Sanctioned Tournaments

A Sanctioned Tournament is one which, upon request from the Tournament Director, has been endorsed by Pickleball Canada (PCO) as meeting standards defined by the International Federation of Pickleball and Pickleball Canada. To be ‘sanctioned’ by Pickleball Canada means an event meets those standards, is well-organized, fair and safe for competitors, and follows the rules and regulations set by the governing bodies.

Purposes of Sanctioning

  • To optimize the operation of pickleball tournaments across Canada;
  • To challenge tournament organizers to host top quality events that will showcase pickleball to the membership of Pickleball Canada, the public and the media; 
  • To ensure that tournaments are delivered in a safe and developmentally appropriate fashion consistent with the Long Term Development Plan approved by Canadian Sport for Life Society and Pickleball Canada;
  • To provide a fair and consistent competitive environment that affects the players’ Canadian Tournament Player Rating (CTPR);
  • To ensure alignment and consistency across provinces and territories;
  • To share responsibilities between PCO and provinces/territories, where PCO sets the criteria/requirements, and the provinces/territories assist in the execution and monitoring.

Benefits of a Sanctioned Tournament

For the Tournament

  • Posting the Tournament on the Sanctioned Tournament Calendar on the Pickleball Canada website
  • Use of the Pickleball Canada Sanctioned Logo for promotion of tournament
  • Support, when required, from the PCO Tournament Chair
  • General liability insurance for the event and certificate of insurance
  • Increased participation because the tournament is recognized as a high-quality experience
  • Sponsorship benefits opportunities from PCO negotiations on a national scale
  • Public acknowledgement that your tournament supports Pickleball Canada, governing body of Pickleball in Canada

For the Player

Criteria for Sanctioning

For a tournament to be granted sanctioning the tournament director must follow the application process and abide by all sanctioning requirements listed below. 

The criteria for sanctioning are laid out in Section 12-Sanctioned Tournament Policies of the International Federation of Pickleball Rule Book.

Additionally,

  • All players must be Pickleball Canada members.
  • The tournament should avoid dates already established for other sanctioned tournaments in that Province/Territory or conflict with a Regional Championship within the region.
  • The Tournament Director (TD) must complete and submit a Pickleball Canada Tournament Sanctioning Application at least 60 days prior to the scheduled event.
  • The TD shall include a letter of support from the respective provincial/territorial pickleball organization.
  • The TD must follow all IFP Official Tournament Rules.
  • The TD must declare the make and model of the ball that will be used. The ball must be listed on the IFP/PCO list of Approved Balls.
  • The TD must ensure the safety conditions outlined in the Tournament Director’s Guide are followed.
  • Once provisional sanctioning is granted, the sanctioning fee must be paid, in order for the tournament to receive formal sanctioning and be promoted as a Sanctioned Tournament.
  • The tournament must use a Pickleball Canada-approved tournament management system. TD must report results to the Pickleball Brackets Ratings engine (where the CTPR resides), either automatically with Pickleball Brackets tournament software, or manually with other approved processes.
  • Within one week of the end of a tournament, complete results must be reported to the PCO Tournament Chair.
  • A Sanctioned Tournament must have a minimum of 75 participants.
  • The tournament shall be open to all players who meet the general requirements of any tournament, such as age or skill level. Entries may be limited by geographical locations such as city, county, regional, or province of residency.
  • Wheelchair Players – In accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Human Rights Act, Pickleball Canada will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities. Rules for wheelchair players are in the IFP Rulebook.
  • A TD who applies for and receives sanctioning, agrees to meet and abide by all the sanctioning requirements. If all sanctioning requirements are not met, consequences will be applied, up to and including results being disqualified from CTPR ratings and the host club and or TD being barred from future sanctioning requests.

Pickleball Canada Right of Refusal

Pickleball Canada reserves the right to refuse to sanction tournaments, and not list tournaments on the Pickleball Canada website/calendar if the TD/organization requesting sanctioning has failed to comply with all PCO policies, including the Pickleball Canada Policy – Code of Conduct, or has committed an infraction as defined in the Pickleball Canada Policy – Complaints and Discipline. This decision would be communicated to the applicant in writing and subject to appeal. The appeal process will follow the complaints review process outlined in the Complaints and Discipline policy.

Tournament Tiers and Sanctioning Fees

Tier 1 – National Tournament – Reserved for Pickleball Canada National and Regional Tournaments, all matches should be officiated. It is expected that Open and Senior Open events are included.

