There are changes coming to the Pickleball rating system as announced by the USAPA. Does this apply to most players? That would be a resounding “no” because most players do not play in tournaments and even fewer play in sanctioned tournaments.
Having said that here is a summary of what the new rating system is all about. Without getting overly complicated, the new rating system will take your official rating from a 2-digit number (currently) to a 4-digit number and then round the number back to a 2- digit number. For example, if you are now a 3.5 rating your new rating might be 3.756, thus giving you a new rating of 4.0. Conversely, if your new rating is 3.257 your new rating would be 3.0.
What are the benefits of this? Obviously, this would be more accurate. Also, according to the USAPA this is going to take into account many more factors than before. This new rating system will use an algorithm, and this will take into consideration things such as sanctioned vs. non-sanctioned tournaments as well as the strength of your opponents. This is much more accurate and there is a big difference between a 3.500 player and a 3.750 player. The new rating system is going to take this small but important difference into account.
For those with a keen interest in tournaments this is a big and beneficial difference. This also takes into account regional differences. Currently people who may “think” they have a certain rating may not be aware of what their “true” rating is. For example, if you live in a rural area and only play with the same people all of the time you may think you have a 4.0 rating. This is not their fault as they are only gauging this in regard to the same local players. What happens in this case is that these players enter a large tournament and quickly find out that their rating is no where near what they thought it was. This can go in both directions but usually the rating that people think they have is higher than what it actually is.
Examples of this have occurred here in the San Diego area where players from other areas enter in a 4.0 or even 4.5 tournament and proceed to lose badly because their rating is not as high as they thought it was.
This new rating system will at least mitigate this and other problems that are associated with the current 2-digit rating system