USAPA Announces New Tournament Rating System In Partnership with PickleballTournaments.Com

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The official governing body of Pickleball and the leading Pickleball Tournament software company create a player rating system to help tournament directors and players improve their tournament experience.

USAPA & PickleballTournaments.com logos

USAPA & PickleballTournaments.com logos

“We are extremely excited to bring a fully-automated, results-based ratings and ranking system to our sport,” said USAPA Executive Director Justin Maloof. “We believe this system will be a huge benefit to tournament directors and serve as yet another value-add feature to our members.”

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) announced today that they are launching a new official USAPA Tournament Rating system powered by PickleballTournaments.com. The new rating system will greatly benefit pickleball tournament directors and competitive players, enhancing the sport’s growth and development. Tournament directors will soon be able to create optimally balanced brackets for all of their events, and tournament players will know their standings in a statistically modeled true rating system.

Similar to the ELO ratings systems used in tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis and many other sports, the new USAPA Pickleball Tournament Rating system is highly accurate, objective and universal. Ratings are calculated by computer utilizing carefully created algorithms, based on tournament results over the past 24 months and weighting factors such as tournament type (sanctioned or non-sanctioned), recency of play and strength of the opponent. The team at PickleballTournaments.com has consulted with mathematicians and data scientists from Pickleball Ratings to develop this system on behalf of the USAPA. Initial results for the USAPA Tournament Rating system will be live during Q2 of this year.

“We are extremely excited to bring a fully-automated, results-based ratings and ranking system to our sport,” said USAPA Executive Director Justin Maloof. “We believe this system will be a huge benefit to tournament directors and serve as yet another value-add feature to our members.”

As part of the agreement, PickleballTournaments.com will be the exclusive official provider of tournament ratings and tournament management software for USAPA-sanctioned tournaments. PickleballTournaments.com will develop a new user interface and integration of a single master tournament calendar for PickleballTournaments.com and USAPA. “The agreement with the USAPA to provide tournament ratings fulfills a desire we’ve had at PickleballTournaments.com to utilize the large collection of tournament results we’ve collected over the years to improve tournament play experience for players and Tournament Directors,” shared PickleballTournaments.com President Melissa McCurley. “These tournament ratings will only grow in the benefits provided to USAPA members as well as USAPA-sanctioned tournaments.”

The new USAPA Tournament Ratings will be a 4-digit rating (for example 3.786), much more precise than the 2-digit skill ratings (such as 3.5) currently used by most players, clubs, and instructors to describe a player’s general skill level. Based on statistical data, the 4-digit rating will verify the player’s 2-digit skill level. The USAPA Tournament Ratings will be calculated for five categories (Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles). Additional details will be available once testing is complete.

While we wait for the completion and launch of the new rating system, USAPA will no longer be accepting rating recommendations from tournament directors but will accept requests for self-ratings and allow players to appeal his/her rating. Once the new ratings are in place, players will register for tournaments using the new USAPA Tournament Rating. All registrations prior to the release of the new system will not be affected. An FAQ document is currently being drafted and will be available soon. USAPA and Pickleballtournaments.com will not be fielding individual questions until the FAQ document is released.

International pickleball growth is a high priority for the USAPA and according to Maloof, the USAPA Tournament Ratings takes this into account. “The new system is designed to be consistent and adaptable for all IFP member countries. As IFP countries add ratings for their players, they can adopt this system, brand it accordingly and ensure their ratings are derived using the same data criteria and algorithms. This will provide more consistency (and familiarity) when players compete on an international stage.”    

Tournament directors will soon have the insights needed to easily create finely balanced brackets for every event based on the highly precise USAPA Tournament Ratings data. The new ratings will be available for free to all USAPA-sanctioned tournaments for seeding purposes by Q3 2018. As a further benefit to sanctioning their tournaments, USAPA-sanctioned events will also benefit from discounts on usage of PickleballTournaments.com software.

Tournament players will enjoy the added motivation and accomplishments made possible by knowing their individual ratings and the ratings of other players with whom they compete. USAPA member players will be able to look up their ratings on their USAPA.org member profile. By Q3 2018, players will also be able to view their ratings on their PickleballTournaments.com member profile. Additional features planned for Q3 2018 include the ability to look up any other USAPA member player’s rating, and a “Top 100” list of the 100 top-rated players in the five categories. Enhancements to the USAPA Tournament Ratings system will be driven by an advisory board established by the USAPA. The board will include representatives of PickleballTournaments.com, major event tournament directors, 5.0 tournament players, statisticians, and computer scientists.

The USAPA Tournament Ratings will advance pickleball to a whole new level, adding an exciting new dimension to the sport that will benefit the thousands of tournament directors and players who organize and play in pickleball tournaments annually. “PickleballTournaments.com is honored to be the official USAPA tournament management software provider,” concluded Ms. McCurley. “We look forward to continuing to work with tournament directors across the U.S. to provide the processes, tools and training that help them run well organized and successful pickleball tournaments.”

About USAPA
The United States Pickleball Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) was established in 2005 to further the advancement of the sport on a national level. As the official governing body of pickleball in the United States, the USAPA promotes the growth of pickleball by maintaining the rules, setting player ratings, advancing the sport through its national network of 1,700 ambassadors, and sanctioning tournaments. Over the past three years, the USAPA has realized a growth of 325% in its membership. The USAPA is comprised of 11 regions across the country with all 50 states represented. The extensive group of volunteer ambassadors oversees the sport in their respective states. For more information, visit http://www.usapa.org.

About PickleballTournaments.com
Founded in 2004, PickleballTournaments.com has helped run thousands of pickleball tournaments by providing software, event management, training and consulting services to Tournament Directors around the world. PickleballTournaments.com powers the largest, most prestigious pickleball events in the world including the USAPA Nationals, US Open Pickleball Championships, the Huntsman Games, National Senior Games and hundreds more each year. Serving the needs of over 40,000 active players, and over 500 tournament directors, the company is devoted 100% to pickleball. PickleballTournaments.com operates as a division of Pickleball Station, Inc. – an affiliate company of Pickleball Central.

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Karen Thomas
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