Pickleball UTPR Rating Guide: Calculation and Pros and Cons

Est. Reading: 6 minutes

If you have been playing pickleball for some time and want to join tournaments sanctioned by USA Pickleball, you need a UTPR rating. It will be your passport to getting to the top of the sport professionally.

But what exactly is a UTPR rating, and how does it work? Most importantly, how can you get yours? 

Here, we bring to you the ultimate guide to UTPR ratings. So, make sure you read until the end.

What is UTPR Rating in Pickleball?

In pickleball, UTPR is the acronym for Universal Tournament Player Rating, a rating system implemented by the USA Pickleball (USAP), the country’s official governing body. As the name implies, this pickleball rating system is only for tournament players who are members of the USA Pickleball. Your ratings with other pickleball organizations don't impact your UTPR ratings.

What is the Purpose of UTPR Rating?

The primary purpose of the UTPR rating is to help prevent players from sandbagging. It is a deceptive strategy of some athletes who lower their skills to increase their chances of winning tournaments. 

Although sandbagging can be done unintentionally, the UTPR is calculated, result-based, and cannot be self-assessed. However, some players complain that their UTPR rating is not regularly updated.

Can I Rate Myself Using UTPR Ratings?

As a general rule, UTPR ratings cannot be self-assessed, so you should first join a tournament sanctioned only by USA Pickleball. But as a beginner or not yet a member of USA Pickleball, you can rate yourself using the 2-digit UTPR Pickleball Rating System as a guide. But to ensure you are rating yourself correctly, I strongly recommend seeking guidance from experienced USA Pickleball players.

UTPR Player Skill Ratings and Definitions




Players who are just starting to play pickleball and have very little understanding of the game rules.


Players who have limited experience in pickleball but can play in short rallies with players of the same ability. They should also have the basic ability score points.


Players who understand the basic rules of pickleball, play in tournaments, and can keep the score properly. They should also be able to hit forehand drives, serves, dinks, and returns with medium pace and can avoid using a backhand. Yet, they still need more control, depth, and consistency.


Players who now know proper court positioning and have improved in accuracy, control, and consistency. They should also serve, hit shots, make returns properly, and can move quickly toward the non-volley zone (kitchen). More importantly, they should also have learned some strategic moves.


Players who can play in doubles, change direction offensively to attack opponents, and have a moderate number of errors. They should also have increased consistency, control, and speed and hit with varying depth.


Players who can easily adjust their playing style and game plan offensively and defensively in both singles and doubles. Aside from more improved control and consistency, they should also be able to hit power serves that are difficult to return, have good footwork, and have a limited number of unforced errors.


Players who have mastered various pickleball strategies in competitive matches or tournaments. They should be able to serve, return shots, dink, and volley accurately and consistently and rarely commit errors.


Players who are experts in the sport. They have been winning consistently against the best professional pickleball players. These professionals have also mastered all the rules and strategies at the highest level.

How Does UTPR Rating Work?

The UPTR rating works using the ELO rating system, a popular rating system invented by a physics professor and master-level chess player named Arpad Elo. It was first utilized in 1939 by the Correspondence Chess League of America and is still most widely used in chess tournaments and other sports. The USA Pickleball has adopted the ELO rating system since the beginning.

As a self-correcting rating system, the ELO rating system is based on the results of a game and may change depending on several factors. In USA Pickleball, your UTPR ratings will be based on your wins and losses in tournaments, your partner’s rating (in doubles), and your opponent’s UTPR rating. The total points can be a gain or a loss, depending on the difference between the ratings of the two opposing players or teams after a game. 

Every time you win, you will receive points from your opponent. However, if you are a high-rated player and win against a low-rated player, you will get only a few points from your opponent. But if you are a low-rated player and you beat a high-rated player, you will earn more points from your opponent. Therefore, the greater the gap between the ratings of the player, the more “gain or loss” the rating will fluctuate.

Every pickleball player has separate UTPR ratings for each event - singles, doubles, gender doubles, and mixed doubles. However, each rating is not dependent on the player’s age and location. Hence, it might be biased towards these two factors. For instance, if you are a 50-year-old player, you can play against a 30-year-old, provided that you both belong to the same UTPR rating bracket.

2-Digit UTPR vs 4-Digit UTPR: What’s the Difference?

The UTPR rating is represented by both 2-digit and 4-digit values. The main difference between the two is that the former is rounded down from the latter. The 2-digit UTPR (may also be the self-rating) is used for tournament registration, while the 4-digit UTPR is for seeding for pickleball tournaments. 

The first two digits of your 4-digit UTPR rating dictate your 2-digit skill level rating and should meet or exceed a standard skill level. For example, if your 4-digit rating is 2.499, your 2-digit rating is only 2.0, not 2.5. For more details, refer to the table below.

