by Pickleball Superstore January 10, 2022
Like all sports, in pickleball there are varying pickleball skill levels. The most common ratings you’ll hear about are 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0, however ratings can vary from 1.0 to 5.0, and professional.
The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) created a set of guidelines which in this article have been updated for reference. It’s great to have a ratings system along with understanding where you fall in that system.
For instance, some tournaments require pickleball skill levels, especially the larger tournaments which are sanctioned. The more tournaments you play, the more accurate your skill ranking will become. Please know though, in the larger tournaments it’s not uncommon for a 3.5 rated player to enroll in the 3.0 level bracket. This is known as “playing down”. It’s frustrating to play against a team which is “playing down” but it happens, so be prepared.
The following pickleball skill levels are a guide for evaluating your own level and determining which tournament events and/or round-robins you should play in. The purpose of rated events is to insure a consistent and competitive level of play for all players within that event as much as possible.
All skill levels should be able to demonstrate most of the skills for their level, plus the majority of the skills from preceding levels. Therefore, a 3.5 level player, for example, demonstrates most skills in the 3.5 level list as well as most skills in the 3.0 level list, and so on.
For pickleball skill level videos and content, visit Pickleball Insights blog.