MIDLAND AREA PICKLEBALL CLUB
You must be a member to play. No drop-ins.
This play is for members only. All members, regardless of skill level, are welcome to join the ladder. You do not have to commit to play every time, but it is not a drop-in style of play, so it works better if you can commit to play for a number of times. Eg 4 times. Players will be asked to commit to playing in any individual week, by notifying the coordinator. Of course, we understand that emergencies may arise. Players will be notified if they have been selected to play. Players will be expected to show up 15 minutes early to allow for the organization of the courts, so that we can use our court time for actual play.
The point of the ladder is to have an organized way to have players matched mostly with others of similar skill levels, while still mixing things up so you don’t always play with the same people. Your ranking on a ladder is based mainly upon your winning percentage (essentially, the ratio of points won to total points possible). This format of play is suitable for all skill levels, but the spirit of play may be a bit more “competitive” as players vie to move up the ladder. Play is still intended to be fun and conducted with good-sportsmanship and appropriate pickleball etiquette.
For those interested in the nitty-gritty, we set out more detail below. The system may sound complicated, but the bottom line is that
you just have to sign up, show up, play on your assigned court and write down your scores. We take care of the rest.
For 6 courts, the ideal number of players on each day is between 24 and 30. If more than 30 players want to play, we will have to limit the numbers by selecting rotating players to sit out each week.
Each week, players will be placed on pre-assigned courts in groups of 4 or 5 in the order of their ranking on the ladder, with Court 1 being the top of the ladder and Court 6 the bottom. All players will play doubles games with the other three or four players on their court, keeping track of their scores on a score sheet. Then, on each court, the top player will switch “up a court” and the bottom player “down a court”. This means that in the second round robin, each court will lose two players and gain two new players. But because Court 1 can only move down, and Court 6 can only move up, those courts will only lose and gain one player.
Then a second round robin will be held. If there are 5 players assigned to a court, a bye will be built in to the round robin play. We think it will work to have games go to 11 points (with no two-point difference) for 4-player courts and to 9 points (with no two-point difference) for the 5-player courts. Players on 4-player courts play 3 games each, while players on 5-player courts play 4 games each – so hopefully the actual playing time evens out. But we may have to switch to rally scoring if games are taking too long to play in our allotted time.
At the end of the day, the score sheets are submitted to the coordinator, who will recalculate the ladder standings, based on the day's results. Over the weeks, your scores from each week are averaged to give you a cumulative ladder score. The actual formula to create the ladder is built into a spreadsheet, which essentially assigns scores to people based on how many points they won out of the available number of points available, so a player who loses every game by 9 to 11 will be scored higher than a player who consistently loses 2 to 11. There are also small bonuses built in for winning games and for playing on higher ranked courts. We are borrowing the formula and spreadsheet from one that has been used with success by other pickleball clubs.
The next time, players will be assigned to each court based on the new ladder standings and the available players.
Once a few weeks have been played and the ladder sorts itself out, regardless of which court you are playing on, you should end up playing with players at roughly the same level as yourself.
Our research has revealed that the ladder play starts to work more quickly and efficiently if you begin the ladder by roughly sorting the more advanced players at the top of the ladder. We do not want to get into the business of subjectively ranking players, but heeding the advice of others with ladder experience, we propose that the players who regularly play in the Advanced court (when we have one) be randomly sorted at the top to start the ladder. Similarly, the Intermediate players will then be sorted randomly, next in line on the ladder. We are using a computer random number generator to randomly sort the players to start – so please do not be mad at us if you do not like your starting spot when we begin ladder play! It is the random number generator, not us. And after that, your play will govern which court you play on.
Contact us if you want to play in the ladder!
Please note, that once the ladder gets started, only players who have expressed an interest in the ladder will get regular communications about the ladder, so if you are interested in playing the ladder, or if you have any feedback, questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact the coordinator, Janet Gallin, at MAPladder411@gmail.com
SOME IMPORTANT REMINDERS:
An Explanation of how the ladder scores are calculated
To calculate the ladder scores, we use a spreadsheet that has been used with success by other pickleball clubs.
The majority of the score you get each week is based on the percentage of points you won vs the points that were available to be won. If you want to move up the ladder, the most important factor is to win as many points as you can in each game.
