Skill level self-assessment

Pickleball uses a rating system to rank picklers from beginners to experts. Ratings go from Level 1.0 (beginner) to Level 5.0 (top players). Ratings are used primarily to match players in league or tournament play. Even if you don’t play in tournaments it is useful to know your rating. Labelling your level with a number may help you with your pickleball goals. It highlights what skills you could improve on, and guides you when pairing with similar skilled level players so your matches are more enjoyable.

Pickleball players may give themselves a rating, which is appropriately called a self-rating. 

To help you determine what your pickleball self-rating is, check out the chart below!

Rating Definitions

These are the rating definitions used for the 2-digit rating system to rate players who have never played in a tournament before.

LEARNER
Rating 2.0 - 2.25
(Yellow)

  • Sustains short rallies

  • Makes basic strokes such as forehand, backhand, volley, and can serve the ball

  • Understands court positioning and doubles rules

LEARNER +
Rating 2.25 - 2.5
(Orange)

  • Can sustain longer rallies but not a fast pace

  • Makes most easy shots including backhands, but still needs some work

  • Able to approach the non-volley zone and hit volleys.

  • Aware of dinks. 

  • Good understanding of the rules

  • Struggles to cover the entire court

NOVICE
Rating 2.5 - 3.0
(Green)

  • Consistent control and placement of medium-paced shots. Able to return fast-paced shots with slightly less success.

  • Improved control and placement of the ball.

  • Needs more shot variety.

  • Can play aggressively at the non-volley zone.

  • Anticipates opponent’s shots.

  • Learning the strategy of doubles play.

Once you reached a skill level of 3.0 you should be able to say:

- I know almost all of the "special case" rules.
- My serves & returns are almost always deep.
- I sometimes try to hit a 3rd shot drop.
- I try to be strategic about how and where I hit the ball.
- I have a wide variety of shots in my arsenal.
- I actively work with my partner to win the point.