The UW Club Ladder is a standard challenge ladder, where all players must earn their ranking on the ladder. All ladder functions are fully automated. Sign up anytime and play as much as you like. The ladder is a great way to meet new people and play matches at your skill level, no matter what your skill level is. There are plenty of beginners, so don't be afraid to sign up.
For your first challenge, you can challenge anyone in the lower 80% of the ladder, then you can work your way up 5 spots at a time maximum. If you are new, check your prospective opponent's match history (by clicking on their rank number) to see if they are also new as many of the lowest spots are simply in order of when people signed up and not ability. For more information, check out the ladder webpages.