North Carolina Pickleball
Special USAPA Announcement
After several years of planning and testing the USAPA announced yesterday a new rating system for pickleball. The following announcement was sent to all USAPA Ambassadors yesterday for their “heads up”.
April 17, 2018
The USAPA is excited to announce the new official tournament rating system powered by PickleballTournaments.com. The new joint venture will greatly enhance the tournament structure for all pickleball events enabling tournament directors to create fair and balanced player brackets while participants will now know their standings from the newly-created rating system.
“We are extremely excited to bring a fully-automated, results-based ratings and ranking system to our sport,” said USAPA Executive Director Justin Maloof. “We believe this system will be a huge benefit to tournament directors and serve as yet another value-add feature to our members.”
The new USAPA Pickleball Tournament Rating System will be similar to those currently being used in tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis, and other sports. Ratings will be extremely accurate, objective and universal. They will be calculated by computer using strategically-created algorithms and will be based on tournament results from the past two years and adopting weighting factors such as tournament format (sanctioned vs. non-sanctioned), recency of play and strength of the player’s opponent. PickleballTournaments.com worked closely with data specialists from Pickleball Ratings to develop the new ratings system.
“The agreement with the USAPA to provide tournament ratings fulfills a desire we’ve had at PickleballTournaments.com to utilize the large collection of tournament results we’ve collected over the years to improve tournament play experience for players and Tournament Directors,” said PickleballTournaments.com President Melissa McCurley. “These tournament ratings will only grow in the benefits provided to USAPA members as well as USAPA-sanctioned tournaments.”
Unlike the 2-digit skill rating (ex. 3.5) that has been used for many years by players, clubs and tournaments, the USAPA Tournament Ratings will be a 4-digit rating (ex. 3.786) and will prove to be more precise. Based on accumulated statistical data, the 4-digit rating will map to a player’s updated or new 2-digit skill level. Examples, a player rating of 3.994 maps to a 3.5 skill level and a 4.014 rating maps to a 4.0 skill level. The USAPA Tournament Ratings will be calculated for five competitive divisions — Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. USAPA member players will be able to check their ratings on their USAPA.org member profile and by July of this year, players will also be able to view their ratings on their PickleballTournaments.com member profile. Additional features will include the ability to access other USAPA member player’s rating, and a list of the “Top 100” rated players in the five divisions.
Improvements to the USAPA Tournament Ratings system will be overseen by an advisory board established by the USAPA. They will include representatives of PickleballTournaments.com, major event tournament directors, 5.0 tournament players, statisticians, and computer scientists.
While we wait for the completion and launch of the new rating system, USAPA will no longer be accepting rating recommendations from tournament directors or raters. Players wishing to appeal his/her rating for an event prior to the release may continue to do so by emailing email@example.com. Players without a rating may self-rate following the guidelines on the USAPA website.
Once the new ratings are in place, players will register for tournaments using the new USAPA Tournament Rating. All registrations prior to the release of the new system will not be affected. An FAQ document is currently being drafted and will be available soon. USAPA and Pickleballtournaments.com will not be fielding individual questions until the FAQ document is released.