NTRP, or the National Tennis Rating Program, is a classification system intended to assign tennis players to levels such that matches between players at the same level will generally be competitive.
What are all the
The USTA defines levels from 1.5 to 7.0 in 0.5 increments, a 1.5 being a beginner and a 7.0 being a touring pro. However, in USTA League play you will generally find flights at levels from 2.5 to 5.0. General characterizations of each level can be found at two links below:
General Characteristics by Level
General & Experienced Player Guidelines
How does one get an
Rating levels are derived in accordance with the USTA NTRP Computer Rating System Procedures. Once a player is assigned a valid Computer (C) NTRP rating level, it is valid for the Adult and Mixed Divisions for all players 59 years of age or under for three consecutive years or until another NTRP published rating level is generated. For players 60 years of age or over, a valid Computer (C) NTRP rating level is valid to play in the Adult and Mixed Divisions for two consecutive years or until another NTRP published rating level is generated.
If you are new to USTA league play or have not played in a USTA league in 3 years, you will be prompted to self-rate when you register for a team. You will be prompted to answer a series of questions during the TennisLink registration process or you can self-rate now on TennisLink once you have set up a TennisLink Account.
Can players play
only in leagues at their published NTRP rating level?
The USTA allows player to “play up” by playing in league play at one level higher than their current rating. For example, a 3.5 and play in a 4.0 flight.
Does every match I
play count towards my rating?
It varies a little by section, but every section is going to include those USTA leagues that can advance to Nationals (18 & over, 40 & over and 55 & over).
Combo leagues, Tri-Level and recreational leagues do not go toward your ratings.
Mixed doubles results don’t count if you also play in a men’s/women’s league during the same year, specifically you’d need to play in at least three men’s/women’s matches in order to get a year-end C rating in which case your mixed matches aren’t used at all in determining your rating. If you don’t play at least three men’s/women’s matches but do play at least three mixed matches, then you may get a Mixed-exclusive or “M” rating at year-end.
The USTA calculates a dynamic rating for all players that play Adult league matches on a daily basis. This calculation is done using the score of each match and the dynamic ratings of the players involved in the match prior to the match. Dynamic ratings are calculated to the hundredth while year-end NTRP ratings are only published to the half point NTRP levels.
What dynamic rating
does a self-rated player start with?
As a general rule, self-rated players have no starting rating. Their initial dynamic rating is calculated from their first few match results played against/with players that have a dynamic rating.
What is the dynamic
rating range for each NTRP level?
The dynamic rating range for a given level is the half point below that level. For example, a player with a dynamic rating in the range of 3.51 to 4.00 would be considered an NTRP 4.0 level player.
What happens when a
dynamic rating moves above or below the range for the player’s NTRP level?
Generally, nothing happens until year-end. It is understood that a player may have good or bad matches and their dynamic rating may move significantly, even outside the range for their NTRP level. It is only at year-end that computer rated players may be bumped up or bumped down after year-end calculations are done. Self-rated players are subject to promotion during the year should their dynamic rating significantly exceed the level being played. Notification of level promotion is sent only from the Sectional NTRP Coordinator.
How can I find out
my dynamic rating?
The USTA does not publish dynamic ratings, they only publish year-end ratings and in some sections early start ratings. They also don’t disclose the details of the algorithm.
Why doesn’t the USTA
disclose dynamic ratings?
The purpose of the NTRP system is to promote competitive play. However, the USTA also has National Championships at each level and naturally getting to and winning Nationals is an incentive. If ratings to the hundredth were released, some that are not concerned with fair play that knew they were close to being bumped down might throw a match or two in order to get bumped down and be able to form a team of “ringers” at the lower level to try to go to and win Nationals. So the USTA has elected to not publish the dynamic ratings so as to not enable this type of behavior or other nefarious manipulation of ratings.
Is a player’s
dynamic rating at year-end the same as their NTRP rating?
