Rating System

John Pihl, Ratings Chair
pcpbratings@gmail.com

2021 PebbleCreek Pickleball Rating System

 

Club ratings help group players by ability levels so everyone has fun and competes in club rated activities with other players of similar ability. No rating system will ever be perfect, but it should improve a player’s probability of having an equal match.

 

Club ratings are optional; however, they are required to play in round robins and are used for drop-in play, placement in some club tournaments, and skills & drills training.

Advancement in ratings is completely voluntary.  However, the player should be one of the stronger players at the current skill level (playing in the + level round robin if available) and confident they have the skills to compete at the higher rating. (See the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide) Experience has shown being a good player at one level is no guarantee the player is competitive at a higher level. Be sure to take advantage of the multiple training programs available in the club.

In order to preserve the parity of play in our round robins, there may be some circumstances (e.g. a player's strong ladder results or tournament results) that may necessitate that a player who is too strong at their level move to the next level.

The club’s rating system offers multiple paths for advancement:

  1. Novice division 2.0 & 2.5

  2. 3.0 & 3.5 Skills and match play evaluation

a. Outside Rating Specialist (IPTPA)

b. Club Program (available fall 2021)

  1. 4.0 & 4.5 Club Rating Program (available fall 2021)

  2. Club Ladders

  3. Club Events

  4. USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments (UTPR)

  5. New club member with prior pickleball experience or current club members without a rating

 

1. Novice Division 2.0 & 2.5

The novice division is for club members who have not previously played pickleball. 

The novice division has multiple levels.  Advancement to 2.5 requires recommendation by the instructor(s). The player must demonstrate appropriate pickleball skills (See the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide).

Attendance at training session(s) is strongly encouraged, for those new to pickleball.

The ratings committee will either accept the recommendation of the instructor or evaluate the players abilities in a match play environment to determine if the player can be competitive at the 2.5 level.

2.  3.0 & 3.5 Skills and match play evaluation

 

a. Certified Rating Specialist

The goal of the 3.0 & 3.5 evaluations is to require a degree of skills ability along with successful match play, as evaluated by a certified ratings specialist.

Club members with a Pebble Creek Pickleball Club rating of 2.5 or 3.0 can request an evaluation to move to the next level.  See # 8 for information required in the request.

The evaluation is a two-part process.  A skills test, and ‘ghost’ doubles match play against a control player and up to 2 other candidates. The control player must be an IPTPA or USAPA rated player. Note: The control player’s club rating may be higher than their IPTPA or USAPA rating.  See ghost doubles for more information.  Practicing ghost doubles before being tested is recommended.

A Certified Rating Specialist (CRS) from the IPTPA (International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association) is used and a fee will be charged to the individual.

Some of the benefits of using an independent rating specialist are:

  • Consistent format for rating sessions

  • Nationally recognized

  • Elimination of favoritism or bias in both positive and negative ways.

  • Trained professional rater.

  • An objective test.

See the requirements for IPTPA 3.0 and 3.5 skills.  Be sure to take advantage of the multiple training opportunities within the club.

More information regarding the IPTPA testing is on their website at https://iptpa.com/iptpa-rating-skills-assessment/.

Club approved IPTPA raters must be used. By proximity, they are Lisa Milbrath and Mike Crabtree  (Pebblecreek), Gigi LeMaster and Byron Fresno (Surprise), and DeAnne Davison (Buckeye). Cost is approximately $55 after club discount. ($15 IPTPA membership, $33 rater fee, $6 HOA fee)  We highly recommend you are competent at the required IPTPA skills before engaging in this process. 

Detailed instructions will be emailed after the player has been accepted for evaluation. Any club member who fails to advance to the higher level must wait 30 days before trying again.

b.  Club Ratings Program (available Fall 2021)

As an alternative to the IPTPA system, club members may pursue a rating change through the club rating system.

Pebblecreek 3.0 (or) 3.5 skills are required (See the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide).  We strongly encourage you to take advantage of Coaching for Courts and Skills and Drills. Tell the instructor you are planning to take the PebbleCreek assessment for 3.0 (or) 3.5. This not an easy assessment.

A ratings change is a 3-step process:

Step 1 Application: A ratings change request must be submitted following the direction of 8.0 below.

Step 2 Observation: If the requirements of Step 1 are met, two raters will observe the potential candidate in game play (e.g., round robins “plus” category (if available) or ladders). Raters will utilize the Club Rating sheet during observation to determine if the player meets the skills requirements for their desired level. Scores are not a factor. The candidate is evaluated based on the individual skills they demonstrate during match play. If both raters reach a clear and unanimous decision in favor of a candidate advancing, Step 3 will be scheduled. The candidate should only request this evaluation when he or she is confident they can meet the skills expectations as laid out in the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide. If the raters determine the candidate is not ready for Step 3, the raters will give immediate and/or email feedback recommending what the player needs to improve before a later evaluation. The player is expected to incorporate the raters’ feedback into his or her training before requesting another rating session. The applicant must wait a minimum of 30 days (but can take as much time as needed beyond the 30 days) before requesting a re-evaluation. This gives the applicant time to improve the skills identified by the raters. When the applicant feels prepared, he or she will email pcpbratings@gmail.com to re-schedule Step 2. If the applicant passes, he or she will move on to Step 3. If they are unsuccessful a 2nd time, they must wait a minimum of 60 days to try again.

