The International Federation of Picklebal (IFP) has created a IFP Rating System to help describe differences in the various skill levels and the progression of each. This information is a helpful tool for you to see what you need to work on, to get to that next level!
Below you will find the skill levels and a description of the skills in each.
Information provided courtesy of IFP.
To print off a pdf copy of the IFP Rating Descriptions click HERE.
IFP Rating Descriptions:
Information provided courtesy of IFP.
» New and have only minimal knowledge of the game and rules.
» Limited to some rallies.
» Learning how to serve.
» Developing a forehand.
» Fails to return easy balls frequently and occasionally misses the ball entirely.
» Played a few games and is learning the court lines, scoring and some basic rules of the game.
» Sustains a short rally with players of equal ability.
» Demonstrating the basic shot strokes: forehand, backhand, volley, overhead and the serve, but has obvious weaknesses in most strokes.
» Familiar with court positioning in doubles play.
» Makes longer lasting slow-paced rallies.
» Makes most easy volleys and uses some backhands but needs more work on developing shot strokes.
» Beginning to approach the non-volley zone to hit volleys.
» Aware of the “soft game”.
» Knowledge of the rules has improved.
» Court coverage is weak but improving.
» More consistent on the serve and service return and when returning medium paced balls.
» Demonstrates improved skills with all the basic shot strokes and shot placement but lacks control when trying for direction, depth or power on their shots.
» Beginning to attempt lobs and dinks with little success and doesn’t fully understand when and why they should be used.
» Demonstrates improved stroke dependability with directional control on most medium paced balls and some faster paced balls.
» Demonstrates improved control when trying for direction, depth and power on their shots.
» Needs to develop variety with their shots.
» Exhibits some aggressive net play.
» Beginning to anticipate opponents shots.
» Learning about the importance of strategy and teamwork in doubles.
» Consistent and dependable strokes including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand shots.
» Reliable serves, lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys and can use spin shots with some success.
» Occasionally can force errors when serving.
» Rallies may be lost due to impatience.
» Uses the dink shot and drop shots to slow down or change the pace of the game.
» Demonstrates third shot strategies: drop shots, lobs and fast paced ground strokes.
» Aggressive net play and teamwork in doubles is evident.
» Fully understands the rules of the game and can play by them.
» Beginning to master the use of power and spin, can successfully execute all shots, can control the depth of their shots and can handle pace.
» Beginning to master the dink shots and drop shots and their importance to the game.
» Beginning to master third shot choices.
» Displays sound footwork and moves well enough to get to the non-volley zone whenever required.
» Understands strategy and can adjust style of play and game plan according to the opponents strengths, weaknesses and court position.
» Serves with power and accuracy and can also vary the speed and spin of the serve.
» Understands the importance of “keeping the ball in play” and the effect of making errors.
» Making good choices in shot selection.
» Anticipates the opponents shots resulting in good court positioning.
» Mastered all the skills: all shot types, touch, spin, serves – with control and can use them as weapons.
» Excellent shot anticipation, extremely accurate shot placement and regularly hit winning shots.
» Forces opponents into making errors by “keeping the ball in play”.
» Mastered the dink and drop shots.
» Mastered the third shot choices and strategies.
» Uses soft shots, dinks and lobs to set up offensive situations.
» Mastered pickleball strategies and can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive or tournament matches.
» Dependable in stressful situations as in tournament match play.
» Athletic ability, quickness, agility and raw athleticism are also qualities that are sometimes what separates the top players from those near the top.
Latest revision of IFP Rating Descriptions: November 1, 2012.