This rating is determined by your play in sanctioned tournaments.
Initially, individuals will self rate themselves as a given Pickleball Rating.
Once they begin to play in sanctioned tournaments their rating will increase or decrease by small increments based upon the outcome of the game.
Typically, these rating systems are based on an E.L.O system where your rating, your teammates rating and your opponents combined rating factors into any decrease or increase you are granted.
As an example if two 4.8 players are competing against two 4.1 players, the 4.8 players are highly likely to win the match, and therefore if they succeed, do not increase their ratings to any substantial degree. However, if the 4.1 rated players beat the 4.8 rated players they may have a heavy increase to their ratings and the 4.8 players may decrease significantly.
Players looking to play in sanctioned tournaments will typically have to enter tournaments to the higher teammates rating as players are usually not allowed to play in lower divisions.
International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association
If your goal is to play at Pickleball Clubs Internationally you will want to get an IPTPA rating.
The ITPTA has set an international standard for Pickleball ratings, meaning if you get a rating from an IPTPA Certified Rating Specialist in Florida, Arizona or Edmonton, the testing process and expectations are the same. This allows clubs to accept ratings from outside jurisdictions and know the process that individual was rated with.
An IPTPA rating is split into two parts; skill based and gameplay based.
In the skill-based portion, the individual looking to achieve a given level is tested on various skills (drop shots, dinking, serving, etc.) They must be able to demonstrate consistency within these skills.
The second half of the exam is the gameplay portion. In this section the individual would play a modified singles game (to emulate doubles) against an individual who has achieved the desired level.
An IPTPA membership is required to attempt a rating session. ($15 for 3 year term)
A Club rating is usually given by a organization or Pickleball Club, and are usually valid within the local area of play.
A Club rating session can be run very differently depending on the club organizing the session and the individual who is conducting the rating. Due to these factors, outside agencies may or may not honor the rating given.
At EVPC our Club ratings consist of a skill-based portion and a gameplay section. A maximum of 4 athletes can attend any given section. This will provide the ability for the individual rating to get a valid sense of each individuals skill level.
At the end of every rating session, whether successful or unsuccessful, individuals will be given feedback on areas to improve their game.
Each club may have a different definition of the rating sections. The EVPC descriptions can be found below.
So your interested in getting a Pickleball Rating?
The type of rating you seek, will be determined by your pickleball goals.
Ratings come in three main categories
Tournament , IPTPA, Club
A 2.0 Player is just starting to play pickleball.
These individuals typically have limited sporting background.
A 2.5 player has knowledge about Pickleball rules and scoring. They often have limited experience within the game, but can sustain short rallies.
A 3.0 player understands the fundamentals of pickleball and is learning proper court positioning.
These players will achieve hit long dinks or drop shots from the transition area, and are working on drop shots from the end line.
These players will get to the Non-Volley Zone line and know the importance of Dinking.
A 3.5 player is implementing proper court positioning and approaches the Non-Volley Zone line when appropriate.
These individuals are consistent with 3rd shot drops and are getting into extended dinking rallies.
Often these players are beginning to look for opportunities to attack missed opponent dinks and are taking advantage of opponents out of position.
A 4.0 player is able to effectively slow or speed the game up depending on the circumstance.
These individuals are able to create opportunities to attack, whether this be through offensive dinking, poaching, or driving the ball. Players at this level often mix speed, height and depth to place their opponents off balance.
These individuals are able to identify opponents' weaknesses and attempt to isolate these skills in gameplay.
Typically, any rating above a 4.0 should be earned through tournament play.
These individuals possess a high level of athletic ability and have good footwork and weight transfer.
A 4.5+ player has a very high level of consistency in their shots, and is able to adjust the gameplay to maximize their strengths and opponents' weaknesses. These players will often force their opponents to make mistakes.