Step 3 Match Play: The final step in the rating process is match play against a control player from the desired level. The control player will be a mid to upper-level player from the club level above. Match format will consist of 1 or 2 candidates playing a total of 3 ghost doubles games against the control player and/or each other. Raters will consider scores and skills execution during the three games to determine successful advancement. If unsuccessful, the candidate must wait a minimum of 30 days before requesting a 2nd try. A second failure requires the candidate to wait 60 days before trying step 3 again.

 

If the entire testing period exceeds 4 months, the three-step process must be repeated.

           

3. 4.0 & 4.5 Club Rating Program (available Fall 2021)

A club member with a PebbleCreek Pickleball Club rating of 3.5 or 4.0 can request an evaluation to move to the next level.  There are 3 steps to the process:

 

Step 1 Application: See #8 for information required in your request. In your current round robin, you should be playing in the “plus” category (if available). If the candidate’s application is accepted, the Ratings Coordinator will email the applicant detailed instructions and requirements (as outlined in the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide) to ensure the applicant clearly understands the process and the skills required.

 

Step 2 Observation: Raters will utilize the Club Rating sheet during observation in round robin (plus category) or ladders to determine if the player meets the skills requirements for their desired level. Scores are not a factor. The candidate is evaluated based on the individual skills they demonstrate during match play. If both raters reach a clear and unanimous decision in favor of the candidate advancing, Step 3 will be scheduled. The candidate should only request this evaluation when he or she is confident they can meet the skills expectations as laid out in the PebbleCreek Pickleball Club Ratings Guide. If the candidate successfully demonstrates the required skills, they will be notified by email. The participant can then advance to Step 3. If the candidate is unsuccessful, raters will provide immediate and/or email feedback regarding which areas need to be improved before another session is requested. The applicant must wait a minimum of 30 days (but can take as much time as needed beyond the 30 days) before requesting a re-evaluation. This gives the applicant time to improve the skills identified by the raters. When the applicant feels prepared, he or she will email pcpbratings@gmail.com to re-schedule Step 2. If the applicant passes, he or she will move on to Step 3. If they are unsuccessful a 2nd time, they must wait a minimum of 60 days to try again.

 

Step 3 Match Play: Candidates will play in a “ladder” type match with one candidate and three control players at the desired level or two candidates with two controls. There will be a minimum of 3 games to 11 (capped). Raters will consider scores, team play, and skills execution during the 3 games. An email sent to the rating applicant within 24 hours of testing will provide written results and recommendations based on performance. If unsuccessful, the candidate must wait a minimum of 30 days before requesting a 2nd try. A second failure requires the candidate to wait 60 days before trying step 3 again.

If the entire testing period exceeds 4 months, the three-step process must be repeated.

 

4. Club Ladders

Advancement through ladders requires a minimum of 6 weeks of recent play and the player has demonstrated to be consistently competitive with the top 2/3 of players at the next level. This does require sufficient players at the desired skill level. Advancement by ladder play will take at least 2 weeks after the player notifies the rating committee. See #8.

 

5. Club Events

  1. The best way to move up through the club events is to play men’s or women’s doubles at the desired higher level and be extremely competitive.

  2. Playing doubles at your current level requires a dominating performance in the opinion of the raters (each player will be considered separately).  This is a tougher approach with subjective opinion if the player will be competitive at a higher level.  Very few players will be considered for advancement if playing at their current level.

 

Results in mixed doubles will usually not be considered as a primary factor.

 

When you register please notify the rating committee if you desire to move up based on your upcoming  tournament performance. See #8 for information required in the request.

 

More club tournaments may be added in the future.

6. USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments

Any club member (current or new) with an established USA Pickleball sanctioned tournament gender rating (UTPR), not self- rated, can submit their four-digit UTPR ratings to the ratings committee for consideration.  See #8 for information required in the request. 

The committee can require qualification at the level requested.

UTPR rating can change four times a year, however the club will not automatically move a player up or down based on a UTPR change. A club rating change must be requested.  Please email documentation of your current UTPR rating to the ratings committee.  See #8 for information required in the request.

Any club member has the opportunity to advance the club rating higher than the UTPR.

7. New club members with prior pickleball experience or current club members without a rating

New club members with experience but without a UTPR may be required to participate in the assessment process, regardless of source of prior ratings.  The committee will not automatically accept a prior rating from the IPTPA or other similar organizations.

Club members without a PebbleCreek rating can request an evaluation to be assigned a rating.  See #8 for information required in the request.

If a club rating is desired, the club member may be asked to participate in one of the regular evaluations as determined by a member of the ratings committee.

If a special evaluation is granted, the players may be observed by a member of the ratings committee.  The evaluators will consider skills demonstrated, positioning on the courts, and teamwork.  The evaluators will be very conservative in rating members.

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8.0 Ratings change request

Send a request to pcpbratings@gmail.com.  In addition to your name, phone number, email, and current rating (if any), included with the request, should be supporting detail such as ladder play standing, tournament play results, UTPR documentation, training classes attended, and/or prior experience outside the club, and any other information which would support your request.

When you register please notify the ratings committee if you desire to move up based on your upcoming  tournament performance. 

If you play in the round robins, you should be playing the higher (+) level round robin, if available.

Detailed instructions will be emailed after the player has been accepted for evaluation.

 

Level Adjustment

A club member should be competitive when playing in round robins.  If you generally are on the losing side and average less than 7 points, you should consider moving to a more appropriate level.

Any club member can submit a request to move down if they are no longer competitive at the current level.  The ratings committee will review past performance and consider the request. 

Players who are consistently non-competitive in the round robins may be asked to re-certify for that level or have the option to move down a level.

Club tournaments must be played at the previous rating for 90 days after approval of an adjustment.

 

If you have any questions, please contact the ratings committee at pcpbratings@gmail.com.