Pickleball Ladder Instructions

Monday Evening Mixed Ladder Pickleball

When will we be Playing: Monday Evenings

Who Can Play: Mixed ladder is for men and women pickleball players of any ability who are members of the Stouffville Pickleball Players (SPP).

How to Sign up: After having logged into the website go to the Ladder tab and register for the week’s ladder session. You can only register on the Tuesday preceding the Monday’s session. If you change your mind before the schedule is created you can unregister.

If you have to cancel after the schedule is created: It is your responsibility to find a replacement. Each week all the mixed ladder pickleball players will be e-mailed the mixed ladder schedule. It will include all players names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. If you have to cancel, email the whole group using the e-mail that was sent to you and ask if anyone can play for you. Another player may want to play two sessions, or someone that indicated they could not play that week may now be available. You can also go to the Home tab on the website and find the full membership list. Someone from that list may be willing to replace you. Please try to find a replacement that is at your skill level.

How will you know when you are playing and with whom: Before the event you will be notified by e-mail what time you will be playing, what court you will be playing on and who the other players are that you will be playing with. You will be receiving the schedule. Courts are not numbered but look for the players that are designated to be on your court.

How the Game will be Played: Players will be assigned to a court for a 1 hour and 15 minute period. Either 6:45 to 8:00 or 8:00 to 9:15. Do not be late and limit your warm up time. During that time you will play games to to a predefined number of points(12-16 or 15), win by one point. When the game is done players mark down the scores on the score sheets provided. In a round-robin tournament with 5 players, each player will face off against every other player exactly once. Here’s an example of the match schedule:

  • Round 1: Player 1 vs. Player 2 Player 3 vs. Player 4 Player 5 has a bye (meaning they don’t play in this round)
  • Round 2: Player 1 vs. Player 3 Player 2 vs. Player 5 Player 4 has a bye
  • Round 3: Player 1 vs. Player 4 Player 5 vs. Player 3 Player 2 has a bye
  • Round 4: Player 1 vs. Player 5 Player 2 vs. Player 4 Player 3 has a bye
  • Round 5: Player 2 vs. Player 3 Player 4 vs. Player 5 Player 1 has a bye

In this schedule, each player competes in 4 matches, and each player faces every other player once. The byes are used to ensure that each player gets a break in one of the rounds.

The next game is played but this time with different partners. When this set is finished then sets continue to be played until you  have partnered with all players in your group. Your scores over the games are totaled and that are used to determine your rank within the group.

The aim is to make the top players move up the ladder and the bottom players move down. The top players see their rank decrease, the bottom players have their rank increased. Players who have no score for a week move down the ladder and their rank is increased. Remaining players are then allocated ranks based on their scores that week.

Who you play the following week: Who you play each week will depend on where you are on the ladder and who signed up for that week. New players are inserted in the ladder at approximate places depending on their reported and perceived skill levels. If it turns out that these new players are much better or not as good as expected the next cycle of schedules is used to correct their position on the ladder manually.

Time of Play each Week: Either 6:45 to 8:00 or 8:00 to 9:15. you must be available for both times. If you have entered a travel partner in your profile the schedule tries to take that into account so that you both play at the same time.

How will the Groups Be Made Up: The schedule is calculated to make each player play with players that are similar in ability to themselves. It will not matter if it is a man or woman playing. Groups are made up sequentially by player rank.

You only have one hour and 15 minutes to complete your games. If your game is not finished by the time the hour and 15 minutes is up mark the score on your score sheet and leave the court so that the next team can get on the courts play their game. Games that start at the 8:00 time can continue playing until all games are complete.

Scores that are not entered will be considered as players who did not play that week.

The number of players signing up must fill a group:  If full groups cannot be calculated in the schedule the last players to sign up will not be playing that week and will go on the spare or waiting list. The number of players accommodated each week depends on the number of courts and times available. Sign up early. The first players to sign up will be playing. First come, first served!

