2017 PHOF Inductee

Mark Friedenberg

Contributor & Competitor

Mark Friedenberg


BORN: May 11, 1947 in Hollywood, CA

PLAYS: Right-handed


  • Fairfax High School, Los Angeles, CA
  • BA, Mathematics, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA
  • MS, Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA


  • Mark served in the U.S. Navy Reserves for 20 years and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander


As the owner of Pro-Lite Sports from 2004-2010, Mark developed some of the earliest lightweight, composite, and graphite paddles. In 2011, he passed Pro-Lite Sports on to his son, Neil Friedenberg.

In 2005, Mark organized the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and served as its first president. He served as Past President from mid-2008 – 2010 and later served in a consulting capacity on the Board through 2017. The huge growth and expansion of pickleball was the result of the USAPA and its stated mission “to promote the growth and development of pickleball, not only on a national but an international level.” This organization also provides players with official rules, tournaments, rankings, and promotional materials. Four years after its formation, the USAPA hosted its first National Tournament, drawing almost 400 players from around North America.

He is the author of “The Official Pickleball Handbook” and “Winning Pickleball.”


From the time he was young, Mark’s life constantly revolved around sports. Besides pickleball, Mark played baseball, basketball, football, racquetball, softball, tennis and table tennis. He coached Little League and Boys and Girls Club chapters for several years when his children were young.

Mark taught Computer Science courses at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD and Microsoft Office at Green River Community College, Auburn, WA and South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA.

Mark at USAPA Nationals

Phil Flash presenting his Inspirational Award to Mark in 2007

Mark is the author of “The Official Pickleball Handbook” and “Winning Pickleball.”


Mark started playing pickleball in 1989. He is a National Champion multiple times over and has won more awards and medals than most players in the history of pickleball.

USAPA Nationals:​ Open Men’s Doubles


  • Gold Medal – Men’s Singles 60+
  • Gold Medal – Mixed Doubles 55+


  • ​Gold Medal – Men’s Doubles 60+


  • Gold Medal – Mixed Doubles 55+


  • Gold Medal – Men’s Singles 70+

In addition to the gold medals above, he received many silver and bronze medals in the 2009-2018 National tournaments.

Mark received the Northwest Senior Games Phil Flash Inspiration Award in 2007 for being Greater Seattle’s most inspirational athlete.