Pickleball Levels

Pickleball Skills

The purpose of rated events is to insure a consistent & competitive level of play for all players within the event. Therefore, we request that you do not sign up in a level that is higher or lower than your self-rated skill. This should help insure a fun event.

NOTE: For levels above 2.0, all players should be able to demonstrate most of the skills for rated level plus most skills from preceding levels.

1.0 to 2.0 Skill Rating

Game Knowledge: Minimal knowledge of rules; Realizes aspects of scorekeeping
Serves: Some serves get in
Return of Serves: Able to return serve but without directionality
Stroke Skill: Has some basic strike skills
Dink: Can rarely execute, return or anticipate a dink
Volley: Able to sustain a short volley with like rated players; Aware of “Kitchen”/NVZ (No Volley Zone)
Strategy: Understands where to stand on court during serve, receiving serve and general play

2.5 Skill Rating

Game Knowledge: Understands game fundamentals, rules, including 2 bounce rule & court positions; Can keep score accurately
Serves: Can serve medium paced shot in correct square
Return of Serves: Can return most medium paced serves, but accuracy is varied
Stroke Skill: Able to hit a medium paced forehand or backhand; Aware of 3rd shot drop
Dink: Attempts to dink; Unable to sustain a dink rally
Volley: Can keep ball in play longer, but usually without directional intent, speed; Volleying is inconsistent; Aware of “Kitchen”/NVZ (No Volley Zone and positioning
Strategy: Knows when to lob, dink, and volley with varying degrees of success with like rated players

3.0 Including 2.5 Skills

Game Knowledge: Knows fundamental rules & routinely practices court position
Serves: Accurately places serve into correct square with direction & depth
Return of Serves: Can return serve with forehand or backhand, with medium pace and some accuracy; Attempts 3rd shot drop, not consistent
Stroke Skill: Able to hit both forehand and backhand with direction; Attempts 3rd shot drop, not consistent
Dink: Can dink with direction; Able to sustain a dink rally with similarly rated players
Volley: Able to volley with direction and speed; Very aware of “Kitchen/NVZ (No Volley Zone) and positioning; When opportunity presents itself, attempts to finish the point
Strategy: Knows when to move quicky to the net (“Kitchen”/NVZ); Aware of partner’s position on court; Knows how to move with partner so court is covered, but is inconsistent

3.5 Including 3.0 Skills

Game Knowledge: Demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules of the game
Serves: Able to hit medium paced serves with depth, direction and consistency
Return of Serves: Able to return serves with pace & direction
Stroke Skill: Able to hit both forehand and backhand with direction and intentionally vary the pace; Able to hit 3rd shot drop with direction
Dink: Able to consistently sustain a dink rally with control and direction
Volley: Able to volley with direction and speed even when playing in elements such as wind; Able to block hard volleys directed at them; Rarely steps into “Kitchen/NVZ (No Volley Zone) when volleying; When opportunity presents itself, can finish the point
Strategy: Moves as a team; Partner communication is there, but inconsistent; Is aware of the opposing team weaker player and tries to hit to that player

4.0 & Above Including 3.5 Skills

Game Knowledge: Full knowledge of all rules of the game and can articulate when necessary
Serves: Serves with varied intentional pace; Consistently placing serve deep in the court
Return of Serves: Consistently returns serves with pace, direction and depth
Stroke Skill: Hits lobs/overhead shots consistently, often as putaways; Able to change from hard game to soft 
Dink: Able to control height and deptb of dink; Understands and applies the variation of pace of dink
Volley: Can change pace of game from volleying to a more finesse game; Very few unforced errors
Strategy: Exhibits patience in play at a superior level; Actively works with partner in communicating court coverage, knowing when to poach, take a forehand, switching during an overhead lob and verbalizes with partner