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The classification system recognized by the various organizations

(taken from the Pickleball Canada site)


These are the rating definitions used for the 2-digit rating system. They may be used to self-rate players who have never played in a tournament before or participated in performance-based club play.

Rating 1.0

  • New player with understanding of the game and rules.

Rating 1.5

  • Can hit the ball back and forth a bit

  • Learning to serve

  • Fails to hit easy balls frequently

  • Beginning to learn the basic rules such as scoring, lines, side outs, etc.

Rating 2.0

  • Sustains short rallies

  • Makes basic strokes such as forehand, backhand, volley, and can serve the ball

  • Understands court positioning and doubles rules

Rating 2.5

  • Can sustain longer rallies but not a fast pace

  • Makes most easy shots including backhands, but still needs some work

  • Able to approach the non-volley zone and hit volleys.

  • Aware of dinks

  • Good understanding of the rules

  • Struggles to cover the entire court

Rating 3.0

  • Has a consistent serve and returns medium-paced balls reliably.

  • Able to make all basic strokes. Lacks control when trying to place the ball.

  • Attempts lobs and dinks with limited success.

Rating 3.5

  • Consistent control and placement of medium-paced shots. Able to return fast-paced shots with slightly less success.

  • Improved control and placement of the ball.

  • Needs more shot variety.

  • Can play aggressively at the non-volley zone.

  • Anticipates opponent’s shots.

  • Learning the strategy of doubles play.

Rating 4.0

  • Consistent both forehand and backhand strokes.

  • Can use spin with some success.

  • Can occasionally force errors when serving.

  • May lose rallies due to impatience.

  • Uses the dink and drop shot successfully.

  • Demonstrates 3rd shot strategies.

  • Aggressive net play in doubles.

  • Full understanding of the rules.

Rating 4.5

  • Beginning to master placement and spin.

  • Beginning to master 3rd shot choices.

  • Good footwork and positioning.

  • Adjusts game style to account for opponent’s strengths/weaknesses and court position.

  • Good shot selection. Does not force shots.

  • Serves consistently and can vary speed and spin.

  • Good court positioning. Anticipates opponent’s shot.

Rating 5.0

  • Mastered all shot types. Excellent shot anticipation.

  • Accurate shot placement.

  • Forces errors. Limits their own unforced errors.

  • Mastered dinks and drop shots.

  • Mastered 3rd shot strategy.

  • Mastered different strategies and can vary play style.

  • Raw athletic ability is often what separates 5.0 players from the rest.

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