Pickleball has gained massive popularity in the last decade. The sport originated in North America and is now played globally. It is played as both a recreational and professional paddle sport. An easy-to-learn sport, pickleball has seen many players take up the sport professionally and play in tournaments affiliated with the governing body of the sport.
A general and standardized rating system for Pickleball players is the Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating (DUPR). This system gives the players their ratings irrespective of their age, location, gender and skill level. It is regarded as one of the most accurate rating systems of Pickleball globally. The calculations are based on a modified Elo algorithm. The factors taken into consideration while calculating DUPR after a match for a player is the result of the player’s match, the mode in which the data of the match was entered (recorded or entered by DUPR system), and the rating difference from the opponent. The DUPR also features a Reliability Score component which ensures fair play and that there is no tanking or sandbagging.
The rating scale is between 2.0 to 8.0. A player with a rating between 2.00 to 2.99 is a novice player. An intermediate player has a DUPR between 3.00 to 3.99, and an advanced-level player has a rating between 4.00 to 4.99. The professional pickleball player has a DUPR rating between 5.0 to 8.0.
A player who does not have a DUPR rating gets their first rating based on the score of their opponent in the first match they play to get into the DUPR system. Players get two separate DUPR ratings for singles and doubles. Players need to play at least six points in a match for it to qualify under the DUPR system. If a player withdraws from a match due to injury or any other reason, then their DUPR is not affected and remains unchanged.
Players get their most accurate DUPR rating after they have played 10 to 20 matches. If a player wins a match in a club or league tournament, then for every match win they get 0.10 points. If players enter the results of their matches by self-recording, then they get 0.05 points.
Players can find themselves falling down in the graph even if they win. This is because prior to a match, based on their skill level and performance, DUPR allots an ‘expected value’ to both players or teams. If the player is expected to win 11-3, but instead wins the match 11-6, then their DUPR rating goes down. However, as the name suggest, DUPR has a dynamic algorithm. The losing player’s performance in recent past and future matches is also monitored, based on which the DUPR rating of the winning player fluctuates.
DUPR ratings also have a half-life. In order to ensure that they maintain their spot in the DUPR system, players must play at least 3 matches in the last 90 days, 6 matches in the last 180 days, and 12 matches in the last 270 days.
DUPR is thus a global rating system that helps players assess themselves in terms of skill level.