What qualities make a pickleball rating...GREAT?

Kevin Brown
January 8, 2024

You play pickleball. Maybe you play tournament pickleball. Heck, you may watch pro pickleball tournaments, but why should you care about the algorithm behind your rating, no matter who you are. And what is an algorithm anyway?














Play the DUPR Waterfall - August 5-7 in Newport Beach, CA

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$100k Amateur Prize Pool

4 Matches in 4 Hours - No waiting Around

Welcome to the Future of Pickleball


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June 21, 2022

What qualities make a pickleball rating...GREAT?

You play pickleball. Maybe you play tournament pickleball. Heck, you may watch pro pickleball tournaments, but why should you care about the algorithm behind your rating, no matter who you are. And what is an algorithm anyway?














Play the DUPR Waterfall - August 5-7 in Newport Beach, CA

(Running concurrent to MLP 2022 Newport Beach)

$100k Amateur Prize Pool

4 Matches in 4 Hours - No waiting Around

Welcome to the Future of Pickleball


More Info

Educational
April 11, 2022

The DUPR Origin Story

An open letter to the global Pickleball community on ratings by Steve Kuhn, DUPR & Major League Pickleball founder



I first fell in love with Pickleball 7 years ago.  My nephew told me there was a “new” sport that combined aspects of tennis and table tennis (2 previous romances) and that I should try it.  I googled “Pickleball Austin Texas” and on that fateful Wednesday night I found myself in the Bethany Church gym.


The infatuation was immediate.  I fell hard.  I soon had a 5 night a week habit and learned a lot about world religions (the Jewish Community Center became a favorite, for example.)


I am known for my enthusiasm.  I told everyone I knew that Pickleball was the next big thing.  I argued that one day Pickleball would be the most played sport in America.  One person who heard this proclamation was Andy Roddick (I served on his charity board) and I remember quite distinctly his response;  “Steve, you are an idiot!”  It was said with love.


As my addiction grew, I sought wise counsel.  Pam and Toby Boyd, two USA Pickleball Ambassadors, took me under their wing.  Later Walter and Christina Dorman beat me into submission until I learned how to play a bit better.  The spirit of joy and sharing that permeates this sport is unlike any other and I'm thankful to the countless thousands who have helped build this sport for the last 57 years.  We were fortunate enough to host the Pickleball Hall of Fame ceremony at Dreamland earlier this year and I had a chance to thank some of those legends in person.


I wanted to share this amazing sport with everyone I knew.  I wanted to play my part in helping more people find something that makes them happier and healthier.  I joined USA Pickleball and helped form Greater Austin Pickleball (Mind the GAP!).  I organized play for kids groups throughout Austin.  And I talked my friend Andy and his friend Andre (Agassi) into trying this sport.


But all that wasn’t enough!  I wanted to do more to help Pickleball reach a goal of 40 million players by 2030.  


I decided to recruit a group of amazing owners to start Major League Pickleball (MLP).  I opened a venue named Dreamland with 16 courts and some of the world’s top players living and training to be their best.  


But most importantly, I founded DUPR (Dreamland Universal Pickleball Rating) to help players more accurately track their progress and to find players at their level, when play is its most competitive and most fun.  


At the time of DUPR’s founding, less than 1% of Pickleball players had any rating.  I knew from my experience in tennis and golf that an accurate skill measurement system was something that led to people wanting to increase their rating or lower their handicap.  They would want to play more and would want to get more lessons.  There is nothing like the ladder on the wall of a club to motivate players!  DUPR provides that.


