Surrey Pickleball Club

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Ratings Overview


      The Surrey Pickleball Club (SPC) is committed to providing social yet challenging play for its members, by matching members together that are at the approximately the same skill level. To promote this philosophy, the Club uses the following skill level categories, called Club Levels:  

      2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0. 

      When you join SPC you will be required to select one of the Club Levels for yourself (self-rate). This is required in order to register to play in the various events in the Calendar.

      If you are just joining the Club for the first time and need help in selecting your Club Level, you can use the high-level descriptions below as a guide. You can also refer to other pickleball governing bodies such as the US Amateur Pickleball Association (USAPA) on the USAPA site here, or the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP). Or you can ask other players that you’ve played with to rate you.

      SPC Ratings Principles

        1. SPC provides opportunities for both social and competitive play. The Calendar consists of League Play Events (competitive) and Social Play Events. Members may register for either one or both in the weekly Play Schedule.
        2.  Members can play in any event in the Calendar that includes their Club Level. 
        3. Existing members maintain their Club Level from one season to the next.
        4. New members self-rate for their Club Level, but then must meet the conditions outlined below under New Members.
        5.  Members can request to move up a Club Level, but must meet the conditions outlined below under Existing members.
        6. Members will NOT be moved down a Club Level unless they request it.
        7. SPC uses a performance based system to initially validate a new member’s Club Level and to approve any member’s request to move up a Club Level. There is no Ratings Committee, as with some clubs.
        8. The performance based system in 2022 will be based on League Play in

        Changes in 2022 Season

        The following changes are being made in 2022, to enhance the experience for the members.

        1. We are moving from last year’s simple ratings based system to League play in 2022. This will provide more competitive game matchups and will provide more and easier opportunities to move your rating up a level, should your game results support the higher level. The Leagues will be in, so if you had a rating last year, it will continue unchanged until you play more games.
            • Mens Doubles
            • Womens Doubles
            • Mixed Doubles
        2. We are moving from one Doubles category to 3 Doubles categories:
        3. We are providing wider levels of registration for League Events e.g. you can now register for Womens Doubles 3.5- 5.0 or 2.0 – 4.0. This will make it easier to transition from one Club Level (e.g. 3.0) to the next higher level.
        4. There will be NO Exceptions in 2022. You must play League or Tournaments to move up a level.

        Existing Members

        If you were a member in the previous season you will automatically begin the current season at the Club Level you had at the end of the previous season. If you want to move up a level, then you must either:

        1.    Play League and meet the following criteria:
        • Only League results in Mens Doubles or Womens Doubles in  will be considered for the Club Level. Mixed Doubles and Singles results will not be considered for Club Level.
        • When your Mens Doubles or Womens Doubles rating moves up to the next level (e.g. from 3.0 to 3.5) in  and stays there for a minimum of 4 games, you may request to be moved up one Club Level, and that request will be granted.
        • When you first begin playing League, you must initially create your account in One of our system managers will ensure that your level on that site matches your Club Level. This is to ensure that you start at the same level on both sites. If you already have an account in then this step will not be necessary.
        2.    Play Tournaments and meet the following criteria:
            • Only tournament results in  or  will be considered. 
            • The results from any tournament that is a "members-only" tournament or a “fun” tournament that is not intended to be competitive, will be excluded/not considered. All other tournament results will be considered.
            • You must attain your requested level and hold it for a minimum of 4 games. This can be from multiple tournaments or one tournament. 
            • Because you can initially self-rate to any level for tournaments, the 4 games at the higher level must clearly demonstrate that your results are trending up or holding steady at the requested level.
        • NOTE: Your rating and level may go down in, based on your game results (the Club has no control over that). However, you will NOT have your Club Level changed to a lower level unless you request it. This is so that members are not discouraged from playing League. 

          New Members

          When you join SPC as a new member, you will be asked to self-rate. Use the high-level descriptions below as a guide to help you select the Club Level that most accurately describes your skill level. Alternatively you can ask someone who you think knows your skill level. Once you join and have selected your Club Level, you will then be subject to the following:

        1.  If you choose Levels 2.0 or 2.5, you will be placed at that level with no further requirements. 
        2.  If you choose level 3.0 or higher, then:
        i)      If you have a tournament rating in  or or USAPA that matches your selected level, then you will be placed at that level with no further requirements. You will not be allowed to self-rate higher than your tournament rating, instead you will be required to play League games to move your rating higher.
        ii)    Otherwise you will be required to play a minimum of 8 League games and maintain your self-rated level. All games must be completed within 3 weeks of joining the Club, unless a special request is made to the Club. The Club’s Placement Committee will review the game results and make one of three decisions:
              1. If the results conclusively support your self-rated level, you will be placed at that level with no further requirements.
              2. If the results clearly do NOT support your self-rated level, you will be placed at the most appropriate lower level, based on your results. You can  then play more League games to move up a level.
              3. If the results are inconclusive, you will be required to play a further 8 games within 3 weeks and be reviewed again. If the results are still inconclusive, you will be placed one level lower
        If you choose not to play League, the Placement Committee will observe your play at one or more Social events and place you at a Club Level. However, they are likely to place you at a lower level than you might have otherwise achieved through League play. This option is primarily reserved for new members who only want to play socially, and not more competitively in League. 
        • NOTE:  This process for new members has been put in place to ensure that you start at the level that will provide you and other club members with the best opportunity for social but challenging play.

