On September 12, 2018, the USAPA completed their Phase 2 of their new ratings program. For those of you not up to date, the USAPA has been revamping the Pickleball rating system and subsequently, the ratings it gives its players. They have instituted a new system with the aim of standardizing ratings not only locally, but throughout the country. The belief is that ratings are influenced geographically as the skill sets of large geographic pockets of players differ from region to region.
As human nature goes, any change brings out a small army dissidents to the new system. However, you must give the USAPA credit. It’s an organization that is growing fast, not only in terms of the number of people, but also in the demographic of its players. While clubs are opening as far as Malaysia, younger and younger players are beginning to discover the sport.
To this end, the USAPA is trying to better control ratings. One of the recent changes I noticed was with first time members. When I joined, I simply self-rated my abilities and I was on my way. However, a friend of mine recently started his application process and he was asked to provide a letter of reference from a current player as part of his application process. As a rated member of the USAPA I was happy to provide him with this letter of reference stating my perception of his rating.
Today, the USAPA has started their Phase 3 of the their rating systems improvements. While new changes and requirements may feel unnecessary or cumbersome, it is just part of the control measures the USAPA will need in order to improve player ratings. In the end, I feel strongly that when the USAPA concludes its ratings program, and as time progresses, we will have a system that is far and beyond better than previously existed. All I can say is be patient with the USAPA…and as they would say in England…Keep Calm and Pickleball.