2020 SSIPA Tournament Planning Tool
For Tournament Directors
CLICK HERE to download the Tournament Planning Tool

2020 SSIPA Tournament Planning Tool - For Tournament Directors

This SSIPA Tournament Planning Tool is for use by Tournament Directors (TD). This tool will provide guidance and direction during the listing and implementation of a SSIPA circuit event. The planning tool and tournament guidelines/procedures will be administered by the TD with assistance from a SSIPA support team member.


Tournament Directors (TD):

  • Tournament Directors and venues will be approved by the SSIPA Tournament Support Team.

  • Support contact: ssipa.pb@gmail.com

  • Financial Responsibility: TD assumes full financial responsibility for all tournament operations.

Registration and Fees: (Regional and International Tournaments pay no fees and are exempt from the fee structure below.)

  • SSIPA-designated funds ($1.00 per player) will be collected by tournament directors from the tournament registration fees and sent to the SSIPA Treasurer at the conclusion of the event – see below.

  • All entrants must be current USAPA and SSIPA members or pay a one tournament temporary SSIPA membership fee of $5.00 and sent to the SSIPA Treasurer at the conclusion of the event – see below.

    1. Pickleballtournaments.com has built SSIPA membership verification into the registration process (effective 1/6/2020). The $5 fee will be added automatically to any non SSIPA member’s registration. This also adds your tournament to the Advanced Search function.

    2. To set your tournament as a SSIPA event, logon to pickleballtournaments.com as the administrator. Then go to Tournaments è General Information. Look for “SSIPA Tournament” and click the check box. This MUST be set before you open registration.

For Payment: Send check to:

  1. SSIPA, 8704 Crestview Drive, Denton, TX 76207

  2. Or transfer funds into SSIPA PayPal account within 7 days of the close of the tournament.

  3. Contact Mark Kellam, Treasurer, mkellamtx@outlook.com - (818) 645-5752

Tournaments can be USAPA Sanctioned includes Medal Matches Only/Plus (MMO/MMP) or unsanctioned:

             o http://www.usapa.org/tournament-director-guide/


Additional Tournament Listings:

  • Tournament will be posted on www.ssipa-pb.org tournament calendar and identified on the SSIPA Facebook page. TD should immediately notify the SSIPA Tournament Coordinator of any changes to the event. When the tournament is listed, a link will be provided from the SSIPA website to www.pickleballtournaments.com


Pickleballtournaments.com will be used for registration and tournament operations/management:

  • See “Create Your Tournament” at: http://pickleballtournaments.com/information.pl?pbt=Y

  • TD will coordinate with the SSIPA Tournament Support Team prior to posting. The tournament can be posted anytime to let players/members know the dates; it is suggested that the Registration Start Date be approximately 90 days prior to the tournament.

  • A PayPal account will need to be established to receive registration funds from entrants.

  • SSIPA Tournament Support Team member and PT.com can assist in tournament setup.

  • Pickleballcentral.com Training Videos:




Tournament Balls:

  • Check USAPA.org – under Rules and Referees for current ball and paddle information.

  • Tournament Directors select and determine the ball to be used for play.

  • Refer to USAPA/IFP for current list of approved balls: https://equipment.usapa.org/ball-list/

  • Contact your SSIPA Support Team member for assistance or suggestions as companies providing balls change frequently.


Tournament Support from Pickleball Rocks:

  • Tournament Directors can order SSIPA Circuit Tournament – dri-fit “T” shirts from Pickleball Rocks for a cost of $10.00 per shirt. Minimum order is 12 and includes free shipping. See SSIPA Circuit tournament shirts at www.PickleballClubWear.com for order information. Look for the "WE LOVE SSIPA" link in the upper right corner of the homepage. Select from several SSIPA logo options and then select your shirt color. There must be only one shipping address for this in order to receive the free shipping. Coordinate with Pickleball Rocks staff to get a mock-up of your chosen shirt design to put on your tournament info page.

  • Pickleball Rocks will also support each event with FREE “Lime Green Pickleball Rocks” serving bands.
    Contact Rodney “Rocket” Grubbs to coordinate – 513-703-6338 – Rocket@AllAboutPickleball.com



USAPA and SSIPA Banners:

  • USAPA banners can be borrowed from your USAPA Regional Directors. SSIPA Banners will be provided for the tournament by a SSIPA Support Team member.



  • A SSIPA logo will be provided for posting on PT.com and for any other marketing needs associated with the authorized SSIPA circuit event.

