Skill Level Expectations


2.0 Skill Level Beginners

*Must have taken Beginners Point, private lesson, or equivalent*

Knows the basic rules  – Serving, Double Bounce, Non-Volley Zone violations 

Knows how to score 

Limited awareness of court coverage, strategies, skills and/or limited experience

Mobility may be limited

Have fun and meet others who are also just learning how to play pickleball!


2.75-3.0 Skill Level Advanced Beginners

Plays regularly at VICTORIUM, the local parks, or elsewhere

Serves “in” at least 75% of the time

Returns serve “in” at least 75% of the time

Must keep a rally going for at least 6-10 hits

Learning to move forward toward non-volley zone line, (working on not staying back)

Aware of the importance of court coverage and working on moving appropriately  

Working on put-aways

Understands Returner-Side Strategies and Server-Side Strategies and is attempting to utilize these strategies

Able to block and volley shots

Start to attempt dinking in a point

3.0 Skill Level Intermediate

Good court awareness and positioning

Does not have frequent “foot faults” at the non-volley zone line

Serves “in” and Returns “in” at least 85% of the time

Fully Utilizes Server-Side Strategies and Returner-Side Strategies           

Able to block HARD Drives and executes block volleys, punch volleys and swing volleys             

Executes put-aways with 75% rate of success or higher        

Developing more power and/or softness in shots

Utilizes a variety of third shot options including drops, drives and lobs

Dinks mostly in opponents kitchen. May pop up the ball occasionally.

Able to sustain dinking in longer rallies

Moves forward through transition zone to non-volley zone when opportunity exists

Aware of partner’s position on the court and operates as a team

Consistently working at broadening skill set, instead of relying on one or two shots

3.5 Skill Level Intermediate

Strong Court Awareness – rarely has “foot fault” violations

Serves “in” and Returns “in” at least 95% of the time

Consistently uses a wide variety of third shots including drops, drives and lobs, each with intent

Consistently and effectively moves through transition zone to the non-volley zone

Demonstrates different strategies during games

Able to dink at least 10-15 times in a rally and dinks with a purpose

Executes put-aways with 80% or higher success rate

Solid communication with partners and demonstrates effective court positioning

Specifically places shots rather than reactively hitting shots

Creates advantage by mixing hard and soft shots

Reduced amount of unforced errors

Demonstrates ability to intentionally play in offensive mode

Self-correcting after play is over

Demonstrates extended periods of multi-dimensional play

4.0 Skill Level Advanced

Primarily plays in offensive mode rather than reacting to opponents strategies

Controls and places serves and return of serves to best advantage

Applies advanced strategies, particularly in dinking

Consistently varies shots for competitive advantage, uses power shots selectively

Communicates and moves well with partner — easily “switches” court positions

Plays at the non-volley zone whenever possible

Works with partner to control the line, keeping opponents back and moving them off the line.

Can block hard volleys directed at them

Solid footwork, able to move laterally, backward and forward with ease

Hits overhead shots consistently, often as “putaways”

Ability to change a hard shot to a soft shot

Consistently executes effective drop shots that are not easily returned for advantage

Can effectively poach

Hits a low number of unforced errors per game

Regularly demonstrates “anticipation of play”

Self-correcting during play

Consistently is a multi-dimensional player and/or is exceptionally dominant when opponent has predictable shots and strategies

4.5+ Skill Level - Advanced

Can regularly convert a hard shot to a soft shot

Exhibits patience in play at a superior level

Shows noticeably increased skills, a higher level of strategy, quickness of hands and movement,
judicious use of power, superior placement of shots, superb anticipation of play.

Sustained volleying skills, superior put-aways —all with consistency

Makes very few unforced errors

Has a UTPR Rating of 4.5 or above with USA Pickleball

Has played and won a variety of competitive tournaments

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