2021 SSIPA Tournament Players Guidelines

Download the Official 2021 USPA/IFP Rule Book.  Click on the Icon.

To view 2021 revisions, CLICK HERE.

To view a summary video of the 2021 rule changes, CLICK HERE.

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(CLICK HERE to download the Tournament Player Guidelines Document.)


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


Registration and Fees:

  • All entrants must be current USAPA and SSIPA members or pay a one tournament temporary SSIPA membership fee of $5.00.



  • The following SSIPA logo’s will be used in advertising the event and indicate that the tournament and tournament director will follow the guidelines outlined below for SSIPA Circuit Events, Regional Tournaments and International Tournaments.

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SSIPA Circuit Event
SSIPA Regional Points Event
SSIPA International Circuit Event




                                                     (1) INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT GUIDELINES


  • International tournaments qualify to be a SSIPA International Circuit Event by offering competition for 50+ 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 INTERNATIONAL 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 USA Pickleball) 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 USA PIckleball for regional tournament operations.

  4. The SSIPA Point Event logo will be used on the Pickleballtournaments.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 Pickleballtournaments.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 (50+ 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 will 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 – USA Pickelball Tournament Player Rating).