Not exactly. If a player played in playoffs, those matches are given extra weight at year-end. Even if they didn’t play in playoffs, how they did against players that did is factored in, and extra calculations are done at year-end to try to normalize the ratings across all of the sections so that a 3.5 in one section is similar to a 3.5 in another section. Additionally, some sections elect to include matches from other leagues or tournaments and these are incorporated in year-end calculations.
What types of
year-end ratings are there?
C – Computer Rating: Players that play at least three matches in Adult league play will receive a C rating.
B – Benchmark Rating: A special Benchmark or B rating designation is assigned to players that advance to and play in Adult league playoffs. Benchmark players are not allowed to appeal their rating in the year they receive the B designation.
M – Mixed Rating: Players that only played in Mixed leagues will be assigned a Mixed-exclusive or M rating. Players that hold an M rating must self-rate to join an Adult league team.
T – Tournament Rating: Players that only play tournaments are assigned a Tournament-exclusive or T rating. Players that hold a T rating must self-rate to join an Adult league team.
S – Self Rated: Self-rated players are given the S rating
A – Appeal Granted Rating: Players that have appealed their rating are given an A rating
DQ – Disqualified Rating: Players that have been DQ’d prior to year-end are given a D rating.
1. Click on Find Your Rating
2. Enter your USTA NUMBER (do not type in your name)
3. Click “Appeal Rating” and follow form instructions.
Ratings may also be appealed with their section for medical reasons. A medical appeal is a formal, written request from a player for reconsideration of his/her NTRP Ratingbased on a permanent, disabling illness or injury that has occurred since the player generated the year-end or early-start NTRP Rating. For more information, go to Medical Appeals.
I appealed my rating
down and was successful, now what happens?
You will be eligible to play at the lower level. So if a player was a 4.0C and appeals down, they become a 3.5A (the “A” indicating they appealed to the level) and may play at the 3.5 level.
While you are eligible to play at the appealed level, you are subject to strikes and being disqualified from the level and promoted up. Similar to a self-rated player being subject to strikes, an appeal player is too. If the dynamic rating exceeds the strike threshold three times, they will be disqualified and promoted up.
In addition to the promotion to the next level, the prior matches won during the year may be reversed and considered losses which may impact team results and standings. Whether or not prior wins are reversed is up to each section.
S and A rated play matches, their dynamic rating is calculated and compared against an NTRP level specific threshold. If their dynamic rating exceeds this threshold, they are given a strike. If they accumulate three strikes before the end of the USTA year, they will be disqualified and promoted to the next level.
C and B rated players are not subject to strikes and disqualification like S and A rated players.
Players that hold a T or M rating must self-rate to join an Adult league team and thus are also subject to three strike DQ’s.
Note that C rated players playing in an early start league that are bumped up at year-end may be allowed to continue playing at their lower level (depending on their section’s rules), but will be DQ’d from playing at their level if their rating reaches the “clearly above threshold”. For example, a 3.5 joins an early start 3.5 team but is bumped up to 4.0 at year-end. At a section’s discretion, the player can continue to play on the 3.5 team through Sectionals as long as their rating does not reach the “clearly above threshold”.
NTRP Grievances are an avenue through which captains or administrators may file official complaints against a player they believe to be significantly out of level and can only be filed against a player with an “S” rating.
10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RATINGS
from Todd Reed, Texas Section Ratings Coordinator
1. How to self-rate. First set up your TennisLink account. Go to www.texas.usta.com, click1. << on "TennisLink", (in blue, upper portion of the page). You will see two red boxes. If you have already set up your TennisLink account, choose, “Click here to login”. If you have not set up your TennisLink account choose, “Don’t have a USTA Account? Learn more and create one today” and set up your own personal TennisLink account. Once setup, you will then log back into your account. When you arrive at the welcome page, click on “USTA LEAGUE” located at the top left of the page. It is on this page you will see the Self Rate option located below “Find NTRP Rating Info”. Click on the Self Rate option. Make sure your computer settings allow pop-ups to "pop up" and do not use an i-pad or phone. Follow the instructions. If you have had an NTRP rating is the past the system will give you your last published rating because, “Individuals with expired NTRP ratings will be limited to their last published rating”. At the end of the self-rating process it will ask 3 questions, "Are you satisfied with your rating?", “Do you want a higher rating?", "Do you want to appeal your rating?". Depending on what you choose, you will either be done or you will be appealing. To appeal your rating, go through the appeals process and submit it.
