Bow Valley Pickleball Association

Skill Levels

The BVPA Skills Matrix is attached HERE.

Why do skill levels matter?

We want you to have fun and learn and grow in pickleball. Self-rating yourself too high, beyond your capability level, will not make pickleball fun for you or other members.

Playing pickleball with like-skilled players will allow everyone to be competitive and improve their play and enjoyment. When players’ skills are mismatched, it is frustrating for all players.

Most BVPA scheduled play is organized by player skill levels so like-skilled players play with and against like-skilled players.  Currently the BVPA ratings are self rated using the categories of Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.  The generally accepted categories are numerical ratings from 2.0 to 5.0 in increments of 0.5. The Pickleball Canada website contains an excellent description of the skills you must master for each rating level.

As the BVPA develops and skill levels are more formalized, the process may look like the following: 

Player ratings at 2.0 and 2.5 will remain as self-ratings. Learn to Play lessons will be available for beginners with little or no experience and only a rudimentary understanding of the game. Upon completion of Learn to Play, members will be helped to self-rate themselves as 2.0 or 2.5.

Players at 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 will be required to obtain a Club Rating or Tournament Rating to participate in club events at those levels.

Players at 4.5 and 5.0 must have a Tournament Rating.

How can I get a club rating?

BVPA may offer Ratings Clinics for members who want to obtain or challenge for a higher rating.  This gives a "subjective" rating based on the experience of the Certified Rater and the player's performance in executing certain skills and demonstrating them in a game.  There are also "objective" methods of ratings through actual play and submission of results to an organization providing such a service.  This (often contentious) issue of ratings is discussed HERE  on the Pickleball Canada website.

 The following documents will help you understand the process and expectations for "subjective" ratings.

  1. IAP 2021 3.0 Rating Assessment Sheet
  2. IAP 2021 3.5 Rating Assessment Sheet
  3. IAP 2021 4.0 Rating Assessment Sheet