        SSIPA Circuit Event Log                       SSIPA Regional Points Event                  SSIPA International Circuit Event

National Anthem:

  • USAPA Sanctioning guidelines require playing the National Anthem.



Tournament Photos:

  • SSIPA has a Tournament Gallery on its web page and would be glad to post photos or a link to any photos that you might take of podium winners or casual shots during play. These can also be posted on the SSIPA group Facebook page. Please provide any photos to our webmaster at: ssipa.webmaster@gmail.com

Budget Development Assistance:

  • Tournament budget development assistance is available upon request. Contact: ssipa.pb@gmail.com


SSIPA Representative at your Tournament:

  • A SSIPA Representative may be in attendance to answer any questions you may ask SSIPA procedures. If you have previously run a SSIPA circuit event or are an experienced TD, then a representative may not be assigned for your tournament. Phone support will be available.

  • Remember, this is your tournament following SSIPA Guidelines.

Tournament Director Commitment Form and Submit:

  • The SSIPA Board will only consider tournaments that have appropriate lead time from approval to tournament start date for consideration as a SSIPA Circuit Event.

  • Please complete and submit a Tournament Director Commitment Form on line at www.ssipa-pb.org

Tournament Tips from Past SSIPA Events:

  • Tournament Schedule Format – If you will be having singles competition, we suggest the following 3- day format: Men’s Doubles/Women’s Singles; Mixed Doubles and then Women’s Doubles and Men’s Singles.

  • Seeding should be done using the UTPR System in pt.com.

  • Players in SSIPA circuit events may choose to play down in age groups or up in skill groups at registration, but may only change if a partner change is required.

  • Tournament directors need to understand how to create age/skill brackets. Skill/Age brackets are not an acceptable format for any SSIPA Circuit Event. Regional Tournaments will follow USAPA Guidelines.

  • Consider scheduling older players (70+) for early AM play if high temperatures are anticipated or forecast.

  • Referee Training/Referee Coordinators – A sanctioned tournament requires referee training provided to referees and players prior to a tournament. The training should be provided by a National Referee Trainer, a USAPA certified referee, or an experienced referee. These options for a referee coordinator are in order of preference. Having an experienced referee coordinator working with the operations staff will improve the quality of your tournament.

  • Additionally, many tournaments are using the Player/Referee Pre-Match Orientation that is INCLUDED IN A WELCOME LETTER. The SSIPA support team can provide sample letters to the Tournament Director.


SSIPA circuit events are managed by tournament directors with oversight from SSIPA. This document outlines roles, responsibilities and guidelines/procedures to be used for the events.






  • International tournaments qualify to be a SSIPA International Circuit Event by offering competition for 60+ age groups.

  • International tournaments are encouraged to follow the SSIPA Planning Tool and Guidelines/Procedures to the maximum extent possible.

  • Tournaments will be identified as: SSIPA INTERNATION EVENTS.

  • There are no fees or SSIPA player fees charged to an International tournament for being a SSIPA International Circuit Event.

  • Players in international tournaments that are SSIPA members (annual or higher) will receive points for medaling in these competitions.

  • SSIPA board will make final determination regarding international tournaments.





USAPA Regional Tournament Guidelines for a SSIPA Point Event

  1. SSIPA will charge NO FEE for any regional tournament (to the Regional or USAPA) to be a SSIPA Point Event.

  2. SSIPA will require no memberships in SSIPA for entrants in any regional tournament

  3. Regional tournaments will follow the guidelines established by the USAPA for regional tournament operations.

  4. The SSIPA Point Event logo will be used on the PT.com listing for the regional tournament and may be used in any advertising or promotion of the tournament.

  5. SSIPA will be given the regional tournament results data file by PT.com staff for determining point awards for SSIPA members that participate in a regional tournament.


       Adopted by the SSIPA Board 11/6/2018



SSIPA Tournament Coordinators / Board of Directors

  • Develop SSIPA tournament circuit.

  • Work with tournament directors to ensure understanding and compliance with SSIPA guidelines.

  • Publish annual point leader awards guidelines, and determine winners for each age group.



Player - Membership Requirements

  • Participants in SSIPA events must be a SSIPA member.

    1. Memberships are available in annual, 3-year, 5-year and lifetime terms.

  • Non-members can pay a $5 temporary tournament membership fee in lieu of membership.  

  • Only SSIPA members are eligible for points leader’s competition.


Tournament Directors

  • Sign a tournament commitment form agreeing to comply with SSIPA guidelines.

