Much like a handicap in golf or a USTA rating in tennis, understanding your skill level and pickleball rating will help you enter tournaments and find other players at your level to play with.
And most importantly your pickleball rating can be used as a guide so you know what skills to improve!
To help players of all experience determine their ability, USA Pickleball and DUPR (Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating) have both developed numeric ratings systems to guide new and experienced players on their level of play.
Let’s take a look at these pickleball ratings systems to find out how each rating system works (and what you need to do to get higher ratings in each!).
Types of Pickleball RatingsThe two main pickleball rating systems are:
Both systems use game results to determine a 2 (UTPR) or 3 (DUPR) digit numeric rating for pickleball players, but the 2 systems go about it in different ways.
Let’s review each in more detail.
UTPR Pickleball Ratings Explained
UTPR are ratings earned by players who compete in pickleball tournaments sanctioned by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA, the governing body for pickleball rules).
Match results are recorded at tournaments and then fed into the UTPR system to produce a 4 digit ranking. The 4-digit calculation is then rounded down to give a 2-digit skill level (e.g., 3.5, 4.0, etc).
Players are rated on a scale of 2.5 to 6.5, with 2.5 equaling beginner level and 6.5 being a world class player.
The UTPR rating system is the only officially sanctioned pickleball skill level rating method. No others are officially endorsed by the USAPA for tournament play.
Here’s a look at UTPR Ratings for Men’s Doubles at the 5.5 level (as of June 2023):
How is a UTPR Pickleball Rating Calculated?
UTPR ratings are calculated based on the following factors:
UTPR Ratings can be further divided into three subsections, so players can have ratings for each of the following match types:
- Mixed Doubles
In our experience, UTPR is prone to inaccuracies - it is not updated as frequently as DUPR nor does its algorithm/calculation seem to have the level of detail included in the DUPR calculation.
DUPR Rating Explained
DUPR is the most accurate pickleball rating system currently available, as well as the only one that is in global use.
Like UTPR, DUPR works based on actual match results - all players are rated on a scale of 2.0 - 8.0, regardless of age, gender, location, or other irrelevant variables.
Here's a look at the top women's and men's pro players according to DUPR:
How is DUPR calculated?
The DUPR rating is calculated with an algorithm based on the following factors:
DUPR explains its rating as follows:
“DUPR is a modified Elo algorithm that uses a player’s last rating to update their new rating. The algorithm considers 4 factors:
Victory: Did you win or lose? If you win your rating will go up and if you lose, your rating will go down.
Points: What was the score of the match? A win of 15-2 helps you more than a win of 16-14.
Recency & Type of Result: Recent matches are weighted more than older matches. Also, was this a self-posted rec play score, a league match, or a sanctioned tournament result? Rec play will count less towards your rating change.
Rating Difference of Opponent: If your opponent is higher than you and you win, you’ll increase more than if your opponent is lower rated and vice versa.
Total Match Counts: Your rating will fluctuate less if you have played in a lot of matches,
Even unrated players playing against each other can accrue provisional ratings (indicated with an *) until they play someone who has a DUPR ranking. After 5-10 games against ranked players, your DUPR rating will be considered reliable.
How to Increase your DUPR Rating?
The DUPR algorithm takes into account your rating, your opponent’s rating, game score, and whether you won or lost the game. So improving your DUPR rating is pretty simple - win games against similar opponents and your rating should increase. Win against players with a higher DUPR rating than yours and your rating will increase more.
Other options for improving your DUPR include playing with opponents with a higher rating than your DUPR (as DUPR takes into account who you play against), and also playing and winning tournament games (which DUPR weights more heavily than league or rec play games).
Winning against higher rated players can be easier said than done, so it’s important to practice, drill, and be patient as it will likely take time to climb the DUPR ratings ladder.
All of that said, we recommend you play as many tournament and league games as you can against players of similar or better DUPR ratings and as you improve your DUPR rating will as well.
Pickleball Ratings Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you get a DUPR Rating?
Getting a DUPR rating is pretty simple - you can claim an existing profile or set-up a new account on DUPR's site or app. Then you just need to add game results to your profile and DUPR will give you an initial rating.
For more on getting a DUPR rating, our "How to Get a DUPR Rating" guide details the simple 3 step process for claiming a profile or getting your rating.
Do you have to have a pickleball rating to play in tournaments?
No, you do not have to have a pickleball rating to play in tournaments. It’s actually the other way round - if you want a UTPR, you must play in pickleball tournaments and be a member of USA Pickleball.
Players with no rating will be asked to rate themselves before a tournament, and once the player has tournament results he or she will receive a UTPR (and usually DUPR) rating.
So if you don’t have a rating but want one, sign up for a DUPR and USA Pickleball account, and then play in a tournament to receive your first pickleball rating!
How do you improve your pickleball rating?
Consistency is the name of the game as more points are won than lost in pickleball.
Players looking to improve their ranking should work on hitting shots consistently and developing new skills that make them a better player. These skills include drives, speed-ups, serves, third shot drops, and dinks!
As your skills improve, you should start to win against players at or above your level in tournaments, and this in turn will increase your DUPR and UTPR ratings.
Are there official pickleball world rankings?
Yes! There are a variety of world rankings systems, including:
- PPA Tour Rankings
- APP Tour Rankings
- DUPR Rankings
- UTPR Rankings
These rankings are different from the DUPR and UTPR ratings, so we wrote a post on the different pickleball rankings systems to clarify what each means and how each is developed.
Why are there so many Pickleball Ratings and Ranking Options?
As pickleball is a fledgling sport, the industry has not had time to collectively decide upon a worldwide standard for rating pickleball players.
The game itself is still finding its legs, so to speak, so it is likely that multiple ranking systems will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.
Where can I look up my pickleball rating?
To have a pickleball rating you must have results entered in DUPR or have played tournaments sanctioned by USA Pickleball.
For DUPR, you’ll need to sign up for an account. There you can add your recreation results and any tournament results will be automatically added to your profile and included in your rating.