MMP (Medal Match Plus) Sanctioning

Revised 4/13/20

The new MMP and Sanctioning Guidelines have been updated and the following requirements will go into effect for all tournaments submitting sanctioning applications on or after 1/1/20.

If you applied in 2019 for a 2020 tournament and were approved as an MMO you may play that tournament under the 2019 guidelines.


Medal-Match Plus USAPA Sanctioning

Sanctioning is the process through which the USAPA grants qualifying tournaments the Sanctioned designation. A Tournament Director who applies and receives sanctioning agrees to meet and abide by all the sanctioning requirements, therefore the TD and the players who participate in a sanctioned event are eligible to receive the benefits associated with sanctioning.

The USAPA offers 2 sanctioning options: Standard and Medal Match Plus (MMP). Both options require TDs to abide by all sanctioning requirements with this modification: standard sanctioning requires all matches to be refereed, and MMP sanctioning allows a modified referee requirement. (see Standard Sanctioning option)


What is Medal-Match Plus (MMP) Sanctioning?

  • The MMO sanctioning option will be called Medal Match Plus (MMP).
  • The MMP option allows USAPA sanctioning for both new and previously sanctioned tournaments. Any Tournament Director (TD) who applies for MMP sanctioning and is approved must meet the MMP referee requirements detailed below.


All MMP National Qualifiers must meet the following criteria:

  • TD must provide a list of referee training sessions that have taken place prior to their MMP sanctioned tournament and prior to their next tournament if it is also an MMP sanctioned tournament.
  • The tournament must include referees for all winner bracket matches at the 4.0 level and above as well as the other matches outlined in the MMP requirements.
  • After the second MMP sanctioned year, the TD must apply for full sanctioning to be considered a USAPA National Qualifier.


MMP Referee Requirements for ALL MMP tournaments (both National Qualifiers AND non-qualifiers):

  • Medal matches in a single or double elimination bracket.
  • Plus, the 2 matches leading up to the medal matches. In the single or double elimination format, it is the final match in the winner’s bracket and the match leading up to the bronze medal match in the consolation bracket.
  • If a USAPA trained referee (Trainee, Level 1 or Level 2 referees) requests to referee a match(es), the TD or Referee Coordinator will ask players if they want a referee for their match. If all four players agree to having a referee and one is available, the referee will be granted the opportunity to referee those matches without pay. This will be applicable for the earlier round matches which are not required to be refereed.
  • The TD must list the referee’s name for each required match. Please contact if needing assistance to provide this referee information.
  • Tournament Directors must provide an opportunity for referee training before and during (e.g. shadowing) the event. USAPA recommends a referee training class conducted by a certified referee or registered trainer prior to the event with an option of referee shadowing during the event.


All USAPA Regionals must adhere to full sanctioning rules.


Sanctioning Benefits to Tournament Directors sanction logo

By agreeing to abide by the sanctioning requirements, Tournament Directors receive the following benefits:

  • General event liability insurance (pdf)
  • Use of the sanctioned logo in all event media
  • Secondary accident insurance for USAPA members
  • Free listing and flyer attachment on the USAPA tournament calendar
  • USAPA/IFP rules apply, approved playing formats and matches officiated by referees
    • referee all specified matches
  • Discounted fees when using
  • Support from USAPA Tournament Sanctioning Staff
  • Increased participation. Players prefer events run in accordance with all USAPA rules
  • Public acknowledgement that your local organization supports the USAPA – governing body of pickleball


Sanctioning Benefits to Players

Players receive the following benefits at no additional cost:

  • Secondary Accident Insurance (USAPA Members)
  • Specified matches referee officiated
  • Tournament results are used to calculate USAPA Tournament Player Ratings (UTPR) with an 80% weight factor
  • Standardized and Approved USAPA/IFP Rules and playing formats will be used
  • Accurate bracketing and seeding using the official USAPA ratings makes for a more competitive and fun tournament for all participants


For a tournament to be granted sanctioning, the Tournament Director must follow the application process and abide by all sanctioning requirements.

  • Submit MMP Application
  • Submit Sanction Fee
  • Submit TD checklist
  • Declare and use a USAPA approved tournament ball
  • Use software (automatic USAPA member verification and data linked for ratings)
  • Follow all USAPA/IFP rules
  • Submit Results Report

Sanction Application

The Tournament Director or sponsoring club must complete and submit a USAPA MMP Tournament Sanctioning Application at least 30 days prior to registration opening date. The USAPA Tournament Coordinator is responsible for approving or denying all sanctioning requests.

Do NOT open registration until the tournament status has been updated from ‘pending’ to sanctioned.’

Items required before tournament is updated from ‘pending’ to sanctioned.’

