VPA Ratings and Leagues
The purpose of a rating is to categorize players by skill level to enable players of similar skill to play together.
Methods of Ratings
There are two methods of rating:
- Criteria Based
- Performance Based
The International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) has developed a continuum of performance standards for pickleball skills. A qualified IPTPA assessor evaluates the player to determine their skill level: 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0. This results in a static (unchanging) rating. The IPTPA ratings can be found here. https://iptpa.com/iptpa-rating-skills-assessment/
IPTPA ratings are particularly helpful if a player wants an assessment of their skill set: areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. The challenge is, ‘Can a player demonstrate these skills in a competitive environment?’
Performance based ratings are calculated with a computer algorithm using results from competitive play: tournaments, leagues, ladders. Common algorithms are: pickleballtournaments.com, pickleballbrackets.com, and DUPR. Pickleball Canada has selected Pickleball Brackets as the computer algorithm to use in Canada. Recently pickleballtournaments.com and pickleballbrackets.com have merged and will be using the Pickleball Brackets algorithm.
Pickleball Brackets computes three types of ratings:
Two Tournament Ratings:
- From play in Pickleball Canada Sanctioned Tournaments - Canadian Tournament Player Rating (CTPR).
- From play in non-sanctioned tournaments – Pickleball Brackets Rating
Club rating – generated based on one’s performance playing in club leagues, ladders, or score-recorded events at the club level. Club ratings do not impact one’s CTPR or Pickleball Brackets rating. If you belong to more than one club, you may have a club rating for each club. This is appropriate as the number and skill level of the players in each club will vary.
Performance based ratings are dynamic ratings. The rating changes after each game is played.
Club ratings will only be used in Leagues or Ladders or as descriptors for best-fit for clinics or lessons.
Types of Leagues
The VPA has implemented two leagues:
- Men’s League
- Women’s League
Each league has a day-time session and an evening session. A player may sign up for one or both. You don’t need to play every game day just when it is convenient for you. A league runs for a fixed period – usually around 3 months.
Initially the two women’s and two men’s leagues were split based on skill level. Effective October 31, 2022 any player who knows the fundamentals of the game (approximately 2.5 level) can sign up for either or both of the day or evening sessions.
It is anticipated that additional leagues will come on stream in early 2023. They are likely to be Partner Leagues:
Format of Leagues
The players that sign up for a Game Day in a League are assigned a court in groups or 4 or 5 with players closest to them in their rating. They play a round robin schedule. If it is a 4 player group, games are to 21 points, win by 1. If it is a 5 player group, games are to 15, win by 1. After each game one of the players records the score on their phone or tablet on the Pickleball Brackets website. The results of the session will impact the players’ club ratings. These new ratings will be used to group the players the next time they play.
How to Sign Up for a League
If you have a Pickleball Brackets profile, you are all set to go.
If you don’t, go to pickleballbrackets.com and create a profile which requires you to self-rate your skill level. It is the Doubles skill level that is important. Here is a good resource to help you with your self-rating: https://iptpa.com/iptpa-rating-skills-assessment/ Note that Pickleball Brackets will inflate your self-rating by 0.25, e.g., if you self-rate at 3.0 Pickleball Brackets will place you at 3.25. If you are planning to play in sanctioned tournaments, you will need your Pickleball Canada membership number. While you are in Pickleball Brackets home page select club and search for Vernon and select “Become a member”.
To play in the league sign up on the VPA website as you do for any other session.
Initial Placement in the League
For your first game in the league, you will be ranked according to your club rating from Pickleball Brackets if you have one. If you have played in one or more games under VPA Club in which the score was recorded, you will have one. If you have never played in a VPA club scored session, Pickleball Brackets will rank you according to your self-rating. Once you play one game in the league you will have a computed club rating and your self-rating will no longer be used. Note, as soon as this happens you will not be able to change your self-rating. A general guideline is to rate yourself slightly low as it is more fun to ‘win your way up, than lose your way down.’
Comments regarding Tournament Ratings and why they are not used in VPA Leagues
As the name implies Tournament Ratings are generated only by playing in tournaments. They will only change through tournament play. If they could be used in Leagues for a player’s initial placement, the league play would not impact them and hence the player would sit at the level of their tournament rating until the next time they play in a tournament. This defeats the purpose of being in a league which is meant to have an ebb and flow based on the results of games played within the league.
Pickleball Brackets does not have the flexibility to create one-off situations where a Tournament Rating or a self-rating could be inserted for the initial placement and then flip over to club rating for ensuing calculations. Nor does it allow an override of a club rating once that very first game has been played.