USA Pickleball UTPR Conversion Chart

4-Digit UTPR

2-Digit UTPR

1.000 – 1.499


1.500 – 1.999


2.000 – 2.499


2.500 – 2.999


3.000 – 3.499


3.500 – 3.999


4.000 – 4.499


4.500 – 4.999


5.000 – 5.499


5.500 – 5.999


6.000 – 6.499


6.500 – 6.999


How is UTPR Rating Calculated?

UTPR ratings are automatically calculated using USA Pickleball’s unique algorithms based on the ELO rating system. Generally, these algorithms weigh several factors, including your old ratings, your opponent’s old ratings, and the probability that the winning team would win.

Historically, weight factors (WF) used to include USA Pickleball sanctioned tournaments (100%), USA Pickleball Medal Match Plus (MMP) sanctioned tournaments (80%), and unsanctioned tournaments (60%). However, starting April 1, 2021, only sanctioned tournaments (standard sanctioning or MMP sanctioning) will have WF, which is equivalent to 100%. Unsanctioned tournaments will have no WF at all, as in 0%.

To give you an idea, here are the formulas for calculating UTPR ratings:

  • WOR = Winning Player’s Old Rating
  • LOR = Losing Player’s Old Rating
  • TOR = Team’s Old Rating = (Teammate A + Teammate B)/2. Note: This is only applicable to doubles.
  • PWW = Probability that the Winning Team would Win = 1/[1 + 20^(3(LOR-WOR))]
  • PID = Points Increase or Decrease of each team = 0.1 x (1-PWW) x WF
  • WNR = Winning Player’s New Rating = WOR + PID
  • LNR = Losing Player’s New Rating = LOR – PID

Your UTPR rating will increase as you win and decrease if you lose, but the match score has no effect. Note also that one match cannot affect your UTPR by more than 0.1 point. If you want your UTPR to be more accurate, you should play more pickleball tournaments. If you wish to see some sample computations, check out this spreadsheet (pdf file) from USA Pickleball.

How to Get Your UTPR Rating

Again, the UTPR rating works only in tournaments sanctioned by USA Pickleball. Any rating outside of USA Pickleball tournaments is not a UTPR rating. Therefore, you should submit your self-rating (or current rating) to USA Pickleball. It will be your official UTPR rating and will be used to register for USA Pickleball-sanctioned tournaments. However, it will change once you start playing in a sanctioned tournament.

Four-digit ratings are updated weekly, and you can see yours (as well as your 2-digit ratings) once you log in at USA Pickleball’s official website or via their free mobile app at Apple App Store or Google Play Store. And if you have some doubts about your current ratings, you can always appeal. You may also view the 2-digit ratings of other USA Pickleball players but not their 4-digit rankings.

PickleballTournaments.com is the official sanctioned tournament software of USA Pickleball. According to USA Pickleball, nearly 250,000 matches were used to calculate the initial UTPR ratings. Therefore, UTPRs are more accurate than self-ratings or tournament director ratings. Note, however, that USA Pickleball has no player rankings, but hopefully, they will consider having them soon.

How is UTPR Rating Different From DUPR Rating?

UTPR and DUPR ratings differ in many ways, including application and calculation. DUPR stands for Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating and is the official pickleball rating of the PPA Tour. Invented in 2021 by Major League Pickleball (MLP) founder Steve Kuhn, the DUPR rating is less common than UTPR. Yet, some players claimed it to be pickleball’s most accurate global rating system.

Unlike the UTPR, DUPR incorporates all matches, from recreational plays to professional tournaments, sanctioned or not. With this fairly new rating system, every point counts, and players have only one rating, regardless of age, gender, location, and skill. Pickleball.com and its subsidiaries PickleballTournaments.com and PickleballBrackets.com are now using the DUPR rating system. For complete details, read our Pickleball DUPR Rating Guide.

UTPR Rating Pros and Cons

Based on the explanation above, you might need help to notice the advantages and disadvantages of the UTPR Rating. So, here is the summary:


  • More accurate than self-ratings
  • The most common pickleball rating system
  • Based on game results, wins and losses
  • Has a transparent system of calculations
  • Different UTPR ratings for different events
  • You can view other’s ratings


  • For sanctioned tournament players only
  • Matches scores have no bearing
  • Not ideal for players who don't frequently compete in tournaments
  • Genderless and ageless can be a disadvantage, too.
  • Some experienced players may cheat on their initial self-rating 
  • Has no ranking system (yet)

Final Thoughts

Despite being the oldest pickleball rating system, the UTPR rating could be better and still needs some polishing. Regardless, it's the most widely used in tournaments, which means you can quickly get one once you have mastered the sport. 

The key here is to keep practicing to enter a tournament sooner. After all, these events are one of the most fun parts of the game and can be more exciting to play than games on a local court.

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