International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) Rating System

(Revised November 1, 2012)

Table of Contents

I. General Information on Ratings

    What is a Rating?

    What is a Rated Event?

    Who Needs an IFP Rating?

    How Do I Get a Rating?

    Rating Types

    USAPA/PCO Approved Rated Events


II. Rating Changes and Appeals

    Rating Changes

    Who May Appeal a Rating

    How to Appeal a Rating


III. Rating Guidelines and Descriptions

    Rating Guidelines

    IFP Rating Descriptions


IV. Tournament Rules

    Rules For USAPA/PCO Rated Tournaments

I. General Information on Ratings

What is a Rating?

Player ratings are used to group players by ability levels so that players can compete in tournaments or leagues with other players of similar ability. Keep in mind that this will never be a perfect system, but it should improve a player's chances of having a more competitive and fun match.  The Tournament Points System is used to rank players based on success in tournaments.

What is a Rated Event?

A rated event is defined as any event that you enter based on your ability relative to other players. Examples of some rated events that are currently sanctioned are Men's 4.0 Doubles, Mixed 3.5 Doubles, and Senior 4.5 Men's Doubles.

Who Needs an IFP Rating?

  1. IFP ratings are not currently required to enter USAPA or PCO sanctioned tournaments.
  2. IFP rated players are required to enter events that are rated no lower than their current rating, although they may enter higher-rated events if they choose.
  3. Tournament directors have the final decision on what rating level unrated players will play.
  4. Rated players must be allowed to play at their rating level although they may always choose to play in a higher rating group. Exceptions may occur when rated events have to be combined because of lack of entries.

How Do I Get a Rating?

Some players have already been given tentative ratings based on previous tournament results, recommendations by tournament directors, and other player opinions that we have sought. More players will be given ratings as we get more tournament results and time permits. You may find out if you have already been assigned a rating by going to the Ratings Page of the USAPA website.

If you don't have an IFP rating , then you may rate yourself when you enter a rated tournament for the first time. Your initial self rating must be approved by the tournament director. Depending upon your tournament results, your self-rating could be changed if it appears to be obviously wrong.

All ratings will be stored in our database for review by the Ratings Committee, and self-rated players will be entered into the ratings database with an "S" to indicate self-rating.

Rating Types

S Self Rating A non-rated player may establish a rating in a rated tournament. However, this is always subject to the Tournament Director's Approval. If you are unrated, you may enter the rating division of your choice based on your ability relative to other players that you know.
A Appealed Rating Player has appealed his/her rating
T Tournament Rating Player has been rated based upon tournament performance. Rating may also be based upon the opinions of Tournament Directors or tournament players.

USAPA/PCO Approved Rated Events for Tournament Play

See the Tournament Points System document for the current list of approved rated events.

II. Ratings Changes and Appeals

Rating Changes

  1. Rating changes shall be based upon tournaments entered, medals received, players beaten within the tournaments and recommendations from tournament directors. Ratings are dynamic and may change within the year. Tournament points will remain for each player rating attained. Changes to a player's rating (either up or down) will only occur because of a player's rating appeal or because a player appears to have improved or has played poorly in the last tournament.
  2. Players entering a rated tournament without an IFP rating must receive the tournament director's approval to play in any rating category. Players that are found to be playing at a higher rating level than they indicated may be defaulted from the tournament event and moved to the appropriate rated event at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

Who May Appeal a Rating and When

Any player that has been rated may appeal their rating to the IFP's Rating Committee. Players appealing their rating will be identified by a rating type of "A" on the Ratings List.

Anyone may file an appeal at any time if a rating change is justified by a permanent or long-term injury or health change or recovery from such.

How to Appeal a Rating

To file an appeal, go to the Ratings Page and click on the Ratings Committee link. You may now email the Ratings Committee your request for a change in rating. Provide your reasons as to why your rating should be changed up or down.

III. Rating Guidelines and Descriptions

Rating Guidelines

You may look at the currently proposed descriptions for the different rating groups at the end of this document to help determine your rating. You may also use the following statements in helping to select your self-rating.

  1. The top senior players over 50 years old should normally be rated 4.5 with only a very few rated as 5.0. No matter your age, if you are beating players at your skill level, you will stay at that level.
  2. Any player that does not win a match at their skill level can be considered for a lower level.

IFP Rating Descriptions

IV. Tournament Rules

Rules for USAPA/PCO Rated Tournaments

  1. Players entering a USAPA or PCO sanctioned ratings tournament should first go to the ratings page and check their rating.
    Players without a rating, should enter rated tournaments in what they think is the appropriate rating category, but will need the approval of the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director's decision is final for unrated players.
  2. Players may enter an event rated higher than their IFP rating, but may not enter a lower-rated event.
  3. Doubles teams may not enter an event that is rated lower than the highest rated player on the team.
  4. Players playing in higher-rated events should expect their rating raised if they medal or beat higher-rated players.
  5. Combining Events: If a tournament director has to combine two or more rated events, the resulting event should be named after the highest rated event that is being combined. For example, if 4.5 Men's Singles is combined with 4.0 Men's Singles, the resulting event must be called 4.5 Men's Singles. Any points won would be awarded in 4.5 Men's Singles.
  6. The USAPA and PCO recognize that many smaller tournaments may have to improvise to have a good tournament that is fun for all the players. However when a player is in violation of one of these rules, he/she and their partner(s) will not receive tournament points in the events in which they are in violation.
  7. It is the player's responsibility to make sure they are entered in the events that correspond to their rating level or higher. Points will not be awarded if won in a lower-rated event.