Pickleball Skills Ratings
North Carolina Pickleball
There is always chatter on social media and blogs on how to best match pickleball players. Tournaments place players based on age, skill or both. However, when it comes to social pickleball, there are often sticks and barbs as you attempt to sort out the skill sets. Below is but one example of a selection process that I developed as we began our season at a large resort in Florida. The task was to identify the more advanced players from the average or social player. The first step was to set up criteria. There were three hurdles that all members needed to cross in order to join the advanced group. Advanced being defined as a USAPA rating of 3.5 or higher.
Hurdle 1 – You qualify if you previously medaled in a USAPA tournament with a rating of 3.5 or higher;
Hurdle 2 – You qualify if you placed in the upper 33% of the local ladder league;
Hurdle 3 – If a member did not qualify under hurdle 1 or 2, then they had to submit to and pass a
pickleball skills test, administered by a ratings committee. The tests included serves, returns, drop 3rd shots, dinking and blocking. As example, to pass the dinking test, applicants had to complete 20 forehand and 20 backhand dinks without a single miss. For dropped 3rd, the applicant had to drop 5 out of 10 drops from the base line into the no volley zone. (Note: Not easy when 20 spectators are watching)
Next season we are adding “head to head” as simple tests do not tell the complete picture.
If you would like copies of all tests, please send a request to