The absence of a standardized rating system is another inconsistent factor. As the sport has expanded, so too have the tools, resources, and credibility within the professional realm. Various pickleball organizations have crafted distinct rating systems, differing in methodology, numerical scales, and accessibility.
A Pivotal Role
As Kelly Campbell reported on the TrackItHub blog, some systems offer deeper insights into player skill than others. These ratings play a pivotal role in the sport’s development, effectively categorizing athletes by skill level, thereby encouraging healthy competition.
A standardized ranking system holds immense importance. It enables pickleball players to readily identify suitable tournament levels, locate similarly skilled opponents, and make accurate comparisons with fellow athletes.
While these rating systems have already influenced major tournaments, the issue lies in their diversity; different tournaments employ distinct systems.
Several viable pickleball rating systems exist, but the critical need remains for a unified standard. Such standardization is pivotal for the sport’s progression into a fundamental professional endeavor.
Here are the current leading pickleball rating systems, their methodologies, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with each.
DUPR is a standardized rating system that has gained a lot of traction in the pickleball community over the last few years. It’s free for all players and includes a player dashboard that can be accessed via their app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play.
DUPR ratings are calculated by the margin of victory in matches, match outcomes, and the type of result (tournament play, league play vs. recreational).
DUPR currently partners with PPA, MLP, and NYC Pickleball, amongst others.
- It’s free and accessible to all – ratings and recreational play counts are not exclusive to tournament players.
- The points in each match count, not just wins vs. losses.
- The DUPR database makes it easy to find similarly skilled players to compete with.
- DUPR helps people sign up for events and clinics suitable for their level.
- Objective ratings –players are rated solely based on player results via leagues, tournaments, and organized play that DUPR organizes.
- All players, regardless of age, gender, location, or skill, are rated on the same scale between 2 and 8.
- Players get access to win-loss records, ratings, match history, and analysis of results for themselves and other players.
This system is still relatively new, and there have been some complaints about rating accuracy and the unreliability of the website.
International Pickleball Teaching Pickleball Association
The International Pickleball Teaching Pickleball Association (IPTPA) has been a longstanding choice among pickleball players and instructors seeking consistent and objective ratings.
Individual memberships, priced at $25, enable IPTPA-certified rating specialists to assess individuals in groups of one, two, or three, utilizing an already-rated player as a benchmark.
On the other hand, club memberships cater to long-term affiliations for pickleball clubs. Additional details about these memberships can be accessed here.
- It is objective and consistent.
- This rating system is nationally and internationally recognized and provides standardized ratings across countries. Any player in the world can use the IPTPA rating.
- Certified specialists, not volunteers, make decisions about the ratings.
- The system works alongside IPTPA’s teaching programs with instructors trained to assess and evaluate players and maximize instruction based on ratings
- Each rating tier has specific guidelines, which are accessible to the public.
- The system is solely designed only for sanctioned tournament competitors.
- The IPTPA charges for membership.
- Testing sessions for players can last for up to an hour and a half.
- Their rating process is not as simple or accessible as other systems.
Pickleball Tournaments, a renowned tournament hub within the pickleball community, introduced the WPR (World Pickleball Rankings) in 2021.
This system draws upon players’ performances in major annual tournaments and tours, including the likes of the APP and PPA Tours, USA Pickleball Nationals, and US Open Pickleball Championships.
WPR utilizes the Glicko-2 rating system for its calculations. Ratings are presented in a four-digit format for singles, doubles, and mixed doubles matches across genders. Additionally, at the close of each calendar quarter, two-digit ratings are generated based on players’ existing four-digit ratings.
Players can access their ratings and historical results via their profiles on pickleballtournaments.com.
- It is free
- There is no manual entry: results from any tournament run on the site are automatically considered for your rating
- Pickleballtournaments.com is a huge database for pickleball tournaments so that most tournaments will count towards your ranking.
- Their system significantly reduces sandbagging by eliminating self-rating for tournaments.
- It incorporates a large sum of match results for sanctioned and unsanctioned tournaments.
- New players will have a WPR calculated by their first tournament results and their opponent’s rating.
- WPR has a ratings appeal process for those unhappy with their ranking.
- The system is only for tournaments.
- Tournaments must have a gender designation to count
USA Pickleball (USAP) devised the UTPR (Tournament Player Ratings) systems with the primary aim of curbing sandbagging — a practice where players compete in lower skill levels to secure wins and medals.
This rating system features either two-digit ratings, accessible to the public, or four-digit ratings, visible only to individual players. UTPR calculation involves multiple factors: your rating, your partner’s rating (in the case of doubles), your opponents’ ratings, and the type of tournament you participated in.
Over time, the definitions and weightage of tournament types have evolved, categorized into three segments: USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments, USA Pickleball Medal Match Plus sanctioned tournaments, and unsanctioned tournaments.
- The ratings are easily accessible as USAP endorses numerous tournaments every year and is a significant pickleball organization.
- More accurate than self-rating.
- Ratings are accessible to other players.
- No one match will alter a rating by more than 0.1.
- USAP uses a rating committee for feedback and continuous troubleshooting
- Ratings are frequently updated.
- The system is only for tournament players.
- Performances are based on match outcomes; the scores of matches are not calculated in the rating
- The USAP charges a $35 membership fee
Global Official Pickleball Rating (GOPR)
The GOPR, which is affiliated with the Xtreme Pickleball League (XPL), designates its tournaments as GOPR-sanctioned and asserts itself as “pickleball’s most precise rating system.” Like the DUPR, it adopts a two-digit rating format, assessing players on a scale spanning 2.00 to 8.00. GOPR evaluations hinge on specific criteria:
- Type of Game: Classifying whether it’s a self-posted recreational game score, a league/ladder match, or a tournament outcome.
- Outcome: Determining the victory or loss.
- Points won: Quantifying the total points scored.
- Points lost: Gauging the points conceded against the player.
- Reliability factor: Enhancing the GOPR’s accuracy based on the player’s interactions within the GOPR network.
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