Ratings FAQs

1) How do I determine my rating to play in a tournament for the first time?

It is very important a player neither rates too low or too high, but rather based upon their current skill level.  You cannot predict the future.   Be sure to consult with “reliable” sources before selecting your skill level.   We suggest you read the material on ratings at the PCO website starting at Ratings 2023.

2) Does the tournament software automatically screen for a player attempting to play in an event below their skill rating?

Yes, a player will automatically be blocked from registering in an event lower than their current rating. 

3) What is the trend for players entering a tournament event for partner ratings?

With the maturing of game results being uploaded, many players are starting to choose a partner with consideration for age and the current rating of that partner within the skill level.  A 4.450 player might be chosen over a 4.100 player. Both are 4.0 level players.

4) Do I need to be rated to play recreational pickleball?

This often depends upon the club to which you belong.  Generally, there is no need for a rating when in the social recreational environment. Typically, these types of sessions generally focus on mingling with other players and really having fun.

5) Why do some clubs use ratings and others don’t?

Almost all clubs will have a rating system in place for club ratings. Some clubs will use subjective ratings, others results-based ratings and very often we will see a combination of subjective to first give the player a basic starting point and then to be fully enhanced using results- or performance-based ratings. Results- or performance-based ratings are more accurate in that they can establish a finite, reliable rating within each basic skill bracket.

6) Will club member (only) Pickleball Brackets Tournaments upload results into my tournament rating as well as my club rating?

No. Club Member only Tournaments should be treated as a club rating event that only affects a club rating and therefore a (CTD) Club Tournament Director should be careful to not to upload any of these game results to the player(s) PBR (Pickleball Brackets Rating) or the CTPR (Canadian Tournament Player Rating).   

7) Are player game results from tournaments and club play co-mingled on Pickleball Brackets?

In Pickleball Brackets they are not. Tournament Ratings and Club ratings are kept in separate silos, partitioned out.  At DUPR they are not partitioned.  Partitioning has been stressed as being very important to Tournament players.  The pool of players’ skills is higher in Tournament play than in Club play, attracting a broad geographic level of participation and the results are fully cross-checked and verified carefully in Tournament play.

8) Will a club league/ladder at my club use my club rating for court placement?

For competitive club play the most effective way to provide players ‘with the best games’ is to use performance-based ratings for court placement always using the most current (reliable) rating number.  What performance game results provide is a rating number more accurately positioned within the basic skill level.

9) What should be the main goal for clubs in using effective player ratings in competitive club play events?

The mantra for Clubs should be to provide “the very best games for players as possible”.

10) Can I have a duplicate personal player account at Pickleball Brackets?

This is not allowed. We have seen duplicate accounts being set up for the same individual using a different email address or changing Richard to Dick or Susan to Sue. Often this is for no other reason than to attempt to start over in ratings with a fresh, no history, rating.  When this is discovered, we merge the accounts and re-capture the tournament or club history. If this becomes a problem, you may see some consequences or penalties enacted.  If a player needs to change their email address, it is as simple as editing their Pickleball Brackets personal player profile and re-saving.

11) What is the difference between being rated using subjective observation and performance-based game results to establish a player rating?

Subjective ratings come from basic skills testing and hopefully some form of actual controlled game results as part of the process.  Most often the controlled game results are left out. This method only produces a basic skill rating such as 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, etc. 

Performance-based ratings take actual game results from club leagues, special rated sessions, or tournaments and processes them using complex algorithms of probability based upon each players current rating and producing a number within that 499 point range of the basic skill (3.5 vs. 3.792 as an example).  This produces a much more reliable rating.

12) Do reliable performance-based ratings make “seeding” players into tournaments more effective for the players and spectators?

Indeed, they can. Knowing those more precise ratings allows Tournament Directors to make events more competitive and fair with the use of seeding tools.

13) How important is it to a competitive player to be able to see the actual game-by-game scoring results in performance-based club or tournament ratings?

Most competitive players are not fixated on the actual game-by-game results (which over time can be many games) but are more interested in their most current rating as that is where their next tournament or club results session seed them.  For very highly rated competitive players, being able to view the game results of a future opponent can be very useful. 

14) For a competitive pickleball player, how reliable are results-based ratings over time?

Player ratings are increasingly more reliable as more data is captured on every player. The system at Pickleball Brackets uses a modified ELO Algorithm  which predicts the probability of a stronger rated team winning and then based upon projected outcome prospects redistributes a calculated number of rating points between the participants.

Time and frequency are both very important and club ratings should never be discounted or minimized, as club ratings will often have game data that far exceeds tournament game data in both time and frequency.

15) Is information used from my Pickleball Canada membership by Pickleball Brackets?

We have a platform that checks player data daily and confirms the correct PCO membership #, date of birth, and PCO expiry date.  If any of these do not match it can affect both tournament registration and club events. Players should ensure these fields are the same for both organizations.