La Crosse ladder leagues

summer Ladder league has been completed for 2019


The format of play is designed so that players, men and women, will play mostly with others of similar skill levels in competitive games. Your ranking on a ladder is based upon your winning percentage (the ratio of points won to total points possible). Players will move up or down the ladder based upon their winning percentage. The results of the ten most recent weeks of play will be used for this calculation. We will use for the ladder leagues which all can access to see current rankings. (A link to our ladder league play will be posted once registrations are in.). 


How does it work?

  • You do not have to play each week. Play one week, skip another. When you come back, your playing percentage remains the same.
  • You must register your intention to play by Monday at 6 pm in order to play in the Thursday night league. There are no "drop in" players as an even number of players is required.
  • An even number of players is required - so if 22 people sign up, the last 2 people to sign up will be cut from the league play that week. When you sign up, you will be able to see if additional players are needed - and you can call a friend and get them to sign up to make it even!
  • The cost is $1 - payable upon arrival to the designated Ladder Captain for the evening.
  • There is a minimum of 8 registered players required for a Ladder League to take place.
  • Each week, players will be placed in groups of 4 in the order of their ranking on the ladder for match play. Note: If you have not played in the league yet, it will be based on your skill rating and likely placement based on players registered that week.
  • You will play 3 games, one game with each of the other players assigned.
  • At the start of the game, players will decide who starts serving first. Each person must be the first server at some point.
  • Each game is to 15 points, win by 1 point. Maximum points to win for the evening is therefore 45 points. At 8 points, you will switch sides so that sun, wind, do not impact the game.
  • Your personal score is recorded on the score sheet after each game.
  • The Ladder Captain will collect all scores at the end of the evening and get them reported to Jan Lucas who will enter the scores and post the ladder percentages in the following days.
  • If weather looks to cancel the league play, an email will be sent out to the participants and put on social media and GroupMe to announce its cancellation. You will need to sign up again for the next time you wish to play.

All USAPA rules will be followed for play as in a tournament. If you are not familiar with the rules, GET FAMILIAR and look over all of these rules on our website HERE. If any dispute about a call, the Ladder Captain will determine the call or ruling.


League Play Times:

League play will take place on Thursday evenings starting at 6 pm at Oak Park Pickleball courts in Onalaska, WI. (For directions to Oak Park, see our Where to Play webpage.)


The exact times for each ladder league will be published HERE once registrations are received. For example, if there are 20 people signed up, we may have 8 of those players play on 2 courts from 6-7 pm, and 12 players play on 3 courts from 7-8 pm. As we want to do our best to honor drop-in play time with just 4 courts, we will do our best to schedule the ladder league in a way that we will leave 1 to 2 courts available for open drop-in play by others. As a result,


There are times when weather may impact league play. Games will either be sought to made up during the week, or that week will be a bye week.


Ladder League Playing Schedule will be posted by Wednesday night prior to the Thursday league. Click on green button on top right or HERE for that schedule.


Ladder Play

You don't need a partner. Each week, you will be assigned 3 other players to play against on Sundays. You will play 3 games, each game to 11 points, win by 1 point.


It is required that the players change ends of the court when one side has reached 6 points to minimize the effects of the sun and wind.


Ladder Standings

After each league play, standings will be posted online within a few days. 

  • Only the ACTIVE players' list will be published on the ladder page of the website under "Ladder-League Standings".
  • A player on INACTIVE status will remain there until having played an evening of League play once again.

Percentage Establishment

  • Playing percentage is based on the number of points scored divided by the number of points possible (45 for a 3-game match of 15 points per game). So if you get 45 out of 45 points, you get 100%. If you score 34 out of a possible 45 points, you get 76% for that week.
  • The Ladder program tracks players’ rankings to eliminate major “bouncing” up and down the ladder. For instance, if you are a new player starting at the bottom of the ladder and your first score is 45, your percentage would be 100. Logically, your next match would be against the top players, which may not be in everyone’s best interest. So the program has a built-in ONE- FOURTH rule which RESTRICTS a player’s movement to no more than one-fourth of the ladder regardless of their percentage. Hence, one week you could have 85% and be ranked below a player who has 75% because you moved up only 1/4 of the ladder positions from where you were. The reverse holds true going down the ladder should you have a very bad day. The ONE-FOURTH rule overrides your percentage. Hence, you could have 75% and still be ranked higher than someone with 80% because you moved down only 1/4 of the ladder positions from where you were. When this happens, an "R" for "Restricted Position" appears next to the percentage on the Standings page of

What If I Can't Play?

If you sign up to play and the playing partners and schedule has been posted, we ask that you

  • try to provide a substitute player of similar skill level to yourself
  • let Jan Lucas know ASAP via email that you are unable to play and need help finding a substitute or already have a substitute and provide the person's name.
  • Note: a sub is very important! If you suddenly can't play - there are 3 other people that want to play that now can no longer play if you don't show.

One other option:

The player can contact the 3 other players and see if can arrange another time during the week to play the 3 games to 15. Then someone from that group needs to report all scores to Jan Lucas via email as soon as possible after those games so scores can be entered.


Player Missing at League Time, a "no show"

If there is a player missing at match time, every effort will be made to find a replacement from other players in the ladder who may be able to fill in. In that case, the replacement players score will only be counted from their official match; the match in which they fill in will not be scored for that player. The missing player will receive a total of ZERO points for the day. The others in the foursome will record their scores as usual providing they could find a substitute of appropriate skill level.


If no substitute player can be found, then the match cannot be counted and will be noted as a bye week for the players that showed up, and the "no show" player will still receive ZERO points. 


A player showing up LATE counts as a "no show". IF the other players that are supposed to play agree to stay after league play to play the games, the other 3 players will receive the points earned in play, but the LATE person can only receive a maximum of 8 points for each game. (Appeals can be made to the Ladder Captain if there are extenuating circumstances and the late person attempted to make contact with the Ladder Captain to alert of lateness AND the other 3 players agree it constitutes a pardon.)


If someone is a "no show" or late twice, then the player will no longer be allowed to play in the league. You signed up with a commitment to play, and failure to follow through impacts more than just you -- it impacts three other people.


Interruption of a Game (Recording of Scores)

  • If the match is terminated BEFORE the final game, DUE to WEATHER or INJURY, then scores up to that point will NOT count, and everyone will get an bye for the match.
  • If the match is terminated AFTER the final 3rd game has begun, DUE TO WEATHER or INJURY, then the team in front will be awarded whatever points are needed to bring their score to 15, and the team behind will get the same number of points added to their score. (For example, if the score is 5-0, the team in the lead gets 10 points added to their score to make 15 points, and the team behind will get the same 10 points added to their score, so a reported score of 15-10.)

Why does Ladder League money cost money?

The La Crosse Pickleball Club will use the money to help defray the website expenses.