Are we being duped by DUPR? Update: DUPR responds
"Game changer"?

September 27, 2021

The Dreamland Universal Player Rating (DUPR) is the official rating system of the Pro Pickleball Association (PPA). Anyone who plays in a PPA tournament is required to sign up for it.

DUPR claims it will provide a huge improvement — a “game changer” — over the USA Pickleball Tournament Player Rating (UTPR). That’s because DUPR takes into account the margin of victory, not just wins and losses. So a 11-0 win will boost a player’s DUPR rating more than a 11-9 score would.

DUPR has recruited some big pro pickleballer names to serve on “Team DUPR:” Ben Johns, Irina Tereschenko, Zane Navratil, Corinne Carr, Rob Nunnery, and Dekel Bar, to name a few.

The main problem right now is that DUPR doesn’t work. Not yet, anyway. Rec players who signed up weeks or months ago still do not have a verified DUPR rating. An email sent by DUPR to DUPR registrants last week explained:

“We are tweaking and iterating on the algorithm to ensure accuracy. We did not want to rush this process. We are working hard to get your results soon. We will keep you updated on when to expect your results.”

Despite the lengthy delay, DUPR’s marketing campaign misleadingly urges players to “get rated today.”

DUPR’s App offers players the opportunity to join a premium service called DUPR+ for the low, low, low bargain price of $9 per month or $87 per year! The website touts the system’s commitment to “transparency,” but it comes at a price: Only those who subscribe to DUPR+ can view every player’s 4-digit rating (e.g. 4.524 rather than just 4.5). Oh, wait. There’s more! DUPR-plussers will also be eligible for a bunch of other benefits that no one wants or needs, such as “discounts” to the “DUPR turbo leagues” and “advanced analytics.”

Which are all almost ready for launch. Really. Like, imminently.

As of now, it’s hard not to believe we’ve all been super-duper-duped by “Team DUPR” into supplying our e-mail addresses for some grand marketing scheme to nowhere. If they’re trying to convince us that they will be more up-to-date and useful than the existing UTPR system, they’re going about it in a rather strange way.

Update, October 7, 2021: DUPR owner Steve Kuhn reached out to Dinkheads to give his side of the story. He acknowledged that the “DUPR verified” score (the score players will automatically receive after participating in a PPA tournament) is not yet ready and likely won’t be for months. He said obtaining the necessary data and building the database has been “a huge pain in the ass” in part because people sign up for tournaments using different variations of the same name (e.g. “Bob,” “Bobby,” “Robert”). He touted DUPR’s free product in which players enter their own scores. He said clubs and leagues are already using it. The product is available on the App at no cost to the player. He also said that no one has enrolled in DUPR+ and if someone tried to do so the App wouldn’t allow them to do so because the product is not yet ready. “We’re only going to ask for money if we’re delivering value,” he said.

Kuhn argued persuasively that the DUPR verified score–once it is ready–will better reflect a player’s skill level than the UTPR. He gave the example of two players who go up against Ben Johns in singles. The first player wins the first game 11-0 then loses the next two games 9-11 and 9-11. The second player loses in two straight games 0-11, 0-11. Kuhn said that UTPR would view these two players’ performances as equivalent, but DUPR will reflect the obviously higher skill level of the first player.

Bottom line: We think DUPR rolled out its App prematurely, but if and when the verified score becomes functional it will provide a significant improvement over UTPR.

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1 year ago

Hey Y’all! Steve Kuhn here–the founder of DUPR. I’d be happy to do a chat (private or public!) to address your thoughts and concerns.

1 year ago

Also, happy to invite you both to the MLP event at Dreamland if y’all are interested.