All About Ladders

TPC Ladder Play

Are you interested in playing more pickleball with people at your same level at a set time each week? Then our Ladder Play might be the answer. Whether you want to be competitive or just want to play with people of your same ability.

The ladder software we are using is being provided by the USA Pickleball Association.

To Join the Pickleball Ladder Program
You must be a Trilogy Pickleball Club member in good standing.
Read the “Introduction to Pickle ball and Rules” on the website.
Contact the Ladder Manager or Ladder Captain and provide  your current USAPA rating (legacy ratings are not considered current) or request to be rated by the TPC rating committee.  Players will be placed on one ladder:  4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5 or 2.0 commensurate with their rating.  PLAYERS may only participate in one Ladder (4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0 & Woman’s).
The Women’s ladder does not require a USAPA or TPC rating to participate.

4.0 Ladder - Ladder Manager - David Hinton hintonda@comcast.net
3.5 Ladder – Gary Lawson crewslaw@msn.com
3.0 Ladder - Colleen Lawson crewslaw@msn.com
2.5 Ladder - Bill Hohman  wjhohman@aol.com
2.0 Ladder – Paula Babin  Paula.babin@crcnational.com
Women's Ladder - Barbara Newman newman.barbara@outlook.com
Rating Committee Chairman – Contact Ladder Manager

See: Trilogy Ladder "Skill Level Definitions"    Schedule of Play: See the Home Page

Ladder Management Rules:  12/1/2018 V.04
PLAYERS should familiarize themselves with these Rules on a periodic basis as updates will take place.  PLAYERS may only participate in one Ladder (4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0 & Woman’s).

Purpose of Ladder Rules
These rules are established to maintain consistency of play and record keeping within and between ladders (4.0, 3.5, 3.0, 2.5, 2.0 & Woman’s).

General Information
The format of play is designed so that players play mostly with others of similar skill levels. Your ranking on a ladder is based upon your winning percentage (the ratio of points won to total points possible). The ladder is competitive, not a training forum.
Players will move up or down the ladder based upon their winning percentage (first and foremost) and a commensurate current USAPA (legacy ratings are not considered current) or TPC rating for players seeking to move up a ladder. The results of the ten most recent weeks of play will be used for this calculation. Each week, players will be placed in groups of 4 or 5 in the order of their ranking on the ladder for match play.
You are expected to play every week unless you email the Captain that you will be absent.  If you know you are not going to be able to play prior to the schedule being posted, notify the ladder captain, email or writing on the score sheet, and the schedule can be adjusted. After the schedule is posted, it is your responsibility to get a sub. Not showing up has its penalties.
All players will play three 15-point or four 11-point doubles games in a round robin fashion with the other three or four players in match play. It is recommended that you show up fifteen (15) minutes prior to your scheduled match. Matches typically take about forty-five (45) minutes to play leaving about fifteen (15) minutes for warm-up. If a foursome is present, they may warm-up and start early. It is your responsibility to be present at the court at the designated time ready for play. A match should not start until the scheduled time if all four or five scheduled players or substitutes are not present.

At the start of the game, players will decide who starts serving first and choice of side. It is required that the players change ends of the court when one side has 6 points in games to 11 and at 8 points when playing  15 point game to minimize the effects of the sun and wind.
Missed games are not made up. The percentages are based only on the games that are played.

After your games have been played, players record their scores on the score sheet that is available in the area. Post the individual scores and the total for all three games.  It is each player’s responsibility to ensure their score is recorded and posted correctly.  There is a maximum of 45 points in both games to 11 (4 games per player) and games to 15 (3 games per player);  you do not have to win by 2 points.  In 4 games to 11, the ladder captain will add 1 point to each player's score to allow for a 45 point total.  Each week the standings, scores, and schedule are emailed and posted at the USAPA website (Ladder Standings).

Determining your Skill Level
First:  Players who have a current USAPA rating (legacy ratings are not considered current) should use their rating to determine which ladder they should join.  THEN contact the appropriate Ladder Captain.
Or:  Players will be required to have their skill level determined by the TPC rating committee prior to joining a ladder.  A nominal fee is required.


Definitions Skill
This is a brief outline of the skill definitions. For the detailed definitions click on the Skill Definitions link on the web site.

4.0 Player: A “4.0” player is rated at 4.0 and higher.  This player can control and place both the serve and return of serve. This player can place their volleys and block strong volleys at them at the No Volley Zone, or "Kitchen". This player has strong overheads and can place them. This player has excellent footwork and can move forward, backward and laterally with ease and quickness. This player can both "dink" and put away their shots. This player is consistent in their play and fully understands the strategy of the game and when to use specific shots.  Physical condition/mobility does not limit play.

3.5 Player: A “3.5” player is rated between 3.5 and 4.0.  Demonstrates all the 3.0 player skills with greater consistency.  Working on proficiency of controlling and placing both the serve and return of serve.  This player is working on strategy of the game, court positioning and when to use specific shots.

