Learning your pickleball skill level is important as a pickleball player. A player’s skill rating is often used to determine game matchups and serves as a qualifier to play tournaments. There are standardized systems in place for pickleball ratings. So, now let’s break down pickleball rankings for if you have mastered pickleball strategies or are just learning the fundamental rules.
Pickleball Rating System
There are two pickleball rating systems, the two-digit system and the four-digit system, that the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) uses. The two-digit pickleball skill rating system is used for club and league play, while the four-digit system is for professional and tournament play.
Both rating systems are used to rank the skill levels of pickleball players so that matches are fair. Both rating systems also have guidelines for each level so that you can track your progress as a player.
Though we will mention both rating systems plus a few others, much of this article will focus on the two-digit rating system so you can learn more about your own skill level.
Pickleball Rating Chart
Here is a quick summary of the two-digit rating system in the form of an easy-to-read chart before we get started breaking it down!
USAPA Pickleball Ratings
The USPA pickleball ratings for club and league play go from 1 to 5.5+. Each numbered level at 0.5 increments has its own requirements.
A player at the lowest ratings of 1.0-2.0 is new to pickleball but has a general understanding of the official rules. These players likely have very little other sports background in general and on the pickleball court.
The next level up is a 2.5, and of course, players in this level are slightly more advanced than those at 1.0-2.0. These 2.5 level players are able to hit the ball back and forth but will likely miss some shots, and their serve will still need a bit of work. They are also learning more in-depth about the rules and how they affect the game and working on different shot types, like their groundstrokes.
Once a player has reached a 3.5 skill level, they have good footwork, a broad knowledge of the rules, approach the non-volley zone much faster, are very comfortable playing a soft game, and are able to return occasional power shots and fast-paced shots. A 3.5 player hits overhead shots consistently and can even sometimes block hard volleys directed their way.
The levels continue adding additional skills such as drop shots, control of soft shots, a reduced amount of unforced errors, and further comfortability with the non-volley zone, as shown above until the highest level, 5.5+. At the 5.5+ level, pickleball players have excellent, skillful play, regularly compete in tournaments, and are safe while doing so.
How To Get A Pickleball Rating
There are two ways to get a pickleball rating.
The first way is to play in a tournament that uses the USAPA sanction tournament software (pickleballtournaments.com). You’ll automatically get a skill rating that updates as you compete further.
If you want an official rating without competing in a tournament, you can also take part in self-rating with the USAPA.
First, you’ll have to review the two-digit skill levels we have gone over to see where you believe you fall. To help you, start with the provided skill assessment sheets that the USAPA provides. It is also recommended to consult with an experienced tournament player, a USAPA tournament director, or a USAPA pickleball ambassador who is familiar with your gameplay and skill level.
After, simply add your self-rating on your pickleballtournaments.com profile.
The Villages Pickleball Ratings
In The Villages, pickleball is quite the popular pastime, but they have had trouble keeping things fair in competitive or tournament matches with a variety of different skill levels of players. This is why they have a rating clinic that will rate players’ pickleball skill levels using the two-digit system from the USAPA.
The Villages hold two skills clinics each month. They offer one clinic for players looking for a 3.5 or better and one for a 3.0 or lower. You can also request your official rating from the USAPA if you have one, and they will honor that.
To play in a rated event at The Villages, you have to have a rating in their system, but there are also open or unrated events to participate in if you don’t have one.
Pickleball Rating Quiz
Want to see how well you know the rules as a pickleball player? Well, the USA Pickleball Association has created a pickleball player test to help you out. The assessment is 50 questions long and is designed for players who play mostly recreationally though all players are welcome to take it. Each question has a link to the official rulebook so that you can research anything that you have missed.
DUPR Pickleball Rating
DUPR is a global pickleball skill rating algorithm created to use data instead of subjective information to curate a score. It is highly trusted by not only professionals in the industry but many pickleball clubs as well.
The DUPR system is free for all pickleball players to use and is quite possibly the most accurate. The pickleball ratings with the DUPR system range from the low at 2.0 to a high of 8.0. It also allows you to track your matches, analyze your skill, and connect with other players.
7 Questions Answered About Pickleball Rankings and Ratings
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to give you some more details about pickleball ratings.
1. What Is A 3.5 Rating In Pickleball?
A 3.5 rating in pickleball means that the player can keep up with medium-paced shots and have more control over the ball, though they haven’t mastered fast-paced play.
2. When Do The New Pickleball Ratings Take Effect?
A USA Pickleball Tournament Player’s four-digit ratings are updated weekly, though the 2 digit rating is only updated quarterly. DUPR ratings are updated as you update your individual data.
3. How To Find Pickleball Ratings?
The USA Pickleball Association keeps the records of pickleball ratings, but you can also find them on DUPR, an app.
4. What Is The Difference Between UTPR And Legacy Pickleball Doubles Ratings?
UTPR stands for USAPA Tournament Player Rating and is four digits ranging from 1.000 to 6.999 in 0.001, while Legacy doubles ratings are two digits ranging from 1.0-5.5 in increments of 0.5. The main difference between UTPR and Legacy is that UTPR is used for tournament ranking and Legacy is used for casual and club play.
5. How Can I Change My Official Pickleball Rating?
You can send in an official request to change your pickleball rating to the USA Pickleball Association along with a letter of support from a USA Pickleball Ambassador, Tournament Director, or Tournament Rated Player.
6. What Is the Difference Between UTPR And PT Skill Pickleball Rating?
PT skill pickleball rating is your skill level that you have determined based on the Legacy rating and submitted to pickleballtournaments.com that can be used for some tournaments, club play, and recreational use, and UTPR is tournament player ratings usually for professional players.
7. What Is The Rating For An Advanced Player In Pickleball?
An advanced player at your local club or YMCA is likely about a 3.5, but the very best players in Pickleball are ranked 5.5 and higher.
Pickleball Ratings Summary
Though pickleball rankings are not everything when you play pickleball, they can help tournament players and intermediate pickleball players to improve their game. Whether you have a self-rating or an official still rating from the USAPA, taking part in the current player rating system can help you choose the right pickleball tournament and analyze and improve your own level.