Surrey Pickleball Club

Welcome to your information centre for the Surrey Pickleball Club

Ratings Overview

    Skill Level Criteria

    The SPC uses a standardized two-digit ratings for pickleball skill levels which rate skill sets from 1.0 through 5.0 in half-point increments.  The rating criteria were developed and are maintained by the various international pickleball governing bodies (notably the US Amateur Pickleball Association (USAPA) and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP)). 

    If you are interested in seeing the rating information available through the USAPA (including descriptions and rating "checklist" sheets for determining each of the skill levels), it can be found on the USAPA site, here

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

    Ratings Overview

    The Surrey Pickleball Club (SPC) employs the skill levels of play  as a means of determining eligibility to play in the various club play events shown on the Calendar. The purpose is to match members together that are at the approximately same skill level, thereby providing social yet challenging play. SPC uses the following skill level categories:  2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0.

    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 will move from a Ratings Committee System to a Performance Based Ratings System, which calculates a player's rating based on their playing performance against other players.  The club uses a system provided by to track game scores and calculate ratings.  In order to have their skill level rating calculated, all club members must be members (free) of under the Surrey Pickleball Club.  Instructions for how to properly join can be found here.


    If a member wants to move up a Club Skill Level, they must play in "Rated" Events in the Calendar. The results of those games will be input into, and their 8 digit Club Rating will be adjusted. A member can also play in the "Rated" Events in the Calendar simply because they want more competitive play, but their rating will get adjusted.

    If a member just wants to play socially at their current Club Skill Level, then they can simply play in the "Social" Events in the Calendar.

    There will be both "Rated" Events and "Social' Events in the Calendar, and members can choose to play in one or the other, or both at different times. Members who choose to play in "Rated" Events will have a 2 digit Club Skill Level and an 8 digit Club Rating. Members who choose to play only "Social" Events will have only an 2 digit Club Skill Level.

    The skill level (rating) of a player in the Club is determined as follows:

    New members 

    • New members will select their own 2 digit Club Skill Level (“self rate”) when they join, up to a maximum of 3.0. If a new member wants to be rated at a higher Club Skill Level, they can do so only if:
      • They have a USAPA rating (UTPR), Pickleball Canada rating (CTPR) or proven tournament history of higher than 3.0, or
      • They can apply to the Placement Committee (PC) for a higher initial rating. If the PC can find verifiable evidence of the level (UTPR, CTPR, positive tournament history at that (or higher) level, or strong endorsement from other members of the requested level or above), then they may be approved at that level. If the PC can not find verifiable evidence for the higher level, the new member may be conditionally approved at the requested level but will be required to play at least 10 rated games (or the Exception) at that level and maintain that level for those 10 games in order to remain at that level.
      • If, within 2 weeks of joining the club, a new member believes they have self-rated at the incorrect level, they may appeal to the PC to have their level changed, in which case they may be conditionally approved and will be required to play 10 Rated games (or the Exception) at the requested level, maintaining the requested level for all 10 games

    Current Members

    •  Will begin the 2021 season with their existing 2 digit Club Skill Level.
    • Current members (or new members more than 2 weeks after their join date) must play Rated sessions to earn their way to a higher level. When the player achieves the higher level they can request to be moved up. Upon request and verification by the PC, they will be moved up immediately.
    • They must then play a minimum of 10 additional Rated games at their new level and must maintain their new level through 10 consecutive games (i.e. not fall below the new level). If the member fails to maintain the new level for 10 consecutive games, they may have their level reverted. However at the discretion of the PC, the member may be allowed to play additional games in order to attain 10 consecutive games at that level.

    • If a member cannot play Rated sessions (e.g. insufficient players wanting to play rated, scheduling of Rated sessions inconvenient), then the player must play at least 10 games with other players of the requested level and have the scores of those games recorded and submitted to the PC. The PC will assess the new member's outcomes in those games and make a determination of whether the new member’s play is strong enough to grant them the level, or at some other level. 

        Ratings Q&A

        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 level of play. For example, if you are rated at a 3.0 Club Skill 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 2021, SPC will be moving from a Ratings Committee System to a Performance Based Ratings System, using "Rated" Events in the Calendar.

        What is the difference between Level and Rating?

        Each current member has a 2 digit Club Skill Level that is referred to as their Level (e.g. 3.5). This Level determines which Events they can register for in the Weekly Schedule in the Calendar. If a member chooses to register for "Rated" Events, they will then be asked to Sign Up on (first time only). Once they do this, they will be assigned an 8 digit rating (e.g. a 3.5 is assigned a 3.75000000 rating) and that becomes their Club Rating. Each time they play in a "Rated" Event, the results will be entered into, and their rating will be adjusted based on a number of factors including scores, partner's rating, opponents' ratings, total # of games they've played, etc. If their 8 digit rating moves high enough to be in another 2 digit Club Skill Level, they will be moved up a Level and will then be able to sign up for Events including that Level in the Calendar. Similarly if they move down.

        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?

        These three origin ratings are to define a member's Club Skill Level, which determines which Events they can register for in the Calendar.

        The Self Rating is for new members. When you join the club, you self-rate. You can play in Calendar Events that include that Club Skill Level. While you are playing on the self rating, the Captain has the authority to reassign you to a different level if they determine you are clearly at the wrong level.

        The Club rating is for those who have successfully gone through the club ratings process, either in the past or current year. 

