If you love to play pickleball and are ready to experience the thrill of competition, improve your game, and meet new people who share your love of the sport, you should look into joining a tournament near you. Here are a few tips on how to find pickleball tournaments near you and what you need to know to be prepared for your first tournament.
Finding Pickleball Tournaments
There are a few ways to be on the lookout for tournaments coming up in your area. Take note of registration dates and sign up in advance, as some tournaments fill up quickly; you don’t want to miss your chance to compete.
The USA Pickleball Association has a list of upcoming events where you may be able to find a tournament that is local to you. This directory of nearby tournaments is another good place to start.
There is likely a pickleball group on Facebook for your city, county, or state. This is a great resource to find information about local tournaments, as well as places and times to play a more casual game and to connect with other people in your community who love to play the game as much as you do.
There may be a pickleball tournament hosted at your local YMCA or community center every so often. You can also ask around on your local pickleball court to see if anyone has an inside tip!
Getting Prepared for Pickleball Tournaments by Determining Your Skill Level
Not all tournaments are alike; they can vary in intensity and ability level, as well as in structure. In choosing and preparing for a tournament, find one that is suitable to your skill level (and that of your partner).
Your pickleball skill rating guides which tournaments you are eligible to enter and on which bracket you will be placed within the tournament, so you are matched against players with similar ability. Tournaments often group players based on age, skill, or combined age/skill brackets.
The ratings range from 1.0 to 5.5+, with a higher number signifying greater skill as a player. There are two ways to obtain an official USA Pickleball Rating.
If you have never played in an officially sanctioned pickleball tournament, you can use the player skill rating definitions to analyze and rate your own pickleball ability. USA Pickleball encourages players to reach out to experienced players for guidance in self-rating.
Automatic Tournament Rating
As you play more pickleball tournaments, your self-rating will become an official USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating. This rating adjusts according to an algorithm based on your performance in each tournament.
With this information, you are well on your way to competing in a tournament near you. On game day, make sure to show up with great gear, sunscreen, and plenty of water.
Visit Pickleball Portal for resources on how to choose the best paddles, shoes, and other pickleball gear, plus tips and strategy to raise the competition on the court at your next pickleball tournaments.