3.0 Player: A “3.0” player is rated between 3.0 and 3.5.  This player knows the rules of Pickleball, match strategy and tactics. 3.0 players possess all shots; such as forehand and backhand, lob, overhead smash and dink, and hit them with a high level of consistency.

2.5 Player: A “2.5” player is rated between 2.5 and 3.0.  This player knows most of the rules and how to keep score after losing track. This player will move to the net behind the return of serve. This player will not fault on more than 1/4 of their serves, or fail to return more than half of backhands or overheads. The 2.5 Player has not yet developed skill or consistency in the overhead smash or the drop shots from well behind the No Volley Zone, or "Kitchen". This player can maintain a "dink" exchange at the net.

2.0 Player:  A 2.0 (Novice) player is normally rated between 2.0 and 2.5.  This player has had a lesson or has played with other pickleball players who have taught them the basic rules of how to play the game.  This player is learning to move around the court in a balanced and safe manner.  This player is learning to get the serve in regularly and usually remembers the 2-bounce rule.  Knows how to keep score, but may struggle to do so.  

Publishing the Players Schedule
The Players Schedule and time will be published on the Ladder link of the website at least 48 hours before the ladder play and emailed to all players. Players without email capability will need to setup an "email buddy".  Phone calls to communicate ladder position; court assignment, etc. will not be made.

See the published Schedule to determine which days the various Ladders play on. Note: Scheduled play times will vary with the weather. Watch for updates on the web site and bulletin board.

Ladder Displays
Only the ACTIVE players list will be published on the Ladder page of the website under "Standings".

Ladder Captains may place any player who cannot play for more than two weeks on an INACTIVE list which is seen only by the Captain. A player on INACTIVE status will remain there until their Ladder Captain receives an email from the player thereby reactivating their status.

The SCHEDULE is displayed each week showing only those players who are available to play that week or are assigned a bye/sub.
Absences Can't Play - BEFORE Schedule is Published:
1. If a player is unable to play on the specified day, he/she should EMAIL their Ladder Captain no later than 3 days prior to the ladder play day.  If the ladder captain posts the schedule more than 3 days prior to the ladder play, he/she will notify the participants of this fact.  The groupings will then be made without that player. The player's most recent score will stand until the player resumes play. There is no penalty for being absent, as long as, the player has emailed the Captain before the published deadline.

Can't Play - AFTER Schedule is Published
After the players schedule is published (within 48 hours of play) and prior to the actual match, if something comes up where you can't play it is the player's responsibility to resolve the problem, and he/she should proceed in the following sequence:
Call the Bye/Subs first.  If no Bye/Sub is available, call a SUB from the published schedule.
If no subs are listed, then talk to the ladder captain to determine if anyone else is available. The Ladder Captain will determine where the sub fits in terms of skill level, and will re-set the schedule accordingly.
ALWAYS NOTIFY your Ladder Captain of what you are doing.

Player Missing at Match Time
If there is a player or players missing at match time, then those players that are late (after the published start time) will be subject to the No Show rule (see No Show chapter). The other players will not receive a score for that match unless a Sub is available. The No Show rule applies to Bye/Subs also.

If no Sub is available the other players may find a "representative" replacement, which they all agree to, so that the match will continue. The replacement will not receive a score; however, all other scores will count. We do not want to penalize or prevent those players who have shown up from playing. A "representative" replacement player is one with the SAME skill level. Ladder Captains should NOT fill in unless they are within the same skill level and all players agree.

Percentage Establishment
When a new player is added to a ladder, he/she will develop a playing percentage as matches are played. Over time, the results of the ten most recent matches will be used to calculate the player's percentage.

An "R" for "Restricted Position" appears next to the percentage on the Standings page.
The Ladder program tracks player's rankings to eliminate major "bouncing" up and down the ladder. For instance, if you are a new player and your first score is 45, your percentage would be 100. Logically, your next match would be on court 1 against the top players, which may not be in everyone's best interest. So, the program has a built-in ONE-FOURTH rule, which RESTRICTS a player's movement to one-fourth of the ladder (rounded up) regardless of their percentage. Hence, one week you could have 85% and be ranked below a player who has 75% because you moved up only 1/4 of the ladder positions from where you were.
The reverse holds true going down the ladder should you have a very bad day. The ONE-FOURTH rule overrides your percentage. Hence, you could have 75% and still be ranked higher than someone with 80% because you moved down only 1/4 of the ladder positions from where you were.

Player Movement between Ladders
Player movement between Ladders is based on the player's percentage history (first and foremost) and a TPC or current USAPA rating if a player is seeking to move up a ladder. The Ladder Captain, in concert with the Ladder Manager, also has the discretion to move a player to a higher Ladder, if a determination is made that said player, although not completing the requisite time frame, and/or percentage achievement for movement, is judged to be sufficiently better than the other players, and should be moved up in the interest of fairness.  A player requesting to be rated will incur a nominal fee to cover the cost of a USAPA/IPTPA professional rater.

