What is your Skill Level?
When you join the York Region, Pickleball Network, we require you to indicate your skill level. We prefer a GPN rating, which you get by playing in matches where scores are recorded. If you do not have a GPN skill level rating, use your DUPR or Pickleball Brackets rating.
Don't have a rating. No Problem!
If you do not have a rating, use this guide to self-rate yourself.
Division Skill Level Guide
Beginner >>> 1.0 - 2.0
Novice >>> 2.0- 3.0
Intermediate >>> 3.0 - 4.0
Advance >>> 4.0 - 5.0
Expert >>> 5.0 - 5.5
Pro >>> 5.5+
Beginner - 1.0 - 2.0
This player is just starting to play pickleball and has minimal understanding of the rules or the game but is excited and looking forward to learning how to play.
Novice 2.0 - 3.0 (must have played a min of 10 games)
This player has limited experience. Can sustain a short rally with players of equal ability. Basic ability to keep score.
- Knows the basic rules including the “two bounce rule”, scoring
- Attempting to control forehand ground stroke (direction, depth, height over net)
- Attempting backhand ground stroke
- Getting 60% of serves in the service court and returning 60% of serve returns
- Knows where to stand as the server, server’s partner, and receiver
- Consistently Approaches the non-volley line for volleys
- Can keep the ball in play for longer lasting rallies
- Sometimes lobs with forehand
- Attempting to “dink” the ball at the net, can do so for short durations.
- Moves in a safe and balanced manner
- Developing good hand-eye coordination
Intermediate - Skill Level 3.0 - 4.0 (played a min of 50 games)
Understands fundamentals. Is learning proper court positioning. Knows the fundamental rules and can keep score and is now playing tournaments.
- Knows basic rules, including how to keep score
- Developing control on forehand ground stroke (placement, direction, depth)
- Developing control on backhand ground stroke (placement, direction, depth)
- Getting 70% of servers and return of serves “in”
- Striving to place serves deep into the court
- Beginning to develop placement of serve
- Uses deeper and higher returns of serve to allow time to approach the net
- Approaches the non-volley line quickly rather than staying back
- Sustains a short volley session at the net
- Exhibits correct court positioning for doubles and how to “move as a team”
- Beginning to use the forehand lob with some success
- Developing a sustained “dink” exchange at the net
- Attempting to hit a soft ”drop shot” to approach the net (3rd, 5th, etc shot)
- Attempting to adjust to differing ball speeds (hitting & returning)
- Has good mobility
- Developing good hand-eye coordination
- Knows all the main rules.
Skill Level 3.5
- Demonstrates control on forehand ground stroke (direction, depth and pace)
- Demonstrates some control on backhand ground stroke (direction, depth and pace)
- Getting 80% of serves and return of serves “in”
- Regularly placing serves deep into the court
- Regularly uses deeper & higher returns of serve to allow time to approach net
- Approaches the non-volley line quickly (when appropriate) rather than staying back
- Able to play with partners effectively. Beginning to use court strategies such as partner communication and team coverage of court
- Avoids hitting “out” balls
- Hitting the ball lower over the net consistently
- Developing a wide variety of shots with some consistency
- Learning when to use soft shots vs. power shots to their advantage
- Developing consistency on shot placement, including ability to create and hit “gaps”
- Sustains a short volley session at the net with some control and placement
- Initiates and maintains a sustained “dink” exchange at the net
- Able to execute a soft ”drop shot” to approach the net (3rd, 5th, etc shot)
- Able to adjust to differing ball speeds consistently
- Developing ability to hit overheads with control
- Using a forehand and backhand lob when appropriate
- Developing patience in rallies
- Has good mobility
- Has good quickness
- Has good hand-eye coordination
- Knows all the main rules, including how to figure out the correct server based on side-out score.
Advance - 4.0 Skill Level – (will ALSO possess all the 3.5 skills)
Aware of partner’s position on the court and is able to move as a team. Demonstrates ability to change direction in an offensive manner. Demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules of the game. Has a moderate number of unforced errors per game. Solid understanding of stacking and when and how it could be used in match play. Beginning to identify opponent's weaknesses and attempts to formulate game plan to attack weaknesses. Beginning to seek out more competitive play.
- Controls and places 90% of both serves and returns of serves
- Consistent and dependable forehand and backhand ground strokes, including directional control, depth, placement and pace.
- Consistent and dependable volleys, including some directional control, depth, placement and pace
- Consistent and dependable overheads, including some directional control, depth, placement and pace
- Has good accuracy in placing lobs
- Consistently makes successful ”drop shots” from the back court to approach the net (3rd, 5th, etc shot)
- Regularly initiating and sustaining a “dink” exchange at the net until a “put away” shot is received
- Able to change from a soft shot strategy to a hard shot strategy, and vice versa
- Can block and return hard volleys
- Developing the ability to return overheads hit at their feet
- Can handle speed on shots without over-hitting or hitting out of bounds
- Moves effectively with partner, easily switching courts and communicating when required
- Can control play at the non-volley zone line, keeping their opponents back, driving them off the line and controlling the speed or placement of the ball
- Consistently uses shots to create and hit “gaps”
- Recognizes and exploits the weaknesses in their opponent’s game
- Can poach effectively
- Maintains patience in rallies
- Has good mobility *
- Has good quickness *
- Has good hand-eye coordination *
4.5 Skill Level
The 4.5 player is distinguished from the 4.0 player by increased skills, a higher level of strategy, quickness of hands, judicious use of power, superior placement of shots and consistently fewer unforced errors.
Expert - Skill Level 5.0-5.5
Mastered pickleball strategies and can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive or tournament matches. Is successful at turning defensive shots into offensive shots. Has efficient footwork and effective use of weight transfer for improved quickness on the court. Easily and quickly adjusts style of play and game plan according to the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and court position. Rarely makes unforced errors. The 5.0 player is even more consistent in all skills than the 4.5 player, with very few, if any, unforced errors.
This player is a top calibre player. Performance and tournament wins speak for this player's ability to consistently perform at a high level.