August 2021 Changes to Play Format


Why the change in play format?

POPS players range in experience and skill level from beginners to more experienced and advanced players. There is benefit in playing with and against a wide range of players, likewise, playing with and against players of similar skill levels challenges and improves play at all levels.  The play format above provides opportunities for players of all skill levels to be challenged, improve skills and enjoy play in a respectful social setting.

What is social play?

Social Play is the current format for play.  Players of all abilities are playing with and against each other. Following a game, the runner up paddles and winner paddles are placed in different lines and when a court is free winners play against winners and runners up play against others who were runners up in their last game. 

What are drills?

Each Saturday one hour is dedicated for large group drills. Sign-ups occur Monday to Friday at the courts for the next session until a maximum of 24 is reached.  Drill coordinator(s) will lead the group in drills to practice, a variety of skills. The dedicated courts for drills on Tuesday and Thursday are for players who wish to drill throughout the morning for 15-30 minutes. A drill coordinator will be present at the court. 

What are novice lessons and novice play?

The lessons assist players to become more comfortable with the equipment and their understanding of the game. Dedicated novice courts ensures that on specific days and time slots courts are available to play in an environment for success.  More experienced players will offer their assistance.  Sign up for lessons will take place at the pickleball courts from Monday-Friday for the next session.

What is level Play?

Level play allows players with similar skills to play with and against each other – offering a challenging and competitive series of games. 

Three levels will be used to designate courts: level 1, 2 and 3.  Players move up and down the numbered courts depending on whether they win or are runner up in their game. Winners move up one court, runners up move down one court.

What level am I?

Level 1 (courts 1&2) are for players in the early stages of learning the game. 

Level 2 (courts 3, 4) are players who are experiencing greater success and consistency in performing many pickleball skills and are gaining consistency with their backhand and shot placement.

Level 3 (court 5 and 6) are players who consistently strategize their play and have a repertoire of successful backhand and forehand shot placements. 

Choosing my court

Court 6 will remain vacant at the start of play.

Choose the court reflective of your level of play. There may be a line up for play at a court. For example, there may be 6 players who want to start play at court 5. Two paddles are placed outside the court and they will be the next up after the first game ends.  Likewise, there may be more than four players who wish to start at court 2. It is conceivable that one of the courts will not have 4 players to start play, that court will wait until the first game is finished to begin play.

Why does my court selection matter?

Choosing the right court ensures that players in level play will play with and against players of the same or similar skill level. 

What do I do after a game in level play?

All games are timed for 12 minutes. If the game is over before 12 minutes continue scrimmaging until the whistle blows to end play. The winning team will move up one court (for example, from court 4 to 5) and the runner up team will move down one court (from court 3 to 2, for example). 

Each court may have players or a player in waiting. The player in waiting (paddle placed behind that court at the start of play) is next in line to play at that court at the end of a game.  When players move up or down a court at the end of play, they switch playing partners.  At the blow of the whistle, play commences. 

Summary of Level Play

  • It is designed to maximize play with players of the same or similar ability.
  • There are three levels assigned to courts:
    • Level 1 – Novice: Courts 1&2
    • Level 2 – Intermediate: Courts 3&4
    • Level 3 – Advanced: Courts 5&6
  • Read the description of each level of play to help you decide where you will begin play.
  • Players determine what court to start play.
  • There may be empty courts to begin play as more than four players may wish to begin play at the same court.
  • Players waiting to play at a court are next up at the conclusion of a game.
  • Games are timed – 12 minutes, play begins and ends on the whistle. The team in the lead at the whistle is the winner. If the game is tied, the game goes to sudden death rally point.
  • At the end of the game winning partners move to the next higher numbered court, runners up move to the next lower numbered court. (Court number is located on the ball holder.)
  • Players change partners at the end of the game.
  • Court 6 is empty to begin play
  • Winning partners at court 6 remain at court 6
  • Runner up partners at court 1 remain at court 1