          League Play

          In previous years, members were assigned to a level based on a skills assessment performed by our Ratings Committee, and therefore were “Club Rated”.  Starting in 2021, the Club moved to a Performance Based Ratings System for the first time, using the Club rating System in , and using one Doubles category for all members.

          In 2022, the Club is moving to League Play in . Details are:

        1.    There will be 3 categories:
        -      Mens Doubles

        -    Womens Doubles

        -      Mixed Doubles
        2.    If there is sufficient demand from the members, we may add a Singles category.
        3.    There will be events in the Calendar for all 3 categories.
        4.    Only Mens Doubles and Womens Doubles results/ratings will be used to determine if you are eligible to move up a Club Level. Mixed Doubles results/ratings will be kept and used in only.
        5.    You can register for League Play events because you want to move up a Club Level, or simply because you want the competitive play.
        6.    No member will be moved down a Club Level if their League results move them down in .
        7.    Each of the 3 categories above will be divided into 2 ranges of levels. Each range will have play sessions posted in the Calendar. The 2 ranges of levels are:
              3.5 – 5.0
              2.0 – 4.0
        • This means that any member from 3.5 – 4.0 can register for either the 3.5 – 5.0 session or the 2.0 – 4.0 session.

        8.    When you register to play in a League session, you will be ranked with all the other members who register for that session, and then grouped together on one court in a round robin format with the 3-4 other players most closely ranked to you. You will play 3-4 games, paired once with each person. You will record your results and those results will be input into and your rating will move up or down based on your game results.
        9.    When your rating moves up enough in pickleballbrackets.comthen your level will change automatically on the site. Once you have completed a minimum of 4 games at the higher level, you will be moved up a level upon request. You will then be able to register for events in the Calendar at the higher Club Level.

            Ratings Q&A

            What are ratings and why do we use them ?

            Ratings are a way of ensuring that members get to play with other members at or near their own skill level. For example, if you are rated at a 3.0 Club Level, you will play in the 3.0 events with other 3.0 players. There are different ways to rate players, such as a ladder system, tournament play, skills assessment, etc. In 2022, SPC will be continuing its Performance Based Ratings System, but using Leagues in

            What is the difference between Level and Rating?

            Each current member has a 2 digit Club Level (e.g. 3.5). This Level determines which Events you can register for in the Weekly Schedule in the Calendar. If you choose to register for "League" Events, you will then be asked to Sign Up on (first time only). You will then be assigned an 8 digit rating (e.g. a 3.5 is assigned a 3.75000000 rating) and that becomes your Club/League Rating in

            Why can’t I register for League Events on the Club Website ?

            League games, game scores, and ratings are all entered, calculated, and stored in Therefore you must register for League Events on that website. 

            How do the League results affect my Club Level ?

            Each time you play in a "League" Event in the Calendar.  Your game results will be entered into, and your rating will be adjusted based on a number of factors including scores, partner's rating, opponents' ratings, total # of games you played, etc. If your 8 digit rating moves high enough (e.g. from 3.99999999 to 4.01000000) to be in another 2 digit Level (in this case from 3.5 to 4.0) in pickleballbrackets and you maintain that higher level for a minimum of 4 games, you can request to be moved up a Club Level and it will be granted. You will then be able to sign up for Events in the higher Level in the Calendar.

            If I do poorly in League, will I be moved down a Club Level ?

            NO.  We will not be moving anyone down a Club Level unless the member requests it. We want to encourage, not discourage, members to play League.

            In my member profile, there are three ratings origin choices (S = Self Rated, C = Club Rated, and T = Tournament Rated).  What’s the difference between these and why have three?

            When you first join, you are Self Rated. You must then play a minimum of 8 League games, and the Placement Committee will evaluate your results to determine if you self-rated to the most appropriate Club Level. Once approved, you will be changed to Club Rated.

            Tournament Rated is an elective field where you can enter your tournament rating if you have one. 

            What rating do I get when I first join SPC?

            When you Join and complete the registration form, you will be asked to self rate. Use the ratings descriptions below as a guide to help you select the Club Level that most accurately describes your skill level. You can also ask others who have watched you play to help you make that decision. 

            You will then be required to play a minimum of 8 League games to demonstrate that you belong at that level. Then the Placement Committee will assess your game results and place you at the most appropriate level. After that, you can play more League games if you want to try to move up a Club Level. 

            I’m renewing my membership. At what level do I play?

            If you are a renewing member, you have a Club Rating from last year that defined your Club Level. You will continue to play at that Level until you successfully move to a higher Level by playing in "League" Events.

            Can I request a new club rating?