        The Tournament Rating is optional and is a place for you to store your USAPA rating. 

        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 (see below this Q&A) to select which Club Skill Level you should be playing at. You can also ask others who have watched you play to help you make that decision. You will then play at that Level until you successfully move up a Level via "Rated" Play. While you are playing with your self rating, if the Captain of your Event determines that you are clearly at the wrong level, he/she may reassign you to a more appropriate level. You cannot self rate higher than 3.0. If you do, you will be moved to 3.0. There are two exceptions:

        1. If a new member has a USAPA rating higher than 3.0, they may self rate to that Club Skill Level.
        2. A new member may apply to the Placement Committee (PC) for special exception to get initially placed at a higher Club Skill Level. If the PC agrees,  then the new member may be required to play 10 rated events at the requested level to demonstrate that they belong there.

        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 Skill Level. You will continue to play at that Level until you successfully move to a higher Level by playing in "Rated" Events.

        Can I request a new club rating?

        You no longer need to make a request. If you want to move up to a higher Club Skill Level, you simply register for "Rated" Events in the Calendar. Your results in these Events will be input into and your 8 digit rating (Club Rating) will be adjusted. These sessions are offered regularly. If your 8 digit rating (Club Rating) improves enough, you will then move to a higher Club Skill Level and be able to register in the higher Level Events in the Calendar. However, you will also be required to play a minimum of 10 rated games at the higher level to demonstrate you belong there. 

        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 rating. Can I self rate with that rating even if it’s higher than 3.5?

        Yes. We accept USAPA ratings and they take preference over the club rating if you want them to. For example, if you are 4.0 USAPA rated, you can play in 4.0 Club Skill Level Events. Make sure you enter your USAPA rating when you sign up, so that we know to set your Club Rating correctly.

        I'm a New Member, but I am definitely higher than a 3.0. Can I start with a higher Level ?

        Yes, if you either:

        1. Have a higher USAPA rating, or
        2. Apply to the Placement Committee and they deem you can start at a higher Club Skill Level. However, if you do start at a higher Level, you must play a minimum of 10 rated games at the higher level to demonstrate you belong there.

        Must I get a club rating?

        All members must have a 2 digit Club Skill Level. They do not, however, need to signup for "Rated" Events in the Calendar and get an 8 digit Club Rating. If a member simply wants to continue playing socially in their existing Level, they may do so. They can also play in the "Rated" Events if they like, even if they don’t want to move up a Level, but their rating will change, and eventually their Club Skill Level may change.

        How many ratings sessions will there be and when will they be?

        We are planning to have as many "Rated" Events as needed. To start the season, there will be a minimum of 3 per week. If more are required, we will add more courts or more times.

        How can I see what my current rating is?

        You can see your 2 digit Club Skill Level or your 8 digit Club Rating (if you have one), by looking in your Profile on the club website. You also see your 8 digit Club Rating each time you register for an Event. And you can check your 8 digit rating and all your match history by logging into, but you must Signup to that site first:

        When you register for a "Rated" Event in the Calendar for the first time, you will be told to Signup on When you do this, you will enter your 2 digit Club Skill Level and will be automatically assigned an 8 digit rating (a Level 3.5 will get a 3.75000000 rating). That rating will change, based on your performance in "Rated" Events. 

        If I’m successful at getting rated higher, when can I start playing at that 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 "Ratings" Events work and are they run much differently that the "Social" Events" ?

        The 'Social" Events are similar to the Events of past years, except for differences due to Covid-19. You register, you show up, and the Captain runs the event.

        The "Rated" Events run a little differently:

        • You register for the Event. Most "Rated" Events are mixed Club Skill Level (e.g. 3.5/4.0). This makes it easier and quicker for a member to move to a higher Club Skill level if they play well.
        • You show up to the Event
        • The Captain assigns you to a court with 3-4 other players, and gives you a scoresheet to follow and record your scores. The group/court assignments (which determines who you play with in the round robin) are based on:
          • Primary Method - the Captain assigns players based on their current Club Rating; or
          • Secondary Method - if the majority of players agree, they can self-organize into groups/courts
        • Record the names of the players.
        • There is one scoresheet for 4 players, one for 5 players, and one for 6 players. If registration is full, there will be 15 players on 3 courts (5 per court). Otherwise there will be a mix of 4, 5, or 6 players on each court.
        • You play one game with each other player on your court, in a round robin type of format as shown on the scoresheet. 
        • Each game is to 11, win by 2, capped at 13. 
        • The scoresheet shows who plays with and against who in each game. If there are 5 players, you sit out each fifth game.
        • You record all scores.
        • If time allows, you can get another scoresheet and continue to play and record scores.
        • You return the completed scoresheet to the Captain, who stores it in the Club Box.
        • Someone collects the scoresheet and enters the results into
        • The ratings for all matches are recalculated that night and available on the next day for you to see.
        • Once per week, the ratings will be imported into our Club Website so that they appear when you register for new events.
        • As we get into the season, we may allow you and others to enter your own scores into, depending on the preference of the majority of the players.

        Can I get together with 3 other members and play some games and have the results go towards my 8 digit Club Rating ?

        Yes if:

        1. You have agreement of all the players in the group.
        2. ALL the players are members and ALL have an account in
        3. You find your own courts.
        4. You pickup a scoresheet and return it to the Club Box so that the results can be entered. Or find some other method of getting the names and results to the Play Schedule Coordinator.

        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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