Other Tournament Formats For Your Pickleball Club

This section is intended to be a point where you could review different tournament formats for your pickleball club. Perhaps we could have called this “just for fun”, as that’s what these are. Non-sactioned? Sure. Non-competitive? Not exactly. Good fun and perhaps even more fair for a varied-skills pickleball club to run as (perhaps) a one-day event? Surely. Please do understand that some of what is here are not necessarily formats that we’ve had personal experience with (if that’s grammatical), but the authors’ have and assure us they work.

If you have any ideas for a tournament format that we should also publish here, please…you are welcome to contact us via email and send it along, preferably in a soft copy or as a .PDF if you prefer. If we use it, we will credit you of course!

Round Robin organized by age and skill

    1. We are a pickleball club with only 6 courts who has an annual tournament trying to make it a social event, but offer competitive playing.  One of the complaints we have had at our annual tournament is that a team might travel a few hours to play only three or four games even if it were double elimination.  This year we decided to have a round robin where every team in pickleball club played each other, but prizes were awarded by age and skill.  We had 15 mixed doubles teams and each team got to play 14 games to 11 win by 1.  Points were accrued and awards were given at the end of play.  The most points any team could accrue was 154.  A team, age 65 with a rank of 3.0 might only receive 90 points because they had to play teams that were younger and ranked higher.  What made it challenging for the less skilled and older player was to do well against the better players in order to accrue more points than someone of the same age and skill.  Was it fun for the better skilled and younger player?  No one complained and there were enough good teams to keep things competitive for them.  Of course the number 1 team accrued 154 points. The less skilled enjoyed the challenge and there were enough teams to make it competitive for them also.  In the end there were medals for all age levels and ranks determined by points accrued.  This is a good format when you don’t have enough courts to accommodate different ages and ranks in sufficient numbers to make it competitive.
      Thanks for this to: Cathy Stansbury, USAPA Ambassador for Daytona Beach, FL

One-Day Round Robin “King (or Queen) of Courts” format

Here’s a one-day tournament set for the Bend Pickleball Club later this year to benefit charity:

    1. Date: Early September. Maybe the Saturday after Labor Day.
    2. 32 teams per skill level. Men’s doubles, ladies doubles and mixed doubles all play in the same division.
    3. Round Robin format guarantied 4 games for each team. Max 6 games for the finalists.
    4. 4 teams in 4 groups (A, B, C, D) play a RR. (3 games each) on courts 1-8.
    5. After 3 games the 1st ranked team of A plays the 1st ranked team of B and the 1st ranked team of C plays the 1st ranked team of D. The winner of these two games play a final game for the King or Queen of the courts 1-8. Loser of this game is done. 2nd ranked A plays 2nd ranked B and so on.
    6. We repeat the same format on courts 9-16 with E, F, G & I group.
    7. Games go to 11. Win by one. 1 bonus point for the winner. Time limit 15 minutes. If score after 15 min is 9:7 it will be recorded as 11:9. No bonus points.
    8. Allow 2.0 hours for each skill level with a 30 min break between skill levels.
    9. 08:00 -10:00  2.5
    10. 10:30 -12:30  3.0
    11. 13:00 -1500   3.5
    12. 15:30 – 17:30 16 teams of 4.0 on courts 1-8 and 16 teams of 4.5+ on courts 9-16.
    13. 1 Captain needed for A & B group and another one for C & B to record scores.
    14. These Captains could be players from the next skill level shift or volunteers.
    15. Computers needed for court assignments at the begin of each session
    16. P/A system only needed to call at begin of each session
    17. Player entry fees to be a donation to B&GC (Boys and Girls Club, Bend, Oregon)

Want more information on this one? Kirk Foster, Vice-President, Bend Pickleball Club

Non-Medalist Tournament

Want something that will provide a tournament format for those who don’t feel like they can ever win a medal, so why should they compete? Here’s a great idea, originally designed to be an alternative for the USAPA to add but until they consider it, it would work just as well non-sanctioned! If you try it and it works, please let us know! This is from USAPA Ambassador Jack Hodges…poor guy is forced to operate out of Kauai, so have some sympathy for him, but contact  him through their website (below) if you have further questions.



Along the lines of tournaments…..and this may have already happened and I missed it……….
Has anyone given thought to a sanctioned tournament for non-medalists?  You see the same names over and over again playing in—and winning—tournaments, and this is a great thing, but wouldn’t an “all comers, must never have medaled before” tournament be a fun promotion for our USAPA organization?
Our former medalists (especially from the area where the tournament was being played) could give back by being there, offering advice/clinics, officiating, etc.
Time to expand our interest level and participation in USAPA tournaments.
Jack Hodges
Kauai Ambassador

1 Comment

  • Pat Lyddan
    August 29, 2018

    We have one2 Pickleball courts on an indoor tennis court at our condo community and have approximately16 consistent players at different levels. We would like to have a tournament but not sure of the format we should use. Can you give us any suggestions.

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