within the ecosystem on a program that has regular, ongoing product testing designed to ensure that all approved equipment (paddles and balls) are in fact manufactured and sold in accordance with the original standards used for USA Pickleball approval.

John Anderson

John has as 35 years of experience in the Aerospace industry. John recently retired as chief engineer for a large aerospace company responsible for the certification of commercial airplane components. He is also a registered professional mechanical engineer (California).

Carolyn Benson

While not a member of the EEC committee, Carolyn serves as the EEC administrator and is the initial point of contact for all manufacturers regarding questions, product submissions, etc.