NTRP Guidelines: What Level of Player Are You?

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A common question for new players joining USTA League is "what level of play do I sign up for?"

The USTA uses the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) for determining levels of competition for USTA league play. The goal of the program is to help all tennis players enjoy the game by providing a method of classifying skill levels for more compatible matches, group lessons, league play, tournaments and other programs.

The rating categories are generalizations about skill levels. You might find that you actually play above or below the category that best describes your skill level, depending on your competitive ability.

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The category you choose is not meant to be permanent, but may be adjusted as your skills change or as your match play demonstrates the need for reclassification. Ultimately, your rating is based upon match results.

When you rate yourself, follow the NTRP guideline and put yourself in the higher level of play to avoid disqualification.

Players who are good athletes and intend to spend a great deal of time taking lessons and practicing, should be aware that their improvement may be significant enough to surpass their original self-rate level. All players, both self-rated and computer rated, are subject to disqualification through Sectional Championships.

General Characteristics of Various Playing Levels

1.5: This player has limited experience and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play.

2.0: This player needs on-court experience. This player has obvious stroke weaknesses, but is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play.

2.5: This player is learning to judge where the ball is going although court coverage is weak. Can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability.

3.0: This player is fairly consistent when hitting medium paced shorts, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth, or power. Most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.