            Yes, but only when you meet the following conditions:

              • Your rating moves up a level via League games in, and you hold that level for 4 games, or
              • Your rating in tournaments moves up a level and you hold it for 4 games, and you are trending up or holding your own.

            Then make the request to change your Club Level and it will be granted.

            I transferred from another club. Can I transfer my rating?

            If you transferred from another club where you had a rating, you are treated as a new member and must follow the rules for new members (see above).

            I have a USAPA and/or Pickleball Brackets/Pickleball Tournaments tournament rating. Can I use that to self-rate ?

            Yes. If you have one of these ratings, you can self-rate at that level. You must also send an email to the club email to request that this rating be considered. The Placement Committee will review your results on those sites and determine if they meet the requirements (above) to be permanently placed at that level. If yes, you will not be required to play the 8 League games and be assessed.

            I’m a new member and I only want to play socially. Must I play League games to get a Club Level ?

            No. You can self-rate when you join the club. But if you don’t play the required 8 League games, the Placement Committee will assess your play and place you at the level they feel you belong. That level may be lower than you would have achieved in League play.

            How can I see what my current rating is?

            You can see your 2 digit Club Level by looking in your Profile on the club website. 

            If I’m successful at getting rated higher, when can I start playing at that new Club Level?

            Immediately upon request, as soon as our club administrators must make the change in our club website. Once that is done, you can register for sessions at your new Club Skill Level.

            How do the "League" Events work and are they run much differently that the "Social" Events" ?

            There are “Social” events in the calendar, and there are “League” events in the calendar. The League events are more competitive play, and the Social events are more for fun and social mixing.

            The 'Social" Events are similar to the Events of past years. You register on the club website at surreypickleball.comyou show up, and the Captain runs the event.

            The "League" Events run a little differently:

            ·       You register at

            ·       You show up to the Event

            ·       The registrants are ranked according to their rating

            ·       The Captain divides you into groups of 4 or 5 per court, gives you a scoresheet

            ·       You play a round robin of games, record your results, and return them to the Captain

            ·       The results are entered on the website and your rating is changed, depending on your game results.

            Ratings Brief Descriptions

            High Level Rating/Player Level Descriptions/Characteristics

            If you're interested in your approximate skill level rating, you can use the following high-level descriptions to self-assess:

            1.0 New and have only minimal knowledge of the game and the rules. Need to work most on developing their hand/eye coordination. Frequently miss the ball entirely, but can hit some of the slower balls with their forehand. They have a hard time playing games because they can’t keep a rally going.

            1.5 Keep some short rallies going with their forehand, but still fail to return easy balls frequently and occasionally miss the ball entirely. They have played a few games and know the basic rules of the game, including scoring.

            2.0 Learning to judge where the ball is going, and can sustain a short rally with players of equal ability. They have obvious weaknesses in most of their strokes. Familiar with court positioning in doubles play.

            2.5 Able to keep quite a few balls going with their forehands, make most easy volleys, and are beginning to make some backhands but need to work more on developing their strokes. They are beginning to approach the non-volley zone to hit volleys and are making an effort to be more aggressive, including trying dinks and lobs. Familiar with the rules.

            3.0 More consistent on the serve and service return, and when hitting medium-paced shots, but are not comfortable with all strokes and lack control when trying for direction, depth, or power on their shots. They are using lobs and dinks with limited success but don’t fully understand when and why they should use them and don’t have a lot of success with them. This player could be thought of as a “C” player.

            3.5 Have achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on most medium-paced balls and some harder hit balls. They still need to develop more depth and variety with their shots, but are exhibiting more aggressive net play, are anticipating their opponent’s shots better, use lobs and dinks on a regular basis with more success, and are developing teamwork in doubles. Need to develop variety with their shots.

            4.0 Have consistent and dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides. They can reliably serve, use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys, and can use spin shots with some success. Occasionally can force errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident. Dinks and lobs are used as a major part of their game. They know the rules of the game and play by them.

            4.5 Beginning to master the use of power and spin, can successfully execute all shots, can control the depth of their shots, and can handle pace. They have sound footwork and they move well enough to get to the non-volley zone whenever required. They understand strategy and can adjust their style of play according to their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and their position on the court. They can hit serves with power and accuracy and can also vary the speed and spin of the serve if desired. Dinks and lobs are weapons, and they have had success in tournaments.

            5.0 Have mastered all the skills – all the shot types, touch, and spin. Serves are used as weapons. Excellent shot anticipation, extremely accurate shot placement and regularly hit winning shots. Can force opponents into making errors by “keeping the ball in play.” Have mastered the dink and drop shots. Have mastered the shot choices and strategies for drop shots, lobs, and fast-paced ground strokes. Uses soft shots, dinks and lobs to set up offensive situations. Have mastered Pickleball strategies and can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive or tournament matches. Are dependable in stressful situations such as tournament match play. They have athletic ability, quickness, agility and raw athleticism that separate top players from those near the top. Are able to keep unforced errors to a minimum. They can take advantage of opponents errors. Have had successful experience with Provincial, State, Regional, or National 5.0 competition.

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