What are the Different Levels of Pickleball?

Pickleball is a sport that allows players of all skill levels to play and enjoy. From players who are just starting out and only have basic knowledge of the game to players with outstanding skills and a lot of experience, this game offers many opportunities.

Pickleball skill levels range from beginner to advanced. However, there are many other ways to rate yourself, depending on your experience with different pickleball shots and how well you can handle them.

One method that allows a player to gauge his experience and skill level in pickleball is to rate himself on a scale of 1.0 to 6.0. This can be a self-rating, or if you play pickleball professionally, you can look at your tournament player rating to determine where you stand.     

Players with a 1.0 rating are beginners with little or no experience with the game. And ones who have a rating of 6.0 or above are exceptional players with outstanding pickleball skills. Keep reading if you want to know how you can give yourself a self-rating and why it is important to determine your skill level at pickleball.

What are the Different Levels of Pickleball

Pickleball Ratings

The pickleball rating system utilizes two-digit numbers ranging from 1.0 to 6.0+ to determine where a player stands regarding his experience and ability to execute different drives. Let’s find out how you can self-rate yourself based on your game.

A Rating of 1.0-2.0

You can safely place yourself in this category if you are starting to play this sport and only have knowledge of the game’s basic rules.

A Rating of 2.5

If you can keep a short rally on the pickleball court and understand all the rules, but you still need to become skilled at acing serves and returns, you can give yourself a rating of 2.5.

A Rating of 3.0

At this level, you must know how forehand drives are hit and master a serve that scores points. You should also be able to return a serve at a medium pace. However, players at this level are generally not consistent with their serves and returns and need more control.

A Rating of 3.5

If you’re capable of hitting drives as well as serves and returns with pace and have already grasped what backhand shots mean, you can give yourself a rating of 3.5. You may have consistency and control with some of your shots, but not all of them.

A Rating of 4.0

This is a level at which you can effortlessly play dinks, drop shots, and volleys in addition to hitting forehand and backhand drives. Now you must have developed consistency and control that can be relied on. You also know which strategy to adopt to exploit your opponent’s weaknesses.

A Rating of 4.5

At this level, players can easily play all types of shots and can apply spin and depth. They can control the ball’s direction and can consistently serve and return.

A Rating of 5.0

You can give yourself a rating of 5.0 at pickleball if you have mastered forehand and backhand drives and all other shots at different speeds. You must also have an advanced understanding of all pickleball rules at this level.

A Rating of 5.5-6.0+

If you consistently win all games regardless of your opponent’s skill level, have mastered the game’s rules, and are ready to play at the tournament level, congratulations! You are now at the highest skill level at playing pickleball.

What are Pickleball Skill Levels?

Skill levels in any sport are defined to categorize players and allow them to compete against similar players. For example, it would be unfair to let an advanced-level player compete with a beginner or someone who has just started playing pickleball.

Three skill levels are defined for pickleball: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.


The beginner level is the easiest level to play in. The rules are more relaxed, and the players are more skilled. This level is perfect for players who are just starting out and are not ready to compete at a higher level.  

Players at this level are still learning the game’s rules and need more understanding of advanced-level drives.

Check out this article: What is the Best Pickleball Paddle for Beginners?


As players practice more and get more opportunities to play with more skilled players, they can hone their skills and move to the next level.

The intermediate level is more challenging than the beginner level. The rules are stricter, and the players are more skilled. This level is perfect for players who have some experience and are ready to compete at a higher level.

Check out this article: What is the Best Pickleball Paddle for Intermediate Players?


The advanced level in pickleball is the most challenging level to play in. The rules are the strictest, and the players are the most skilled. This level is perfect for players with a lot of experience and who are ready to compete at the highest level.

One thing that makes advanced-level pickleball players so successful is their strategy. They tend to be very strategic in their play and always seem one step ahead of their opponents.

There are a few ways to determine your skill level. One is to look at your past performance in similar games. Another is to ask other players or a game official for their assessment. Or, you can take a test or participate in a tournament to get a more objective measure. Whichever method you choose, it can be useful to know where you stand as a player.

Check out this article: What Pickleball Paddles Do The Pros Use?

Why is it Important to Determine Your Pickleball Skill Level?

As already mentioned, it’s important to determine your skill level at playing pickleball so you can be placed among similar players. It is not fair to make a beginner with limited knowledge of pickleball rules compete with someone who has a very good understanding of the game mechanics and how they can use them to their advantage.

You might want to read this article: How Long to Get Good at Pickleball?

Knowing your rating can be helpful in terms of finding the right game to join or being aware of the competition you may be up against.

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