PickleballTournaments.com recently released World Pickleball Ratings (WPR) so you now have 2 sets of ratings on your PT.com profile. WPR is a comprehensive pickleball player tournament rating system that will be used by non-sanctioned pickleball tournaments effective January 1, 2022. Tournaments that are sanctioned by USA Pickleball will still use USA Pickleball Tournament Player Ratings (UTPR).
Last year USA Pickleball decided to not accept results from non-sanctioned tournaments, which resulted in stagnant UTPRs for most tournament players. Players were progressing in skill and playing in higher level tournaments but, if the tournaments weren’t sanctioned, their UTPRs weren’t updating with their true skill level. This creates a lot of disparity at regional tournaments where people generally play as low as their ratings will allow for a better chance at a gold medal.
WPR provides a more accurate rating system by taking into account all tournaments that are run on the PT.com platform — sanctioned or non-sanctioned. This means that if a player “plays up” in a non-sanctioned tournament and does really well (e.g. has wins against higher rated players), this will get reflected on their WPR; whereas their UTPR would not have changed.
What does this mean for you? If you are a rec player who does not play in tournaments —- nothing. But if you are a tournament player, this is significant.
My take on this is, there’s still going to be “sandbagging” at regional tournaments (note that while this sounds negative, it’s a fact of life —- 99% of players play as low as they can at these tournaments) because these tournaments are sanctioned by USA Pickleball and are using UTPR but, players can play in non-sanctioned tournaments that use the new WPR system which will likely more accurately reflect a player’s true skill. While WPR isn’t perfect, since it is taking into account ALL tournaments instead of only the sanctioned ones, it should be better than UTPR.
Note that while WPR factors in ALL tournaments you played in that reported results to PT.com whether or not they were sanctioned, it only goes back to June 1, 2020. Non-sanctioned tournaments that you participated in prior to this date are not counted but older tournaments were probably ones that you competed in at a lower skill level so, theoretically, this should result in your WPR being higher than your UTPR (unless you’ve played and performed very well in several sanctioned tournaments).
Assuming that the tournament took place on or after June 1, 2020, here is how to determine if your tournament results have an impact your WPR and/or your UTPR.
There are three key questions that you should answer and three possible outcomes.
Question 1: Is the tournament run on PickleballTournaments.com?
Question 2: Is the tournament sanctioned by USA Pickleball?
Question 3: Are the tournament results reported to PT.com?
All tournaments run on PT.com where the Tournament Director does not opt out of reporting the results will always impact your WPR —- whether sanctioned or non-sanctioned (Outcome C, above). However, only sanctioned tournaments will affect your UTPR (Outcome B). The change that you see on your rating will depend on your tournament record as well as your opponents’ ratings. Tournaments that are not on PT.com will not have an impact on either rating (Outcome A).
To learn more about WPR, go to PT.com for a detailed description and FAQ.