Pickleball Level Move-Up Guidelines

As players prepare to register for structured tournament play, they often question the appropriate level to sign up for. There is not a black and white determination for players moving up to the next higher level. Without an official rating (DUPR/UTPR) or skill assessment, players, to the best of their abilities, should self-select their level of play. Players should consider moving up to the next level if:

1. You find you are winning consistently against the lower level in question; or
2. Your have medaled in at least one organized pickleball tournament, either local, sanctioned or non-sanctioned; or
3. You play competitively at the higher level in question in structured events including King of the Hill, Round Robins, Sweet 16s, etc.; or
4. If you are rated from another club or through a sanctioned pickleball association.

Some thoughts to keep in mind include:

• Competitive pickleball is more fun and enjoyable when teams pair off against teams of near-equal abilities.
• With regards to structured play and tournaments, it is better to move up than down. When you play down a level, in any sport, it is considered “sandbagging.” We discourage sandbagging in pickleball – people who understate their skill level to medal or win a competition. Playing down to win a medal is tough on the other teams, and in the long run, it does not help you develop your game.

In tournament play, the rule is that when a doubles team is comprised of players with different skill levels, the team must register at the higher of the two skill levels.

Adopted by WSPC Board of Directors, March 2023