  • Assume full financial responsibility for any SSIPA standalone or embedded circuit event. SSIPA is not responsible for any financial obligations that occur as a result of any tournament.

  • Pay SSIPA an entry fee of $1 per player in the SSIPA events (60+ age groups).

  • Reimburse SSIPA for $5 temporary tournament fees collected through registration.

  • All funds must be paid to SSIPA within 7 days of close of tournament.

  • Use www.pickleballtournaments.com (pt.com) for registration and tournament operations, and advertising.

  • Place following note on Welcome page: “Players may choose to play down in age or up a skill level in any SSIPA circuit event.”

  • Set up pt.com to ensure that:

    1. Players will have the option at registration to use the age or skill overrides or both.

    2. When registration opens current player list MUST BE TURNED ON.

  • SSIPA Circuit Event logo will be used on circuit events listed on pt.com and in any other advertising related to the event. Regional and International logos may be different.

  • Comply with Event Formats (see next section).

  • SSIPA management will be provided administrative access to your tournament in pt.com to monitor and assist in following event guidelines.

  • Failure to follow SSIPA tournament guidelines are grounds for removal as a SSIPA circuit event.


Event Formats


  • Events will be held in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles.

  • Singles events are encouraged, but are at the tournament director’s discretion.


Age Groups

  • Events will be held in age groups 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85+. 60+ age groups will not compete with 50-59 age groups.


Bracket Sizes

  • Bracket sizes 5 and larger are preferred for SSIPA circuit events

  • Brackets by a single age group and single skill are preferred for SSIPA circuit events.

  • Based on player participation at a tournament:

    • Brackets of 4 and smaller may be required.

    • Age and skill levels may have to be combined (please read note above where 50’s will not be combined with 60+.


Skill Levels

  • Age groups will be divided into Age/Skill levels when there are 3 or more entries in any Age/Skill event.

  • If there are fewer than 3 entries in any Age/Skill level, the following guidelines would be followed:

    • For events that have only one entry, the tournament director will combine the entry as deemed best for the tournament. 

    • Events with two entries may be played or combined again as the tournament director deems best for the tournament and players involved.

    • 3.0 and 3.5 skill level entrants would be combined within an age group.

    • 4.5 and 5.0 skill level entrants would be combined within an age group.

    • 4.0 could be combined with a) or b) above depending on the total number of entries within the age group.

    • 3.0 and 3.5 will not be combined with 4.5 and 5.0 in age groups 50+ ,55+ ,60+, 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+, and 85+

    • Players may choose to play down into any age group to play with players at their same skill level.


Match Formats

  • 2 entrants – Double Round Robin.

  • 3 or 4 entrants – Round Robin.

  • 5 entrants – Round Robin or Double Elimination.

  • 6 entrants and up – Double Elimination.



Exceptions - When there are not enough registered entrants to make an event bracket in any of the SSIPA age groups and/or skill levels, the following guidelines will be followed:

  • Players will be placed into a lower age bracket using the guidelines outlined above.

  • Players will be responsible for monitoring the registration of the groupings for the events they enter. Any event where players are being combined down in age due to a limited number of entries will constitute a possible request for a refund by a player either for the event or the entire entry.

  • Players requesting a refund prior to the closing of registration will be provided a full refund minus any service charge previously stated by the tournament management.

  • Tournament Directors will NOT allow these refunds after tournament registration closes

  • If there are a limited number of players in the 75+ and 80+ age categories in a SSIPA circuit event, Tournament Directors will combine all teams, regardless of skill levels into a single bracket for each event. The two age groups would be combined also. In this case, all age/skill levels would be medaled separately. Remember, players can ALWAYS play down in age to stay in their skill level.

  • Any player who "elects" to play down in age, or up in skill, when their age/skill brackets are already available, will only medal in that bracket they choose.  For example, if in MS, a 75-79 player elects to play down in 70-74, and there is a 75-79 bracket available, then that player, if he finishes 4th out of 4 players, gets no medal.  This does NOT apply to those "combo" brackets that the TD has combined.  This only applies to those players who choose to play down in age or up in skill. Additionally, if a player registering for an event at a higher skill level or lower age group with 2 or more entrants for the purpose of winning a medal or gaining SSIPA points is not acceptable and is grounds for removal from the points system competition and forfeiture of the medal to be awarded. (PT.com flags these entrants in the system for simple recognition and review during the registration process.) SSIPA will continue to separate medal age and skill groups that have been entered according to the regular age group and rating system (UTPR – USAPA Tournament Player Rating).

Website Last Update: 1-13-2021