Pilot Programs

The Des Moines Metro Pickleball Club is interested in setting up "Pilot" programs for Scheduled Play. We are anxious to collaborate with any member who would like to organize types of play that are not currently available in the Des Moines Metro today.  The club will support the acquisition of software, scheduling tools and even equipment as necessary to trial run these types of play that are highly successful in many large pickleball clubs.  Below we have listed a few examples.  There are dozens of variations of these rules.  Contact us if interested in exploring this area.

Types of Scheduled Play

MVP* Open (incorporates paddle stack scheduling)

If courts are NOT FULL, play a game from 1 to 11 points. When your game ends, look around to see if there are any players near your court waiting to get into a game. If there are, invite them in to play while one of the players that just played takes a break. If courts are NOT FULL and you arrive at MVP and want to get into a game, either find a foursome of your own or ask if you can get in on the next game of a game already in progress. If courts have FILLED UP while you were playing and the Paddle Stack area is in use, yell “court open” so other players may use the court. Don't forget to place your paddle over in the Paddle Stack area for your next game.

If courts ARE FULL when you arrive at MVP and the Paddle Stack area is in use, get your paddle into the paddle line-up system so you can get on a court and PLAY! GOOD RULE of THUMB: look around and be aware of court usage and other players wanting to play. If we ALL do that and are courteous,

*MVP – Acronym for Monument Valley Park, a 15-court dedicated complex in Colorado Springs

-Source: PPPA 

Round Robin

A “Round Robin” is structured form of play Scheduled by skill levels. During the Round Robin session you will play a number of games, each with a different partner and against a different pair of opponents. It is designed so that all players are playing against people of roughly equal ability, which makes play the most fun and reasonably competitive for the majority of players.

-Source: PPPA, 2nd Source with Tools: Pickleball Biz


Basically a form of Round-Robin where people play different folks in a given set of games, shootouts are distinguished from Round-Robins in that there are typically (forms vary) two sets of three games. In the first set of three games each person plays with each of the other three against the remaining two players, one game each time. Scores are kept and totaled. Depending on the form of the shootout, either the top or the top two point-scorers go “Up” a court, where they play their next three games (again, one game with each person) against the next-highest rated players, while the other two go “Down” a court where they – you guessed it – play the next three games against the next-lowest-rated group of players, one game with each person.

End of the day, all points across six games are totaled. Games won are sometimes recorded and used as a data point as well. The scores are kept for all Shootout participants for some period of time – often fifteen or twenty “rolling” shootouts are factored together (the fifteen or twenty most current shootouts).

-Source: Pickleball Biz


Ladder play consists of matches for 4 players in a similar skill level, prearranged through the Ladder Captain on a weekly basis. Each week a group is determined and a leader is randomly assigned. The leader makes contact and gets the foursome together at a day, time and place in order for them to play their games for that week. Matches are 3 games to 11 with players rotating for each game. The scores for each game are reported to the Ladder Captain. Depending on how well you played, you move up and down the ladder. Current ladder is set up for 2.5 to 3.0, 3.0 to 3.5 and 3.5 to 4.0 players. It is competitive. An instructor is not provided for ladder play, but Ladder Captains will answer questions as needed.

-Source: PPPA

Ladder-PB Biz

Although Ladder Play is sometimes identical to a shootout, there can be differences. The ladder essentially ranks the top players in a given skill group (or club) and allows them to set up matches in an Scheduled way with all (or a good selection of) the other good players. Matches are set up and completed at the schedule of the participants and scores are reported back to a central source who tracks results and re-posts rankings regularly. To us, there is a difference; a shootout is a group event, with people moving up and down within two sets of games on the same courts on the same day, and in comparison the ladder can sometimes be held when the competitors can arrange court time. Other people say they’re the same. You say potato, we say tomato…..

-Source: Bickleball Biz


Guided Play (GP) is an educational program for newer pickleball players that have become PPPA members. GP allows them to receive instruction from a more advanced player to improve their skills (serve, soft game at net, scoring, rules of the game, 3rd shot “drop shot,” volleys, lob, etc.). GP also creates an opportunity to meet and play with a variety of PPPA players.

-Source: PPPA