  • submit sanction fee
  • declare tournament ball
  • submit Tournament Director checklist


USAPA MMP Sanction Application


Payment of Sanction Fee

After the sanctioning request has been approved by the USAPA Tournament Coordinator and the Sanction Fee has been paid, the Tournament Director may advertise that they are sanctioned by the USAPA. If the sanction fee has not been received at least 10 days before the start of the tournament, sanctioning may be withdrawn. After receiving payment of the sanction fee the USAPA will advertise the tournament on the Schedule page of the USAPA website and will add the words “USAPA Sanctioned (MMP-Tier #)” and display the sanctioning logo. The “USAPA Sanctioned Event” logo will be supplied via email to the tournament director and should be used in all tournament media.


Tournament Director Checklist

The Tournament Director must agree to complete and submit the Tournament Director Checklist.


Tournament Management Software

Tournament directors must use the tournament software management system because of ratings automation and the data links between USAPA and


USAPA Membership

Beginning January 1, 2016 a player in any/all USAPA sanctioned pickleball tournaments will be required to be a current member of the USAPA before playing any match in the tournament.


Approved Ball

Before a tournament is USAPA sanctioned, the tournament director must declare the make and model of the ball that will be used.  The ball must be listed on the IFP/USAPA list of Approved Balls. Until the approved ball is declared, the sanctioning status will remain as ‘USAPA pending’.


Tournament Rules

The tournament director must follow all USAPA/IFP Official Tournament Rules.


Results Reporting

Within one week of the end of a tournament, completed results must be reported to the Tournament Results Chair . USAPA member numbers and expiration dates must be included to ensure accurate identification.


Tournament Director Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the Tournament Director to be certain that players are competing in the correct events based on age or rating. For a list of Approved Events Click here. Questions about combining brackets can be addressed to: USAPA Tournament Coordinator. If any players join or renew USAPA membership at the tournament, please let us know. A player’s age in a sanctioned tournament will be determined by the player’s age on December 31. An exception will be made if a state senior games organization mandates a different date in their tournament.


Rating Skills

The ratings for many USAPA members are in the USAPA rating system and can be viewed on the USAPA Ratings page. This is most important for skill-level tournaments. Ratings are also important for seeding players within events. If a player is not rated they can self-rate.

USAPA Membership Forms

Arrange for a USAPA Ambassador to be available during the duration of the event to promote the sport, answer questions regarding membership for those who wish to join the USAPA or renew memberships and field any other questions from players and/or spectators. New memberships and membership renewals along with their checks must be sent to: USAPA, PO Box 7354, Surprise, AZ 85374.


Designing Tournament Entry Forms

Be sure to include spaces for player member number, membership expiration date, name, address, email, skill level, age, phone#, emergency contact and any other pertinent information.


Insurance Request

USAPA-sanctioned tournaments are insured by a General Liability Policy and Participant Accident Policy. The general liability insurance provided with USAPA sanctioning is in effect when the Tournament Director requests a certificate for proof of insurance (Click here). The certificate should be requested at least 30 days before the start of the tournament. A certificate will only be issued upon request and after receipt of the sanction fee.


Non-Sanctioned Events

USAPA sanctioned tournaments that wish to offer non-sanctioned events, such as demonstrations, clinics, and co-occurring tournaments, should, if possible, offer these events on days either before or after the dates set for sanctioned tournament play.

If holding these events before or after the tournament play dates is not possible, all non-sanctioned events must be disclosed in the application process and approved by the USAPA before they can be publicized and held.

If the tournament director or organizer receives approval by the USAPA to conduct a non-sanctioned event with its sanctioned tournament, the director or organizer agrees and acknowledges that:

  1. The event is not covered under any USAPA-issued certificate of insurance unless the certificate explicitly states that it is covered;
  2. Players participating in the non-sanctioned event are not covered by any USAPA insurance policy unless the certificate explicitly states that they are covered;
  3. If this non-sanctioned event is submitted for ratings consideration, the results will be weighted at 60%; and
  4. The tournament director or organizer will communicate the above three conditions to the event participants in the disclosure materials and application forms (electronic or otherwise) furnished to them.

At the discretion of the USAPA, tournament directors and organizers who attempt to circumvent the sanctioning process in any way or who offer contemporaneous unapproved events with a USAPA sanctioned tournament will not receive sanctioning approval or will have their sanctioning revoked.


Wheelchair Players

In accordance with the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act, the USAPA will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs or activities.  Rules for wheelchair players are in the IFP Rulebook or you can click here to view them.



Entries are defined as one doubles team or one singles player. The tournament shall be open to all players who meet the general requirements of any tournament, such as age or skill level. Entries may be limited by geographical locations such as city, county, regional, or state residency. Draw sizes in events may be limited because of court availability, but must take entrants in the order they are received.


USAPA Right of Refusal

USAPA reserves the right to refuse to sanction tournaments, list tournaments on the USAPA website/calendar, or accept advertising where a tournament director has:

  • Not complied with USAPA policies or rules
  • Disparaged the USAPA
  • Created deceptive or confusing forms, advertising or promotional materials wrongly implying or stating USAPA involvement in the tournament or making other factual misstatements that could mislead players on significant matters. This includes duplicating major USAPA tournament names, with terms such as “National”, “Regional”, etc. where USAPA deems the term is in direct conflict with an existing USAPA event.

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