What is the DUPR skill rating system?
Excerpts from Mary Barsaleau Special to The Desert Sun Sept 2021 Full article here
DUPR, which rhymes with “super,” stands for Dynamic Universal Pickleball Rating and was developed in 2021 by Steve Kuhn, founder of Major League Pickleball (MLP). DUPR aims to be the most accurate, global rating system in pickleball.
"Right now, the world of pickleball ratings is a bit like the Wild West. Not only are many players self-rating for tournaments well below their actual skill level, but also, some are being forced to stay in a lower level bracket, despite having drastically improved their skills after qualifying..."
Commonly pickleball events at tournaments, for example, are run within a 0.5 differential (3.0, 3.5, 4.0, etc).. This differential is way too high and creates completely unbalanced, non-level-based matches. After analyzing thousands of results, the DUPR team found that, on average, a medalist can be as high as 1 full point above their registered bracket (i.e. a 4.0 player winning a 3.0 bracket). Also, only 20% of matches actually go to three games. If the current rating systems worked, this number would be much higher because players would be similarly skilled. DUPR knows that the most competitive play occurs when each team’s rating is within a 0.250 differential. That’s called “DUPR neutral.
DUPR can help players get ratings based on the same scale
All players, regardless of their age, gender, location or skill are rated on the same scale between 2.000-8.000 based on their match results.
Those accustomed to the typical bracketing system — with ratings ranging from 3.0 to about 5 — will find their DUPR rating fits within that scale, while at the top end, the professional ratings are expanded above 5.000 up to 8.000.
For example, Ben Johns, top pro-pickleball athlete, was rated 6.668 in 2021 while a typical instructor might be rated 4.467.
Any player can get a rating
One match result is all it takes to acquire a DUPR rating although many current matches is what a player needs to get a "high confidence" rating.
Even if four players who are all unrated play and post a score, if just one of those four players subsequently plays any rated player, all four players will become retroactively rated. This is what DUPR developers call “connectivity.”