Duluth Area Pickleball Association

Pickleball Skill Levels

Pickleball is the most fun when you are playing people of the same skill level as yourself. If one team is continually blowing out another, it is not much fun for either the losing or the winning team. The International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) has a rating system to assess players' skill levels. There are other helpful guides based on the official IFP system. Ratings are on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, with half point increments. Use the links below to learn about the rating system, determine your skill level, and tips on improving your skills:

Official IFP descriptions of the ratings
Checklists to help in rating a player
Checklists to help in rating a player
Based on the IFP rating system, the Bend Oregon Pickleball Club modified/expanded the system to accomodate their players. The system tends to be "stricter" than the IFP system. For example, a 3.5 IFP rating seems to correspond to a 3.0 Bend rating.
This is a very good, simple guide to help you assess where you are at and how to improve. Actually getting the guide, though, requires you to subscribe to the email list.

Competition is usually best when playing others with similar skill levels, but you will not always be able to. If you are playing someone with a higher skill level, it is an opportunity to learn and improve. If you are playing someone with a lower skill level, take the chance to work on a specific part of your game; focus on it during that match. And always, always be gracious in winning or losing.