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All About Pickleball Ratings

All About Pickleball Ratings

As you may know, there are skill evaluation systems in pickleball that are represented by a numerical rating. This numerical representation acts as a gauge of your abilities and may differ depending on which rating system you use and your level of play. Most players will not have an official skill rating until they play in at least one tournament.

UTPR Rating System

The original pickleball rating system was developed by USA Pickleball and is called UTPR. UTPR stands for USA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings, and it is the rating system sanctioned by USA Pickleball through Players are assigned a 4-digit calculated rating, rounded down to a 2-digit skill level, and the rating may vary by tournament event (i.e., gender doubles, mixed doubles, singles). UTPR ratings range from 0.0 to 7.0.

If you have never competed in a pickleball tournament, you can also obtain an official USA Pickleball Self-Rating by reviewing the  defined skill ratings on USA Pickleball and submitting a letter of support from someone familiar with your game.

DUPR Rating System

The DUPR (Dreamland Universal Pickleball Rating) is a much newer pickleball rating system. Introduced in 2021 by the founder of Major League Pickleball, DUPR is designed to help players more accurately track their progress and find players at their same level by simplifying the rating process. Unlike UTPR ratings, recreational matches count toward calculating your DUPR rating.

A DUPR rating is calculated by a combination of:

  • Margin of Victory (points won)
  • Type of Result (recreational play vs. league, sanctioned tournaments, etc.)
  • Outcome (win or loss)

With DUPR, all players, regardless of their age, gender, location, or skill are rated on the same scale between 2.00-8.00.


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As a recreational player, you may be more concerned about pickleball ratings as it applies to joining the right clinics or open play sessions. Following are some highlights of the criteria for each rating level:

2.0 Rating (Novice)

  • Has an understanding of the basic rules
  • Is familiar with score keeping
  • Can demonstrate a forehand, backhand, volley, and serve 
  • Knows where to stand when serving and returning

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2.5 Rating

  • Knows the rules, including the two-bounce rule
  • Can hit a forehand and backhand with direction
  • Is accurate with the serve
  • Is able to participate in a dink rally
  • Can volley with some direction
  • Can accurately keep score

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3.0 Rating

  • Can hit a medium-paced forehead and backhand
  • Can serve with depth and accuracy
  • Can control a dink rally
  • Can hit a medium-paced third-shot drop
  • Can hit a medium-paced volley with direction
  • Understands positioning and has played matches

3.5 Rating

  • Can use a forehand and backhand with a moderate level of control
  • Can consistently hit a strong serve and return a strong serve
  • Can serve deep and return the serve deep
  • Can sustain medium-length dink rallies
  • Can control the height and depth of dink shots, and understands the variation of pace for dink shots.


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4.0 Rating

  • Has all of the skills above and is accurate on overhead shots
  • Can sustain a dink rally with control, height and pace
  • Consistently executes third-shot drops from the baseline
  • Is able to change soft shots to power shots and then back to soft
  • Can block and return fast, hard volleys
  • Is always aware of their partner’s position on the court

4.5 Rating

  • Can do all of the above and can set up shots to generate errors from the other team
  • Recognizes and attempts to hit attackable dinks
  • Poaches effectively
  • Has effective lobs, good footwork, and is comfortable playing at the non-volley zone line 
  • Understands strategy and can adjust during the game

5.0 Rating

  • Has all of the above skills and has them mastered
  • Can serve in a variety of ways with power and accuracy
  • Has mastered the dink shot, and exhibits patience during a rally

Knowing your skill rating will add to your enjoyment of the game, get you set for tournaments and allow you to connect with the right level pickleball players on any court at any location to help you ensure competitive matches. Because pickleball ratings are dynamic, they allow for adjustments as players improve, making the game enjoyable and challenging for players of all skill levels.

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