Pickleball has been gaining popularity worldwide, and more and more people are discovering the joys of this sport. One of the best ways to improve your game and meet new people is to join a pickleball tournament. If you are a beginner, playing in a tournament might be intimidating, but it can also be an exciting and rewarding experience.

If you’re an avid pickleball player looking to take part in competitive tournaments, improve your skills, and meet fellow enthusiasts, consider joining a tournament in your area. To get started, here are some tips on how to find pickleball tournaments and prepare for your first competition.

Finding Pickleball Tournaments

There are several ways to locate upcoming tournaments near you. It’s important to register early, as some tournaments fill up quickly.

Official Listings

The USA Pickleball Association maintains a directory of upcoming events that may include local tournaments. It’s a great place to start your search. You can filter the results based on your location, so it’s easy to find tournaments that are near you. The USAPA is an excellent resource for anyone looking to get involved in pickleball tournaments, as it provides information on tournaments of all levels.

Pickleball Tournaments has another directory of nearby tournaments is another good place to search.

Social Media 

Check for pickleball groups on Facebook in your city, county, or state. These groups can provide information on local tournaments, as well as opportunities to play casually and connect with other enthusiasts in your community.

Community Centers

Your local YMCA or community center may host pickleball tournaments periodically. You can also ask around on your local pickleball court to see if anyone has information about upcoming tournaments. Don’t miss your chance to compete and have fun playing pickleball!

Getting Prepared for Pickleball Tournaments by Determining Your Skill Level

To prepare for pickleball tournaments, it’s important to determine your skill level and find a tournament that matches it. Tournaments can vary in structure, intensity, and ability level, so it’s essential to choose one that suits your skills and those of your partner.

Your pickleball skill rating determines your eligibility for tournaments and the bracket you will be placed in. Ratings range from 1.0 to 5.5+, with a higher rating indicating greater skill. Tournaments often group players based on age, skill, or combined age/skill brackets.


There are two ways to obtain an official USA Pickleball Rating. You can self-rate based on player skill rating definitions or participate in sanctioned tournaments to receive an automatic tournament rating.

If you have never played in an officially sanctioned pickleball tournament and plan to self-rate, you can use the player skill rating definitions to analyze and rate your own pickleball ability. USA Pickleball encourages players to reach out to experienced players for guidance in self-rating.

Automatic Tournament Rating

As you play more pickleball tournaments, your self-rating will become an official USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating. This rating adjusts according to an algorithm based on your performance in each tournament.

With this information, you are well on your way to competing in a tournament near you. On game day, make sure to show up with great gear, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

Visit Pickleball Insiders for resources on how to choose the best paddles, shoes, and other pickleball gear, plus tips and strategy to raise the competition on the court at your next pickleball tournaments.