In designing DUPR, the following qualities were deemed pivotal for the community:


  • Inclusive: means it is easy for anyone to use DUPR.  We have created a downloadable mobile app and website that allows anyone who wants to do so to turn casual play into something a little more meaningful.  As we say “DUPR or it didn’t happen!”  
  • Inexpensive: It is free to download DUPR and have a rating.  We wanted to make it for the widest adoption possible, and nothing beats free.  
  • Widely used: Number of players, match results, clubs, countries, etc. It will be hard for any other system to catch up to DUPR’s already beloved global adoption by clubs, international federations and players across the world.  
  • Ends geographic disparities in ratings:  Because we have enough players who travel to play in tournaments all over the map, we have the necessary “connectivity” to greatly reduce any such disparities and we have published lists of the top Male and Female players in each USA Pickleball region to allow others to check our work.
  • Responsive and Dynamic: As we have seen numerous times, players can emerge quickly in this sport and enter even the highest levels. DUPR rates more recent matches as more relevant and that allows our lists of top players to rapidly reflect new stars.
  • And last but certainly not least, Accurate and Reliable.  This will always be a work in progress.  There is no perfect rating system.  We have to have the humility to hear complaints and differing views on ratings.  Hopefully, our response to a complaint that your rating (or someone else’s) is inaccurate would be to explore that possibility and see if we can learn something.

DUPR will not lose sight of its goal to bring more people to this amazing sport.  We are in discussions with USA Pickleball and others on all the ways we can work together to meet this goal–40 million players before 2030. “40 by 30!”  Let’s go!


Steve Kuhn

Founder of DUPR and Pickleball fanatic



Community
Educational
April 11, 2022

Five Key Takeaways from DUPR's "Ask Us Anything" with Founder, Steve Kuhn

Did you miss DUPR’s livestream “Ask us Anything”?

We’ve got you covered.


Here are the five key takeaways and most asked questions from the already popular event:


1.) Is a 4.0 50 year old man really the same exact skill as a 4.0 19 year old woman?


YES! The DUPR system is designed to be gender blind and analyze ONLY a player’s performance-not their hair color or their wingspan. The current state of tournaments and ratings is not sustainable for the growth of the sport—in the last month, a Pickleball event occurred with over 100 brackets! This is not only operationally unscalable, it’s completely antithetical to the culture and ethos of our sport. As a community, we don’t crave silo’d systems and brackets (ie a new bracket for every 5 years of age and .5 of skill)—the community craves fair play. The solution is more accurate ratings—NOT more bracketing. American Tennis had been on life support for 20+ years until UTR (Universal Tennis) exploded onto the scene with an “innovative” concept: level-based play. Pickleball needs to learn a lesson from Tennis before it’s too late.


2.) How can I get my club up on DUPR or run a tournament and send results to DUPR?


Easy! Email support@mydupr.com. It’s totally free to send results to DUPR and there are ZERO up front costs to running a tournament on DUPR’s new tournament management platform that launched last week.



3.) What does the future of tournaments look like?


Tighter bracketing—DUPR knows that competitive play occurs when players’ DUPRs are between .25. Currently, events are run within a .5 differential—this is WAY too high and creates completely unbalanced, non-level-based matches. We’ve analyzed thousands of results to find that on average, a medalist can be as high as 1 full point above their registered bracket (ie a 4.0 winning a 3.0 bracket) and only 20% of matches actually go to three games (if the current ratings worked, this number should be much, much higher). Using the DUPR software, every single match can be competitive, players can find partners more easily (because the only requirement is skill—not age or gender) and organizers have the ability to guarantee more matches (imagine playing four matches guaranteed!) Organizers can also provide guaranteed time slots in three hour windows (ie 8-11, 12-3, 3-6) AND with dedicated warm up courts. Now isn’t that #dreamy



4.) Do all four players have to be signed up to post a score?


No! You can invite players who aren’t already signed up for DUPR all within the post a score “flow”. Once they accept the invite, the match will validate. It only takes one person on the opposing team to validate the match for the score to post. However, we are reversing that logic soon to be an “invalidation” process— if one person from the opposing team DOESN’T invalidate the match within 72 hours, it WILL post to your DUPR account.



5.) Who can have a DUPR and how many matches does it take to get rated?


It's totally free to have a DUPR and it only takes ONE match against someone who has a DUPR to get rated. It takes between 5-10 to see what we call a totally "reliable rating". If two people play and neither has a DUPR--that match can still count! Once one of the players “touch” someone who has a DUPR, their previous match will retroactively “count”. No data is ever lost!


Want to learn more about DUPR? Check out the company's origin story from the founder himself, Steve Kuhn, in an open letter to the global Pickleball community.  

Community
Educational