What Is the USAPA EEC

In addition to contracting with Chesapeake for testing services, the USAPA has established the Equipment Evaluation Committee (EEC). The EEC is led by the USAPA Managing Director of Competition and consists of two individuals with engineering backgrounds and 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. Members of the EEC include:


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


Donn Paben – Director of Equipment Compliance
As a member of the Equipment Evaluation Committee I will work in conjunction with the Executive Director for the USAPA, and the Managing Director of Competition, to develop policy and direction concerning the proper testing of all balls and paddles submitted for USAPA approval. The EEC will also be involved in making recommendations to the Board of Directors concerning all aspects of equipment testing and the approval process. Personally, as Director of Equipment Compliance, I am working to develop a transparent and industry accepted equipment compliance program. My goal will be to work 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 being manufactured and sold in accordance with the original standards used for USAPA 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).


Carl Schmits
Carl, trained as industrial/systems engineer at Battelle Memorial Institute. Most recently 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 USAPA 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.


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.