UNDERSTANDING THE IMPLICATIONS OF SELF-ASSESSMENT SKILL LEVELS CHOICES IN THE PICKLEBALL BRACKETS PERSONAL PLAYER PROFILE
When an individual player first goes to Pickleball Brackets and establishes a player profile one of the actions each player must take is to make a self-assessment for themselves of their DOUBLES, MIXED DOUBLES and SINGLES skill ratings. That player profile is owned by the player and no other person can change it. The player owns it in every way.
For many their basic skill level will be well known to them from past experience with guidance provided from previous tournament play, club assessments, performance-based and professional ratings.
If a player has come to Pickelball Brackets it probably means they are going to participate in some form of tournament, league-ladder, or club play that is going to capture them in real game experiences. It starts a journey towards a performance-based rating where the player really determines the outcome.
There has to be a starting point for each player that involves determining the initial number that will be used to enter the first recorded game result. That number is determined first and foremost from the mid-point of the basic skill level the player determines as their current basic skill level for each category. This is true for the initial Pickleball Brackets rating (Tournaments)
A player would be making a big mistake if they feel that the quickest pathway to a higher rating is to just choose a skill level that is yet above their capability and lock themselves into a bad situation. Once the first game is recorded the players initial number is “locked and loaded”. While, for some, having a higher rating translates to prestige but with the transparency of these performance-based ratings engines, where every game outcome can be seen by anyone, anywhere a player will realize being more prudent and realistic would have been the better pathway.
The tournament software will not allow registration at a skill level below your rating numbers.
For most, playing in the correct skill level bracket or event is preferred. Sometimes players are tempted to play up “an event level” and this is where it is important to still select the correct self-assessment skill levels in that personal player profile.
Assume you are a 3.5 level player who decides to play up into a 4.0 doubles event. In your personal player profile chose the 3.5 base rating for yourself. It means that your initial rating number will be mid-point at 3.750 for the first game. If your partner is in the same situation your team will open at 3.750 and if you run into that first game against a team that opens at 4.250 you are projected to lose about 98% of the time. The odds are not in your favour and therefore you don’t lose a lot of rating points. You also get to hang in the correct rating bracket when you register for the next tournament.
But perhaps you decide to take the other route. You decide because you are “playing up” you should just do the same in your personal player profile and say you are a 4.0 player. Your partner follows your lead and now you open with an initial number of 4.250 and run into that same team now also at 4.250 and the computer now projects the game at 50%-50% . You still lose and the other team takes a mitt-full of your rating points. Maybe “2 and out” is looking possible, if not probable. You take your losses and think that maybe the next tournament you will just go back to that 3.5 category. Wrong. You may have lost but you still have a rating number over 4.0 ( probably 4.150 ) and you will not be able to play back down.
Here is what else might happen. You register for the next tournament looking for a partner. A person also looking for a partner who is true 4.0 contacts you and later finds out you are not really a 4.0 rated player. ( You just went “2 and out again”) The partnership is somewhat sour because you did not properly represent yourself.
Bottom line. Be realistic. Play in the proper skill event until you are really ready to make the leap to the bigger pond and make sure you select the correct self-assessment in your personal player profile at Pickleball Brackets. If you are playing up a skill level event leave your profile where it should be when you play up.
You, the tournament director and all the other players will be glad you did.