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 Newsletter - September 7, 2018.

Hello Everyone,

At the risk of making everyone unhappy, I think that it is time to talk about player ratings. Player ratings is the proverbial “Elephant in the Room” with every PB club and ours is no different.

For a while now, we have been hearing grumbling among players about players moving themselves up to higher levels without the adequate skills for that higher level.

So, let’s dispel some myths.  Usually the rationale we hear is, “Well, I am winning all my games at the lower levels”. Our response is that it is not only about winning.  It is also, and more importantly, about consistently and correctly using a variety of shots during your games.  For example, you may well be winning all your games at 3.0, just as an example, with your blistering forehand shot to your favorite corner of the court but if you never appropriately and correctly do a third shot drop, you don’t belong at 3.5.  If you never employ strategic dinking, you don’t belong at 3.5.  It’s about the skills as much as it is about winning.

Another rationale we hear is, “I want to play against better players”.  Yes, totally understandable, but first you must be a better player yourself. Practice the shots you are not good at, work at improving your game. Use that Pickleball Tutor.  Take some clinics, take some lessons, form a group of likeminded players and work on drills together.  Don’t just look to the higher level players to make you a better player.

That said, the club has a role to play to help you:

We are now reviewing consistency of player ratings and SUG Invites.  For example, players eligible for 3.5 events must have a 3.5 player self-rating on their player profile. The same review applies to other player ratings.  

Next week we are beginning a series of player clinics which will demonstrate to participants what skills they need to play at specific levels.  We are beginning with a 3.5 clinic where participants will learn what 3.5 play expectations are and they will learn what they need to do to meet those expectations. Our goal is to ultimately have all 3.5 players participate in this type of clinic.

Because our club is large and still growing, we are thinking of breaking the large player ratings groupings into sub sections.  You can well understand that among 120 3.0 players, for example, there is wide range of abilities and setting up subsections may help players find the correct playing group.

We continue to believe in self-rating for up to and including 3.5 but we also want to give players ways to get feedback about their level of play. We are exploring a form of peer evaluation that many clubs in the US use to help players find the right level.

We also recognize that all players need to know the process, the method, the route to follow for appropriately moving up a level.  We don’t have that yet.  It is going to take some time and some trial and error.  But we are working on it.  Thank you for your patience.

As always, we welcome your thoughts.



Edmonton Pickleball Club is a registered non-profit organization in Alberta. Postal address: c/o 304 Caldwell Close NW, Edmonton AB, Canada T6M 2W9

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Edmonton Pickleball Club is a registered non-profit organization in Alberta.
Postal address: c/o 304 Caldwell Close NW, Edmonton AB, Canada T6M 2W9

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