What Is the USA Pickleball EEC

In addition to contracting with Chesapeake for testing services, the USA Pickleball has established the Equipment Evaluation Committee (EEC). The EEC is led by the USA Pickleball Managing Director of Competition and consists of others with engineering backgrounds and/or diverse experience in sports. The EEC evaluates manufacturer’s prototypes and new product introductions, which may use new shapes, configurations or surface treatments. 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:


Karen Parrish – Managing Director of Competition
Karen has been with USA Pickleball in many different roles since 2012. She has been a district ambassador and a regional director. Karen has been involved in competitive sports for 35 years. She is excited to be a part of the USA Pickleball team and all that it entails. She provides management, support and oversight of USA Pickleball’s tournament sanctioning process, support and coordination of USA Pickleball’s national and regional championships, and lends additional support and guidance within the EEC division.


Carl Schmits – 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 – Director of Equipment Compliance
As a member of the Equipment Evaluation Committee, Donn works in conjunction with the Managing Director of Competition and the Director of Equipment Standards to develop policy and direction concerning the proper testing of all balls and paddles submitted for USA Pickleball approval. As Director of Equipment Compliance, Donn is working to develop a transparent equipment compliance program with the goal of working within the ecosystem to develop 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. Currently, he is chief engineer for a large aerospace company responsible for 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.