Pickleball Skill Levels and Ratings : [1.0 – 6.0 Explained]

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Have you ever asked what level of pickleball player you are or in which category you rank or rated? As a beginner, you may not know much about the Pickleball skill levels and ratings. But when you enter a game aiming for further promotions or tournament plays, you are curious about each skill level and ratings.

Not every, but most beginners and intermediate players try to achieve the advanced player’s tag/position.

Getting an advanced position is only possible when you know about each skill level, ratings, and how to improve them in the play. Continue reading to know what type of skill level you have? and on which rank or rate do you relay?

Pickleball Skill levels of Players

The beginners or casual players may only have know-how about general pickleball player skill levels, but the players who play or are willing to play for tournaments know about USAPA ratings systems.

Skill levels are the simplest ways to judge yourself based on your play. These Pickleball skill levels used in local clubs for getting in touch with newbies and beginners.

If a rating or ranking system is launched in these local clubs too, then the beginners or recreational players will not get the chance of playing pickleball.

Pickleball Skill Levels

There are three categories of general Pickleball levels which are listed below:

Beginner Level

Beginners, we can say learners who are just starting pickleball.  These players may not have any experience in other racket sports like tennis and badminton.

Intermediate Level

The players having experience in other rackets sports and good knowledge about the game supposed to be intermediate. These players often choose novice or beginner players to play with, and those who want to learn further prefer advanced players.

Advanced Level

Advanced players are those who have developed the skills to execute different shots in pickleball.

These players also have background skills from other racket sports. Advanced players are those learners who want to be promoted and wish to play in tournaments.

Pickleball Players Ratings

Pickleball rating system is further divided into three types:

  • USAPA Players Skill Rating
  • USAPA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings (UTPR)
  • Dreamland Universal Pickleball Ratings

1. USAPA Pickleball Ratings / Self Rating

The players can calculate their skill rates by themselves in this way, while in tournament player rating, they cannot.

This category utilizes for only recreational plays not tournaments. Pickleball self rating for players is classified into eight (8) levels of skills. It is known to be “Pickleball self rating” as you can do it for yourself.

If you remain confused about your measurements, you may talk to an experienced player or club coach to rate you in a better way.

Following is the official USA Pickleball ratings system explained:

1.0-2.0 Beginner Player

It is helpful for novice or beginners who just started playing pickleball.

Every shot played by this level of player or beginner will simply intend to bring the ball back over the net.

These players are having no sports background and know only the basics of the game.

2.5 Beginner Player Rating

Beginners have limited knowledge about pickleball but mostly they get their serves and returns in.

This level of players can maintain only a short rally. The participants can hit the third shot drop but mix it up sometimes. They can move to the kitchen for making dink shots, but not consistently. 

3.0 Beginner Player Rating 

These players lie in between advanced and low intermediates. They can consistently make serves and returns.

At the kitchen line, participants have very busy feet which means feet crossing over each other. They often make large swings. It’s a good time to enter tournaments to judge your abilities. 

3.5 Intermediate Pickleball Player

3.5 Pickleball Player comprehend court allocations and have basic knowledge of the game.

The players can control height and depth in hitting a dink. They know forehand strokes and learning backhand too.

At this rate, they know the distinction between hard and soft shots and can make volley and third-shot drops and became aggressive at the non-volley line.

They stand very close to the kitchen line to attack readily, but still, volleys are big trouble for them as their grips are not strong.

4.0 Advance Intermediate

4.0 Pickleball player probably learned to hit serves, dinks, volleys, and drop shots and have control over it.

They know rules and regulations and need a little more practice to remove unintentional errors from the play.

In this category, such players know the weaknesses of the opponent and hits at the right time besides managing the volley aggressively in quick exchanges at the net.

They have a comprehensive approach to shot selection, so errors can minimize.

4.5 Very Advanced

These experiencers can rate based on limited errors as having all the rules and strategies in their mind but still needs practicing to be master them.

Furthermore, they have focus and their serves and returns are deep and consistent.

Volleys driven by continental or hammer grip are steady and they can do them defensively and offensively.

5.0 Pro Pickleball Player

At this level, players have mastered serving and returning the pickleball ball strategically.

Moreover, they are able to make shots consistently and rarely make an error in playing.

They know well how to make a shot, what should be the right time and place; can drive consistent, deep, and winning serves and returns. 

5.5-6.0 Pro Players

These participants have mastered all the shots and are at the highest level of winning.

This rate is for those who win from professional players at tournaments. High professional teams selected on this level for the biggest tournaments. 

Pickleball Ratings Infographic

USAPA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings (UTPR):

USAPA tournament pickleball rating developed to introduce matches between players of the same skill levels.

The management rates the players and picks the same skill individual for a match or tournament.  

As these ratings measure by others, these are accurate. When you measure your ability of something, you might consider more or less from it.

In this rating, there are further two categories:

4-digit UTPR

The 4-digit UTPR skill ratings are updated weekly. Every Friday, the skill rating of the player took to update the profile, and if it did not update or reset at the set time, the initial rating of the players become the average of first even bracket players.

In this system, the worth or rate ranges from 1.00 to 6.99. This rating system is similar to the Elo rating system of professional chess.

The four-digit rating system is more accurate and dynamic than others because the rate of the player determine by both player’s evaluation of ability and the results of the match.

The main categories for rating the players are:

Women’s Singles, Men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

2 Digit UTPR

In this category, skill ratings updates quarterly, means four times a year. 2-digit rating system mostly used by clubs or leagues.

The casual players also find this system more reliable and easier. It can manage by self-assessment and tournament rating.

Factors affecting tournament player ratings

The increase or decrease in ability or skill rates depends on the following factors:

  • The kind/type of tournaments (either sanctioned or MMP) a player is playing.
  • Player’s ability or rate.
  • Partner’s rating.
  • The opponent’s ability or skill level.

Dreamland Universal Pickleball Ratings

DUPR rating system newly developed and did not gain popularity as UTPR and self-rating.

Dreamland universal is official rating system of PPA (Professional Pickleball Association). This system of rating also managed by the tournament coaches or management.

It differs from UTPR, in sense that it calculates the rating of all matches local or tournament.

This system favors the weaker player and gives more shots and balls to hit.

Final Thoughts on Pickleball Ratings

The professional pickleball players judge their performance by calculating which skill level they have and at which rate or rank they fall. By knowing the exact degree or position they select themselves for tournament plays. Some clubs or recreational playing centers have also categorized the pickleball players based on these essentials.

If there is no restriction from club management or team, getting up mixed is about having fun. It means beginner level players playing with advanced or intermediate partners or opponents. In this way, you may also seek something new and improve yourself. With thorough reading, you can judge yourself on which category you relay.

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