Tier 2 ($100) – Provincial/Regional Tournaments – Reserved for Provincial/Territorial Championships with an average of least 8 entries per event and Regional Qualifying events. Tournaments of over 250 participants may also apply for Tier 2 status. All medal matches to be officiated using line judges where possible. It is expected that Open and Senior Open events are included.

Tier 3 ($75) – Other Tournaments –Tier 3 tournaments require a minimum of 100 participants. All medal matches to be officiated using line judges where possible.

Tier 4 ($50) – Small or New Tournaments – The tournament must have at least 75 participants. Most new tournaments will be given a Tier IV rating until the number of entries can be confirmed upon or prior to completion of the tournament. Medal matches to be officiated where possible.

Club member only tournaments cannot be sanctioned and do not impact CTPRs.

Fees are due when the Tournament receives provisional sanctioning from the Pickleball Canada Tournament Chair.  Once the fees are received the Tournament Director will receive Sanctioning Logos, be granted formal sanctioning and the tournament will be placed on the Pickleball Canada Tournament Calendar.

TierDescriptionFeeSize – #/EventRefereesLine JudgesCTPR Weight (when implemented)
1PCO Nationals PCO Regionals$0Open and Senior Open included #Min Level 1 for non Medal matches* Levels 2 / certification for Medal matches*Medal matches **100%
2Provincial/Terr Championships & Qualifying events
——————-
Large tournaments -over 250 participants
$100Avg 8 / event Open and Senior Open included#  Min Level 1 for non Medal matches* Levels 2 / certification for Medal matches*Medal matches **100%
3Other Tournaments  $75Min 100  Min Level 2 for Medal matches*Medal matches **80%
4Small or new Tournaments$50Min 75Provide referees where possible*Medal matches **70%

Note: * Where possible. Due to limited supply of qualified personnel, TD to staff shortcomings with best available personnel.

            ** If local health restrictions protocol allows, and if trained personnel available.

            # Where possible. Provides input to selection of provincial/territorial teams, and National level development teams

Approved Age and Skill Events

Age Determination

  1. A Player’s age for the entire tournament year shall be determined by his/her age on December 31st of the tournament year in question.
  2. There are three major age groupings:
    • Juniors -18 and under, 
    • Adults -19 & over (Junior players may also play in this grouping), and 
    • Seniors (50+).

Rated Events

  1. A skill rated event is open to players of any age, including Juniors, Adults, and Seniors. A Senior skill rated event is open only to players who are 50+.
  2.  All participants in a sanctioned tournament must have a Canadian Tournament Player Rating (CTPR).

Events by Age

Juniors

  • Boys and Girls
  • Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • 10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, 18 and under

Adults

  • Men and Women
  • Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • Age 19 – 49 years

Seniors

  • Men and Women
  • Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • Age 50 and over

Events by Skill

  • Men and Women
  • Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles
  • Open, Seniors
  • 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0

Combining Age/Skill or Skill/Age

  1. Combined Age/Skill Events consist of Approved Age Groups divided by Approved Skill Levels. It is skill level within age groups.
    1. Skill Levels within each Age Group can be merged by the Tournament Director as needed. As an example, 19+ 3.5 may be combined with 19+ 4.0. This would be a 19+/4.0 event.  When possible, it is recommended that TD’s combine 3.0/3.5 and 4.0/4.5/5.0, but if there are not enough registrations for this to be possible, they may combine as needed.
    2. Events may be in 5, 10 or 15 year age increments as needed (50+, 60+, 70+, 80+ or 55+,60+,65+,70+,75+,80+).
    3. Any player or team in an age/skill tournament requesting to play up in a skill level higher than their rating will be allowed to do so at the discretion of the tournament director. 
    4. Any player or team in an age/skill tournament requesting to play down in age group will be allowed to do so at the discretion of the tournament director. For example, a player or team with a 3.5 rating and with the youngest player 64 years old may request to enter any skill level at or above 3.5 and any age bracket that is lower than 65+.
  2. Combined Skill/Age Events consist of Approved Skill Levels broken down into Approved Age Groups. It is age groups within skill levels.
    1. Age levels within each skill group can be merged by the Tournament Director as needed. As an example, 2.5 19+ may be combined with 2.5 35+.  This would be a 2.5/19+ event.
    2. Any player or team in a skill/age tournament requesting to play up in a skill level higher than their rating will be allowed to do so at the discretion of the tournament director.
    3. Any player or team in a skill/age tournament requesting to play down in age group will be allowed to do so at the discretion of the tournament director. For example, a player or team with the youngest player 64 years old and a 3.5 rating may request to enter any an age bracket that is lower than 65+. and/or any skill level at or above 3.5.