Santa Fe ShootOuts

The goal of a pickleball shootout is to objectively calculate the performance of individual players with the ultimate objective of placing them on a court with other very competitive players 'at or near' their level of play. 'At or near' their level of play based solely on their performance; not the opinion of their friends, not the opinion of a rating committee, nor their own self-evaluation.

So, how do we calculate performance?

We take the number of points you scored out of the possible you could have scored times 100, and then we add extra points for every win you had on the courts you played on. The extra points are added as follows: 3 points for every win on court One; 2.75 points for every win on court Two, 2.5 points for every win on court Three, etc.  Example: Sally played on court Two and on court Three in the second round. There were 4 players to a court, so she could have scored 66 points if she had won every game. As it was she scored 55 points, and won 1 game on court Two, and won 3 games on court three.(55/66 X 100) + (1 X 2.75) + (3 X 2.5) = 93.58               83.33 + 2.75 + 7.5 = 93.58

How are courts assigned?

Sally's score is calculated each week based on her play, and then averaged with her previous week's scores. Her accumulative score is used to give her a ranking among all of the players. The accumulative rankings are used to assign courts as follows: The 4 highest ranked players are assigned to court One; players ranked 5 through 8 are assigned to court Two, etc. If there are an odd number of players, 5 players maybe assigned to some courts.(Note: When calculating performance, there is no advantage or disadvantage to being assigned to a 5 person court. There are fewer possible points to be earned, however this makes no difference, because the formula calculates this as a percentage. There are also more possible wins on a 5 person court, but the formula limits the possible wins to 3 in any given round. Arguably, there is a slight advantage in that a player on a 5 person court has 4 opportunities to register 3 wins.)

What is the rationale?

The basic premise underlying the formula is that winning on the higher courts is of greater value,because the level of play is higher on the higher courts. Weighting the wins on higher courts has the affect of stabilizing the movement of players between courts; while at the same time allowing players who are winning to move up to their competitive level of play. Players naturally aspire to playing on the top court; however, after weeks of play, regardless of which court a player is on, they should be experiencing very competitive play with players of their own skill, i.e. close competitive games that can easily go either way.

Level of Commitment needed for the Shootout

At one level the shootout is about getting to the invigorating feeling of competitive play against one's true peers. However, on another level, it is a massive mathematical sorting-out of large quantities of data generated each week. The sorting out does not happen over-night. It happens over a number of weeks as each player begins to establish their average level of performance as their play moves them up and down the courts. After several weeks they should begin to stabilize between one or two courts where they are competitive with other players. For this sorting process to be most effective, it is very important all players play each week. Likewise, to be fair to other players, if a player cannot play in the shootout for at minimum of at least 6 weeks; they should not take part. Involvement for less than 6 weeks can be disruptive to the sorting out process for all those involved.

New players coming in will start on the bottom court. After about 6 weeks the skill level should equalize and at that point only 1 player will move up and down on the courts.











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Brad Merritt, President
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