95% of core Pickleball players,those who play often, but not in tournaments, are self-rated, if rated at all. We all know how that works.
Most of us believe we are above average. So there-in lies the problem. People’s feelings get hurt when Rec play isn’t organized to accommodate all skill levels of play and where time is wasted on pickleball drama.
My first career was that of a community organizer, a fundraiser, volunteer coordinator, manager, trainer, consultant for a major national non-profit volunteer health organization. In those seventeen years I was well trained and I helped others learn the basics of special event production.
Rec play needs something better than stacking paddles or quasi-tournament pickleball fundraising events that are unfulfilling to the majority of players who lose early and often.
What Recreational Pickleball is missing is structure.
I see non-tournament (recreational) events that are organized kind of “tournament” events, but not reallly. For half of the players, it is two and your through. In some cases it’s one and your done. Events that are supposed to be fun and for the good of the cause, but played in a format (tournament) very similar to the format that rec players choose to avoid in the first place.
We are supposed to excuse the format because we are doing it for a good cause or it’s only just for fun. The event may resemble a regular tournament, “kind of.” But because it's for a good cause and “for the fun of it all” we accept it, with all of its shortcomings of tournament play. For the good of the cause, but we can do better.
Ratings are imperfect in sanctioned pickleball tournaments, so why bring ratings into recreational play? In rec play there should be only three levels that matter. You are either an advanced, an intermediate or an aspiring player. (Aspiring is a term I use as opposed to beginner.)
We need to come up with a better recreational play structure. Incorporating the flawed tournament structure into rec pickleball is not the answer,
Joey from #thepickleballpirates makes the case about ratings so well.