Joining a play session at RECS is a great way to play games with and against others at whatever skill level you're currently at. These tend to be the most rewarding games -- the rallies are longer and the games are just more competitive.
Most play sessions will have a skill rating attached to them - meaning that the session is meant for a certain skill level, or skill range. How do you know your skill level? We like the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association's (IPTPA) self-assessment guide. Or, this simpler one put out by the "Pickleball Guru."
Most people want to know what their skill level is. The truth is that ratings are complicated and imperfect. We encourage all players to get as much instruction as you can and practice what you have learned as often as you can. It shouldn't take long until you start see improvement. And there's a good chance that you'll also begin to notice all the benefits of the RECS experience, like feeling good and making new friends!
NEW! “Pick-Up Games” are a new way to meet and play with others at your skill level. For more info, visit the Reserve page.
The calendar is full of play sessions at a variety of skill levels. We encourage you to test the waters at a lower level than you think you're at, and see how it goes. After a few group play sessions at RECS, you should start to get a sense for where your level is at and what you might want to work on, in which case you should consider our clinics or booking lessons with one of our amazing instructors.
Just remember that the most rewarding games are with players at or near your skill level. Please don't be that person signing up for a session that you're clearly not ready for! Here's a helpful guide:
Beginner Open Play: For players just getting started and familiar with the rules and scoring. Everyone participating should be patient with themselves and each other through the collective learning process. There is no pressure in these sessions!
Skill level: 2.0 - 2.5
Recreational Open Play: Once you know the rules and are starting to get the hang of it, it might be time to move up to these sessions! Still very low pressure games - everyone should be friendly and supportive of each other, regardless of skill level.
Skill level: 2.5 - 3.25
Intermediate Open Play: The next step up, "Intermediate" is intended for players looking for (and ready for) a little more skilled competition than "rec play" offers. Good sportsmanship is always the baseline expectation, even when the competitive level starts getting turned up.
Skill level: 3.0 - 3.75
3.5+ Open Play
A player at this level demonstrates a broad knowledge of the rules of the game. Gets high majority of serves “in”, is able to serve and return serve deep, hits to the weak side of the opponent often, and demonstrates more strategies of playing during games. Critically, this player is able to dink effectively and sustain dinking rallies in a strategic fashion, and is prepared to play effective defense when the game speeds up at the kitchen.
Skill level: 3.5 to 4.0
4.0ish Open Play: As the name indicates, this is for players who have reached a very competitive level of play. Players at this level have likely played A LOT of pickleball, and possess a high level of skill, technique, and doubles strategy. Anyone at this level should be making few unforced errors, be very comfortable at the kitchen playing offense and defense, and able to reset from anywhere.
Skill level: 3.75 - 4.25
4.5 Open Play: If you're not sure if you are at this level, then you're not ;-)
Scroll through the window below that lists upcoming play sessions in chronological order.
- Someone's rating is not their "high water mark"! Rather, it's a person's average level of play.
- About Open Play sessions: These sessions are not always strictly organized and there may be bye rounds in the play -- everyone may have to sit once, but only once as long as everyone takes their fair turn sitting out once. Standard is typically 1 extra player per 2 or 3 courts, which is in case someone doesn't show or someone leaves early.
- In Court Reserve, be sure to click on “Dates” for any Open Play level that you’re viewing in order to see all upcoming date and time options and register for any from there.
- The correct price for any event is based on your membership level, and will only appear when you are logged in.
(Scroll on the right of the inset frame to view all upcoming options.)