Guide to Pickleball Player Ratings

Ratings: What does it all mean?

There’s UTR ratings, DUPR ratings, USAP… Like many things in pickleball, there’s a few options out there and to any newcomer it can be confusing.  This happens in fast growing areas.  Not to mention, what does it all stand for? What is a 3.5 level player mean any way?

Why ratings?

Like handicaps in golf or more similarly player levels in tennis, it’s important to know another athlete’s skill level. This helps first in understanding expectations when playing pick-up games, but more importantly at tournaments and competitions it enables the matching of similar skill level players.  It just wouldn’t be fair putting someone who’s just developing their game against a person who’s mastering skills and getting close to pro level. 

What are the ratings systems?

Today, there are a couple different rating systems used to scorign players skill level.  

UTR-P Rating System

UTR-P is a rating system developed by UTR (Universal Tennis Rating). UTR has long been a third party rating system that runs in parallel to national and international player ratings in tennis. The APP has partnered with them to be the official partner for ratings for all their players and events. So if you want to play in APP events, you’ll need a UTR-P rating. 

DUPR Rating System

DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) is a rating system developed specifically for pickleball players. DUPR was developed in 2021 by Steve Kuhn, who also is the founder of Major League Pickleball.  DUPR is used by every PPA player on tour. It has become popular among amateur players. They have partnered with a lot of clubs and organizations across the country. This is likely a ratings system used if you are part of a local league.

USAP/USAPA Rating System

USA Pickleball has defined a player skill ratings rubric. This one probably the most widely known as it is well established. Likely when someone is talking about the level, they are using the USAPA rating. 

How the different rating systems work

How UTR-P ratings work

  • Ratings are 1-10.0, with 1 being a new player and 10.0 being a touring pro.
  • Players without match results will take a questionnaire and be provided a provisional rating of P1-P5.
  • Once a player performs in a match, UTR-P Ratings convert automatically from provisional to numerical based on match results.
  • Players with match results will see a numerical rating of 1-10.0, from beginner to expert/pro.
UTRP Ratings
From the UTR website

How DUPR Ratings work

After a player’s first match, they can get their first DUPR rating.  All a player has to do is find a match, get everyone on the court to agree that it will be recorded, and then enter the results when the match is completed.  They claim it becomes very accurate after about 10 matches. Ratings will adjust real-time after each match. 

All players, regardless of their age, gender, location or skill are rated on the same scale between 2.000-8.000 based on their match results. The 2.000 to 5.000 range follows similar rankings as those used USPA.  The scale is then elongated for experts and pros in the 5.000-8.000 range.  The other difference is the extra decimals.  There can be a big difference between a 3.5 level player and a 3.0 level.  This allows for a much higher degree of accuracy.


How the DUPR rating system works
From Desert Sun, May 2022

How USAPA ratings work

The USA Pickleball player ratings are self-assessed.  Based on the defined skills within each level, a player determines where they are at.  This can then be used to enter a match for the first time.  After the match, depending on who is sponsoring the event, the player can get assigned a rating from one of the other systems or do refinement of their own self-assessment.


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