Gold Coast, Australia: South East Asia Surge (SEA Surge) has secured the first draft pick for the MLP Australia 2024 season’s draft, secured via Draft Lottery earlier this evening.
Led by captain Pei Chuan Kao, the newly formed SEA Surge will be debuting in the MLP Australia league in 2024 with the Melbourne Mavericks taking the second pick. As Kao is new to the league the first pick presents her with a unique opportunity to get ahead of her opponents with both talent and strategy.
The Eastern Rush secured third and Sydney Smash in Fourth. While reigning champions Brisbane Breakers took position 12.
Showcasing 12 professional teams with 48 leading players competing across the region, top-ranked players will compete for a share of a $700k prize pool over six world class events.
In the hybrid snake draft lottery system, aimed at ensuring an equitable and fair drafting system for all teams, the draw will see the first 12 picks drawn in reverse order before drawing picks 13-36. The team Captains, who will be making selections, count towards the final total of 48 players in the competition.
The draft process was overseen by the MLP Australia League Commissioner Sange Carter and executed under the supervision of Pickleball Australia Association (PAA) Board Director Chris Pascoe.
“The draft lottery is an exciting step for our captains towards next year’s competition,” said MLP Australia CEO and Co-Founder Adam Thompson.
“As the professional league of Australia and the APAC region, we are expecting our teams to be highly competitive. Our hybrid snake format draft system ensures that all teams have a fair opportunity to succeed.”
“Early picks in a draft are always highly sought after, and I have no doubt our Captains will be looking forward to bringing the best talent available to the court.”
In collaboration with the world's premier league, Major League Pickleball, MLP Australia is the regions’ official professional Pickleball league, in partnership with the national body PAA. The league will be adopting the world class MLPlay™ format and play across Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
Over 280 players nominated for the draft in order to be eligible to be selected to play in the 2024 competition.
The draft full draft order is as follows:
The MLP Australia 2024 Draft will take place on January 11 2024, with Season One kicking off on February 23-25 in Sydney, Australia.