Relishing Pickleball


David Zapatka, USAPA rating committee member

The USAPA has launched its official tournament rating system powered by The new rating system will benefit pickleball tournament directors and competitive players, enhancing the sport’s growth and development. Tournament directors will be able to create optimally balanced brackets for all their events, and tournament players will know their standings in a statistically modeled accurate, non-subjective rating system. As part of the agreement, will be the exclusive official provider of tournament ratings and tournament management software for USAPA-sanctioned tournaments.

Similar to the ELO ratings systems used in tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis and other sports, the new USAPA Pickleball Tournament Rating system is highly accurate, objective and universal. Ratings are calculated by computer software utilizing carefully created algorithms based on tournament results over the past 24 months. Weighting factors such as tournament type (sanctioned or non-sanctioned), recency of play and strength of opponents are all addressed by the algorithms. “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 Tournament Ratings will be a four-digit rating (e.g., 3.786), much more precise than the two-digit skill ratings (e.g., 3.5) currently used by most players, clubs and instructors to describe a player’s general skill level. Tournament Ratings will be calculated for five categories (Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles). Additional planned features include the ability to look up any other USAPA member player’s rating and a “Top 100” list of the 100 top-rated players in the five categories.

Tournament players will enjoy the added motivation and accomplishments made possible by knowing their individual ratings and the ratings of other players with whom they compete. USAPA member players will be able to look up their ratings on their member profile.

Enhancements to the USAPA Tournament Ratings system will be driven by an advisory board established by the USAPA. The board will include representatives of, major event tournament directors, 5.0 tournament players, statisticians and computer scientists.

Have a question about pickleball? Want to know more about the sport, the rules, equipment or have some pickilicious news you would like to share with our pickleball community? Email David Zapatka at [email protected].