2. USTA Leagues are played using levels, (or a combination of levels), so that the players have a competitive and enjoyable match. These levels include 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0. There are 50 levels within each level. For example, a 3.0 rated player actually has a dynamic rating of somewhere between 2.51 - 3.0. A 3.5 player is between 3.01 - 3.5 and so on.
3. The self-rating system is predictive. It predicts who should win the match and by what score before you step foot on the court. This prediction is based on the thousands of matches played between players who are at the same skill level. The computer uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate who will win the match and by what score. A player can win all of their matches and not get bumped up or a player can lose all of their matches and not get bumped down if they are winning or losing by the predicted scores.
4. Each match played in USTA Leagues is given a match rating based on the dynamics of the players who participate in the match and the score of the match. These match ratings help determine your year-end rating.
5. Tournament play and/or Mixed doubles play: Mixed results will not be part of generating a player’s year-end rating, except for those players who participate in the Mixed Division exclusively. A player who plays in the Mixed Division exclusively will receive a published Mixed Exclusive (M) rating level at year-end unless they have a valid Computer (C) rating level from a previous year on file in TennisLink. A player who plays exclusively in the Mixed Division and subsequently chooses to participate in the Adult Division must enter by using a valid Computer (C) rating from a previous year. If such player does not have a valid (C) rating from a previous year, he or she must self-rate with the minimum NTRP rating level being the higher of the self-rating or valid Mixed Exclusive (M) rating. A player who plays exclusively in NTRP tournaments and subsequently chooses to participate in the Adult Division must enter that Division by using a valid Computer (C) rating from a previous year. If such player does not have a valid (C) rating from a previous year, he or she must self-rate with the minimum rating being the higher of the self-rating or valid Tournament Exclusive (T) rating.
6. All self-rated players are subject to dynamic disqualification. What is dynamic disqualification? Dynamic disqualification is our “checks and balances” against players who self-rate below their skill level. Every match in USTA Leagues is given a match rating and if those match ratings show the player to be “playing clearly out of level”, that player receives a “strike”. If the self-rated player generates three strikes - they are disqualified, and moved up to the appropriate level. This is why it is important to self-rate correctly.
7. If a self-rated player self-rates below their skill level as a result of omitting historical information pertaining to their past, they can be disqualified. If you suspect a player has self-rated lower than they should have and you have solid evidence that proves this fact, then USTA Texas will review the case and make a ruling based on the evidence that you provide. If the evidence proves to be correct, then the player is disqualified, moved up to the appropriate level, and all matches played and won for their team are reversed.
8. Rating appeals. Self-rate appeals go through the appeals process. You start by going to your TennisLink account and click on “Appeal Rating”. Go through the process and submit it. Your information comes to the Section office. Your information and history are reviewed by the Appeals Committee and your appeal is either granted or denied. A computer rated player can appeal their rating through the automatic appeals process. When you appeal a computer rating, you are appealing your previous year-end rating. Again, you go to your TennisLink account and click on “Appeal Rating”. You check the rating that you want to appeal to and click ok. The system then checks to see if your year-end rating meets the criteria to move either up or down. If it does, your appeal is granted, if not it is denied. If you have an injury or illness, you can file a medical appeal. To be eligible to file a medical appeal, your injury or illness must be “permanently disabling”.
9. Ratings are current/valid for 3 years for players 59 years old and under and 2 years for players who are 60 years old and over, (if no matches have been played since a player’s last published rating). Once a player’s rating has expired, they will have to self-rate in order to participate in leagues and tournaments.
10. Year-end ratings are posted in December. Year-end ratings are based on matches played during the Championship Year. The Championship Year ends and begins with the conclusion of the last qualifying National Championship.