The second, much smaller part of the score is a bonus based on games won, with a small factor to reward people who win games on higher ranked courts.
Part one – the percentage of points won out of points available to be won
Your total score is calculated on a percentage basis for the week.
Round one, if you played 3 games and got 29 points out of a possible 33 and
Round two, if you played 3 games and got 24 points out of a possible 33
Then you would have 53/66 which equals 80.30 percent
Part two – the bonus
The additional bonus points are calculated as follows:
For every win on court #1, 3.00 points are awarded; 2.75 points for wins on court #2,......down to 1.75 points for wins on court #6.
This has the effect of giving greater value to players on the higher ranked courts, and over time accentuates the difference in the levels of play, meaning that over time people will end up having a better chance of playing with similarly skilled players.
So, for example, if a player won a total of 5 games on court 1, his bonus for that week would be 5 x 3 = 15.
If a player won 5 games on court 6, his bonus for the week would be 5 x 1.75 = 8.75.
There is a maximum 3 game bonus per round. If you win 4 games in a 5 player court, you will be given a bonus based on 3 games. This is so that players in a 5 player court do not get an extra advantage of being able to earn more bonus points.
Adding it all together
Our player in part one above (with a base percentage of 80.30) would get a different overall weekly score depending on which courts they played on, and how many games they won.
Played all games on Court One and won 3 in the first round and 1 in the second round 80.30 + (3 x 3) + (1 x 3) = 92.30
Won 3 games on Court Two and 1 game on Court One 80.30 + (3 x 2.75) + (1 x 3) = 91.55
Won 4 games on Court Five and 2 games on Court Four 80.30 + (3 x 2.00) + (2 x 2.25) = 90.80
(remember you only get credit for a maximum of 3 wins per round)
The maximum possible score in a given week is 118 (if you won all of your games on Court One)
Averaging scores over the weeks.
Every week you play, your score will be averaged with all of your previous week's scores to give you an overall cumulative ladder score. We anticipate that there will be a lot of volatility at the beginning of our ladder season, and that people will zip up and down the ladder, until things start to average out and we should end up with people playing in games where they are matched with players of a similar skill level.
You must be a member to play.
NEW PILOT: Friday **ROUND ROBIN play from noon to 2:00 PM at NSSRC.
For the month of September 2019 only, all you have to do is show up at noon on Fridays and we’ll enter your name into the Round Robin software. It may be that starting in October 2019, we will end up with a ladder for those who want to play competitively, and a Round Robin for those who want to play recreationally, but first we want to pilot Round Robins, and see how that goes.
No need to sign up ahead of time, but you must register upon your arrival so that you can be scheduled.
Any time you wish to leave early, let me know, so I can take your name off again.
The software mixes up the players and assigns byes if necessary.
One side of the curtain we will have a “Competitive Round Robin”
and the other side will have a “Recreational Round Robin” scheduled.
We won’t track scores.
I am using the final scores from the ladder program as a guide to who plays where.
This should group similarly skilled players together for a good game for everyone.
If you were not part of the Ladder, we will do our best to place you where we think you will have fun, from week to week, bearing in mind that quite a few players could belong on either side and we are doing our best to be fair.
If we have placed you on one side, and you have a strong preference for the other side, let us know and we will see what we can do. Remember that each game will have different partners and opponents for you, and there should be lots of variety of play, regardless of the side you are placed on.
Depending on who shows up each week, you may end up on the competitive side one week, and the recreational side the next.
Again, this is a pilot to see if this is a style of play that the club will enjoy, so please be patient as we try to work out the bugs. Our goal is for players to have fun games with similarly skilled players, while still mixing things up a bit, so you get to play with a variety of people.
**Round Robin play is organized where each game is played with a different partner against different partners, but the score is not recorded. Each game will last 12 minutes and when the whistle blows everyone switches again regardless of what the score is.
The following excerpt from a Pickleball magazine was brought to our attention and it is so true:
The 2.0’s want to play with the 3.0’s, the 3.0’s want to play with the 4.0’s and the 4.5’s think they’re God’s gift to pickleball.
As you know first-hand, pickleball is most fun when similarly-skilled players play together and compete against each other. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Without adequate structure, chaos generally prevails.
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Designed and updated by Helen Proctor.
Comments and questions are appreciated.
Last updated: July 26, 2020