Hope you have fun playing Mixed Ladder Pickleball

Stouffville Pickleball Players

Ladder tournament by groups – technical description

This document is a reference document for those of you who want to know how your new rank came about. If you cursor over your rank and click on “view” you will see the details of the calculations. You can do that with other players as well. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

The main purpose of this tournament is to allow players to enjoy the game and play with others of the same skill level.

This particular tournament has over 80 players enrolled. Players have to sign up to play each week as only a limited number of courts are available.

In this case, 8 courts are available and 2 time slots.

New rankings are calculated on the basis of previous rankings and scores. These are subject to fine tuning change.

  1. set @win = -3 or -4; #winner of each group
  2. set @lose = 2.5; #loser of each group
  3. set @lastlose = 3.5; #overall bottom player
  4. set @mid2nd = -.8; #players who comes in 2nd in their group
  5. set @mid3rd = 1.35; #players who comes in 3rd or 4th in their group
  6. set @noshow = 1.6; #players who did not play
  7. set @subst = 0; #substitute and spare players

Note the decimal in each one of these. They do not affect the rankings but do serve to indicate where the player finished within the group.  (.4 is in last position, .3 in second from the last, .2 (-.8) in second position).

We have slightly “tweaked” ranking points for players who come in first in their group. If they were 3rd or 4th in their group and they win that group then we take 4 ranking points from them (they go up the ladder). Otherwise we take 3 ranking points from the winners, as before. This applies to people in the first group as well, you cannot do better than 1st place (no place 0 or -1).
After the computer calculates ranking points the convener  examines the resulting rankings and can make slight changes in the ranking points to alter rankings. This allows for the tweaking of players who were either ranked too high or too low when they started. Remember, the goal of the ladder system is to allow players to play with players at the same level and to make the playing experience as pleasant as possible.

The above has been copied from the computer program which calculates the new rankings. These are explained below:

All the numbers represent ranking points and are numbers which are added to the player’s previous rank. These become calculated ranks and only serve to put the players in order, from lowest calculated rank to highest calculated rank. Ties are resolved by placing the player who played or who had the lowest previous rank first.


the winner of each group gets -3 or -4 added to their ranking points (their ranking improves). This becomes a calculated rank and must not be below 1;

the player in last position in the last group gets +3 added to their previous rank (their ranking worsens);

the player in last position in each group gets +2.4 added to their previous rank (their ranking worsens);

the player in 2nd position gets -.8 added to their previous rank (their ranking improves);

the player in 3rd or 4th position gets +1.35 added to their previous rank (their ranking worsens);

players who do not play in a particular session get +1.6 added to their previous rank (their ranking worsens). This prevents players from choosing not to play to protect their ranking. The .6 is added to break ties in ranking points with players who have played that week.

Players who are spares or who play as substitutes in groups that do not have a full complement of players have 0 added to their ranking (their ranking stays the same). Players who had a substitute play for them are assigned a negative score (on the scoresheet) and become “no -shows”.

Other players may choose to join the ladder and their calculated rankings become the ranking assigned to them by the convener based on reported playing levels, subjective evaluations or just plain guesses. Their calculated ranking becomes this ranking +0.

The convener then looks at all the rankings and has a final say in the resultant “calculated” rankings. The convener then places the desired calculated rank in the override column (on the website page) and this override column becomes the final calculated rankings column.

All players are then placed in the order of their calculated rankings, ties resolved by their previous rankings. New rankings are then determined by player’s resultant positions, from 1 to the number of players registered for the ladder.

Please note that this kind of ranking system may result in apparent anomalies. For instance, a better ranked player may not get as many points in his group as a lower ranked player but because of the difference in their beginning ranks the movement in the ladder may not be enough to move the player with more points in that group above the player that had fewer points. This prevents large movements that may just be accidental to one session.

The next playing session is set up with players who register for the session. They are then assigned to groups in the order of their rank. Thus, the first players go in the first group based on their rank. Those may not be the top players in the ladder, some of those top players may not have registered to play in that session.

The convener then assigns courts and times. Where possible players who have indicated that they travel together are put in the same time slot. This is not always possible.

At the end of each playing session scores are entered into the computer and the whole process is repeated.

For the techies among you, this is all programmed in a single mysql query.