Archive

How can I or my team get rated if I don’t play in tournaments?

We will work with multiple clubs around the country (and globally) to process their internal club tournament match results in order to give their players and teams ratings.  COMING SOON: Click here for a complete list of clubs that submit their data to us.  If you don’t see your club’s name, we suggest that you urge them to contact us so we can help you get a rating!

How does your ratings system work?

Conversion from USAPA ratings:
2.0 = 1000
2.5 = 1250
3.0 = 1500
3.5 = 1750
4.0 = 2000
4.5 = 2250
5.0 = 2500

The system is derived from the Elo ratings system (also used in chess, table tennis, and various other sports). From Wikipedia: “The difference in the ratings between two players serves as a predictor of the outcome of a match… A player’s Elo rating is represented by a number which increases or decreases based upon the outcome of games between rated players. After every game, the winning player takes points from the losing one. The difference between the ratings of the winner and loser determines the total number of points gained or lost after a game. In a series of games between a high-rated player and a low-rated player, the high-rated player is expected to score more wins. If the high-rated player wins, then only a few rating points will be taken from the low-rated player. However, if the lower rated player scores an upset win, many rating points will be transferred. The lower rated player will also gain a few points from the higher rated player in the event of a draw. This means that this rating system is self-correcting. A player whose rating is too low should, in the long run, do better than the rating system predicts, and thus gain rating points until the rating reflects their true playing strength.”

In the explanation above, one can see how the formula is relatively easy to apply to singles. For doubles, there is another level of customization that we have created. When a doubles team plays a match, the two players ratings are added together. So a combined team of 8.34 might play a combined team of 9.65. If the higher rated team wins, their individual ratings will go up a very tiny fractional amount. If they lose, their individual ratings will go down a larger fractional amount. If the lower rated team wins, their individual ratings will go up a large fractional amount. If they lose, their individual ratings will go down a small fractional amount.

The amount is governed by a modified version of the commonplace Elo ratings system used in other sports. We are working on different ways to weight the weaker player because that player often ends up playing a larger percent of the balls in play.

How can and should these ratings be used?

The most obvious answer to this question is that ratings should be used for the purpose of putting tournaments together. Once a tournament’s registration deadline has passed, the tournament organizers can put together balanced and logical brackets based on the ratings of the players/teams that have registered. Besides that, of course, you can use them track your progress as you play your way through the ever-expanding world of pickleball tourneys!

Who worked on it and what are their credentials?

Brian Hendrickson is the “Ratings Scientist” for pickleballratings.com. In addition to being a 4.5 tennis player who also ran the University of Oregon’s table tennis team, Brian has been writing code and programming for over 20 years.  Brian has also consulted with, among others, two gentlemen who both posted videos to YouTube about updating the ratings system: Paul Porch, a retired collegiate Mathematics Professor at Mt. Hood Community College, and Steve Paranto – a veteran of the pickleball scene whose knowledge of the game and opportunities for improving it are both impressive.

Why did you create it?

First of all, we created pickleballratings.com because there was a clear need for an improved ratings system.  Second, we were up to the challenge.  Third, we are in awe at the wonders that pickleball does for creating and fostering community, and we have a vision for premier indoor pickleball courts that we will hope come to fruition as a result of this site.

Is it possible that there is an error in the calculation of my (and other) rating(s)?

There are two known (and related) issues due to a lack of “unique identifier” attached to each individual.
1) Merged data from match results of players with the same name. If two or more players have the same name (“John Smith”, for example), there will be a rating under that name using all match results from any players with that name.
2) If a player has played in a tournament with a different first and/or last name, there will be ratings under each of those name variations. Each rating will be tied to just the match results of each particular name variation.

Each player will be assigned a unique identifier, and this will solve these issues.