A player in the 3.5, 3.0, 2.5 or 2.0 Ladder will qualify to move up to the next higher ladder if they have an UNRESTRICTED standings percentage of 85 or more for 10 weeks.  (See previous paragraph on Percentage Establishment) and receive a rating by the rating committee commensurate with the higher level.  Likewise, a player will be moved down to the next lower ladder if they have an UNRESTRICTED 10 week average score below 70 percent.  A player falling below 70 percent, but wishing to remain within their current ladder may request to be rated by the rating committee.  If the player receives a rating commensurate with their current ladder, they are permitted to remain.   In moving up or down ladders, the accumulated scores will NOT be carried from one ladder to the other, but the earned byes will. (Note: "Unrestricted" refers to the 1/4 restricted movement explained in the previous chapter).

A player moving UP to a higher ladder will be placed at the bottom of that ladder, after which they will move up or down the ladder based on their playing percentage.
A player moving DOWN to a lower ladder will be placed at the top of that ladder until they have played a match, after which they will move up or down the ladder based on their playing percentage. This movement is NOT a choice by the player.

Ladder Captains will discuss movement of players with them before the next week's play.
IMPORTANT - A player qualifying for upward movement will be given a choice about whether they prefer to move up, or stay in their current ladder. This is being implemented, because sometimes a player (notwithstanding the fact that they have qualified to move up) may feel that they are not ready to compete at the higher skill level. Therefore, the Ladder Captain will speak to the player first, to get their approval. If any player refuses movement to a higher Ladder, and later changes their mind, then said player must re-qualify. A player deciding to stay in their current Ladder will keep their scores intact. Each time a player subsequently qualifies for upward movement, they will again be asked whether they want to move. If in the judgment of the Ladder Captain, or the Ladder Manager, it is felt that someone is taking advantage, and gets satisfaction from beating up on players of lesser ability, then Ladder Management has the exclusive right to intervene, and make a decision that is in the best interest of all concerned.

Inactive Players
Players may enter or leave a ladder at any time or miss a week or more because of their personal schedules. The ONLY requirement is to email their Ladder Captain BEFORE the match schedule is made out for the upcoming week. Please provide a reason for your movement to Inactive status.
If a player cannot play for a period of more than 2 weeks the Captain may place you on Inactive status until you email the Ladder Captain that you can play again. The Captain will inform the player of this status. The player's percentage stays the same while on the Inactive List. The Inactive List does not display on the web site. Note: When a player is returning to Active status, the position is based on percentage, not the player's position before the move to Inactive.

Once the player is on the active ladder again, the scores will - over a period of a few weeks - establish the player's proper ranking.
Players on the Inactive List for no apparent reason for 6 months or more may be dropped from the ladder roster.


BYEs
BYEs are assigned if the Ladder Captain is unable to fill out a foursome. BYEs are normally assigned from the bottom of the ladder ranking up, skipping any player who has already had a BYE. Assignment of BYES is at the discretion of the Captain. In later weeks when everyone has had a BYE, we will start over again. BYEs are carried with any movement between ladders. After being assigned a BYE you will automatically become a SUB for that week's match play.

SUBs
If you are assigned a Bye, you are expected to be a SUB for that week. Please notify your Ladder Captain if you are called to sub. Players above or below your ability within the same ladder may call you to SUB. Captains may also call on Inactive players to SUB.

SUB Scores
Sub scores count if the Sub is one of the players listed on the schedule as a Bye/Sub – and the Sub played all 3 games.  A Sub’s score would not count if the Sub played a partial match (i.e. fills in for an injured player). A Sub’s score would not count when the sub played an assigned match PLUS agreed to Sub in another match.
Interruption of a Match (Recording of Scores)
If the match is terminated before game three, DUE to WEATHER, then scores for the first two games will not count, and everyone will get an absence for the match.
If the match is terminated after game three has begun, DUE to WEATHER, then the team in front will be awarded whatever points are needed to bring their score to 15, and the team behind will get the same number of points added to their score...e.g....if the score is 5-0...the team in front gets 10 points added, and the team behind gets the same 10 points added, making the final score 15-10.
If the match is terminated DUE to INJURY, then a substitute should be called upon to complete the match. The sub must be of comparable ability (agreed to by the other three players) and can either be an active, or inactive player from that Ladder
(including someone who has already played that day) or anyone else deemed to be comparable. The substitutes score will not count. The injured player's score will not count either. Scores of the other three players will count.  If the match is terminated before game three and no substitute is available, then the scores will not count.  If game three has begun and if no player of comparable ability can be found, then the final score of game three will be determined by the same methods detailed above, under DUE to WEATHER.


No Shows
If you are a "No Show" (leaving three players without a match), and you have failed to notify your Ladder Captain, at the Ladder Captains discretion you will be suspended from ladder play for 2 weeks. If you're a "No Show" a second time within a 12-month period, you will be suspended from ladder play for a period of 4 weeks. A 3rd "No Show" during a 12-month period, suspends you from play for 12 months from the date of the infraction.

Rule Changes
These rules are subject to change. A written proposal should be submitted to the Ladder Manager. He/she will review and discuss your suggestions with you. The Ladder Manager will review your proposal with the TPC Executive Board and a final decision will be rendered.  You will be informed of that decision with an explanation should it be necessary.
 


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