The playoffs begin after the final week of the Summer Singles #2 season.

Rounds of 64, 32, 16, Quarterfinals & Semifinals:

  • For 2023: September 21st through October 21st.
  • Held at the higher seeded players home court
  • Date/Time arranged between the players.


In Chicago:  Played at a site to be determined on either October 14th (Doubles & Mixed)  and  October 21st (Singles).

In St Louis:  Arranged between players.

Do not play early rounds if you will be unavailable for later rounds. Defaults ruin the tournament!!


Skill levels for playoffs

Stay at the same level: Playoff qualifiers will play at the same skill level for the playoffs as their last season if:

  • they finished their last season with a Player Rating that was +6.0 or below.
  • OR if it was above +6.00 but they had played the last two consecutive seasons at the same skill level.
  • OR if it was above +6.00 in the Summer #2 Season, but only after they had moved up from a lower level played in both the Spring and Summer #1 Season.  (For example, if a player played at 4.0 in the Spring & Summer #1, advanced to 4.5 for the Summer #2 Season, then scored a Player Rating over +6.00 in the Summer #2, they would stay at 4.5 for the playoffs.  This example would NOT apply if the player had played 3.5 in the Spring, moved up to 4.0 for the Summer #1, than moved up to 4.5 for Summer #2.  In that case, if the player had scored a Player Rating over +6.00, they would move up to 4.75 for the Playoffs).  Explanation:  we do not want to penalize a player who makes a sudden improvement after consecutive seasons at a lower level, or who might just have entered a weak division for the Summer #2 Season by chance.  But a player who escalates a skill level each season is showing that they have not really "landed" on the skill level that fits them best all year, and therefore needs to continue to move up.

Move up 1 skill level: Playoff Qualifiers will move up 1 skill level for the Playoffs if they finished their last season with a Player Rating of +6.10 to +9.99.

Move up 2 skill levels: Playoff qualifiers will move up 2 levels for the playoffs if the finished their last season with a Player Rating of over +10.00 AND they are first season players.  If they are not first season players, they will only move up 1 level, regardless of how high their Player Rating is.

Exception to moving up:  If a player has played the last two consecutive seasons at the same skill level, he/she stays at the same level for the playoffs, regardless of the Player Rating from the last season of play.

Move down a skill level: If a player moves up a skill level for the Summer #2 season, he/she cannot move back down to the lower skill level for the playoffs UNLESS 

  • He/she played the spring and summer #1 at that lower skill level 
  • AND his/her player rating for the Summer #2 season ended at a -3.00 player rating or lower


Longer Travel Times

Travel times for playoff matches will be longer than 20 minutes because players will be competing against others from different divisions around the Chicagoland area. If you cannot foresee making the extra time to travel to your matches, then withdraw your name from playoff competition.

1st Season Players 

Since our new players rate themselves when signing up, there's a chance that they may unintentionally underrate themselves and start at a skill level that is below their capabilities. This would be a "fast track" to a division win and playoff berth that is outside of the spirit of how the league is structured.

Therefore:  If a 1st season player finishes the season with a player rating above +3.00, he will automatically move up a level for the playoffs.  If he finishes the season with a player rating above +10.00, the League Coordinator will use discretion on how many levels he should move up for the next season, or for the playoffs if that is what is next.  

One Season players:  If a player only plays one season and wins his division, he must move up for the playoffs to the next level up if his Player Rating finishes at +3.00 or higher.


Qualifying for the Playoffs

Division Winners:  A Division Winner is the player who finishes a season with the most points in his/her division.  If the League Coordinator chooses to allow players to enter late scores after the season has concluded, those scores will not factor into who wins the division.  Division winners automatically qualify for one of the playoff spots in the tournament.

Wildcard entries:  The remaining spots are filled by the leaders of the Playoff Points Race - those players who have the highest cumulative weighted points for the year. 

How many players qualify? The number of spots available for the playoffs at each skill level depends on the number of players who competed at that skill level during the course of the year.  You can see how many players competed at your skill leve by clicking the "Playoffs" link, then selecting your skill level from the dropdown menu. 

Skill levels with 100+ players = Top 40 of the Playoff Points Race + Division Winners will qualify

Skill levels with 50 - 100 players = top 25 of the Playoff Points Race + Division Winners will qualify

Skill Levels under 50 players = Top 50% of the Playoff Points Race + Division Winners will qualify


All singles players must complete a minimum of 4 matches in one season to be eligible for the playoffs.

Playoff Positioning 

Playoff qualifiers are seeded in the playoffs according to the number of Playoff Points accumulated.


Home Court for Playoff matches

Higher seeded player gets home court during playoffs.


Playoff Points Race

  • After the Division Winners from the 3 seasons have been inserted into the draw, the players with the most "Playoff Points" (aka "Wildcard Points")  accumulated over the 3 seasons will earn playoff spots.
  • Points in the Gladiator Playoff Point Race are “weighted” according to the skill level a player is playing at. For example, if a player plays at the 3.5 skill level, his points earned will be multiplied by 3.5. (e.g. if he earned 70 points, his weighted point total would be 70 x 3.5 for a weighted point total of 245).


FAQ: Where do I find the Playoff Points Race on the website?  Just login, then click the "Playoffs" link near the top of your page, and you will see a dropdown menu of Playoff Points Races for each skill level, Men and Women.


Why “weight” the playoff points? 

Playoff Points are weighted for two reasons:

1.  While the league is growing, it might be necessary to combine some of the skill levels into the same tournament. Players that earn points at a higher skill level should be favored to make the tournament over players who earn the same number of points at lower skill levels.

2.  A player may dominate in a lower skill level, earn a high number of points, and then move up to a higher skill level during the year. Points earned while in a higher skill level should be worth more than the points earned at a lower skill level. This is fair to the player, and fair to the other players in deciding who can earn a playoff spot. Below is a scenario of a player moving up to a higher level during the year and how it would affect the playoff Point Total: 

Season 1: 90 points earned at 3.5 level = 315 points

Season 2: 70 points earned at 4.0 level = 280 points

Season 3: 80 points earned at 4.0 level = 320 points

Playoff Point Total = 915 points