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2009 NTRP FAQs

The USTA Southern Section Adult League Committee’s mission is to offer the best league programs in the country to the members of the USTA Southern Section.

The league committees at the national, sectional and state levels weigh many choices in the effort to balance fairness and maintain the integrity of the NTRP levels in league tennis.


  • Players who participate in leagues using their published Year-end Computer Ratings are not subject to Dynamic Disqualification.
  • Players with Championship Benchmark ratings are not eligible to appeal their published year-end ratings
  • Players with Tournament Ratings, Mixed Doubles Exclusive Ratings, Ratings resulting from a Medical Appeal and Dynamic Ratings from Early Start Leagues are subject to Dynamic Disqualification. Players with published year-end ratings who are granted automatic appeals (down) are subject to dynamic disqualification.
  • Mixed Doubles teams that participate in National Championship are subject to the "Move-up-Split-up" regulation.
  • Medical appeals may be approved only by a National Appeals Committee.


Match Reversals:

· Self rated players are allowed to "self rate" to enter the program. The USTA League program is a well established league that is over 25 years old. As a first year "self rated" player, in an effort to ensure fairness to players that have been playing in the program, you are subject to disqualification which will carry a penalty that will reverse all matches you have played in local round robin play to 6-0,6-0 losses. We are strongly encouraging new players who feel they may be near the top of a level, to play up to avoid a possibly very unhappy disqualification experience for you and your team. Captains must ask about prior tennis history when recruiting new players to USTA League Tennis. The USTA Southern Section strongly believes that this requirement will greatly reduce the number of self-rate grievances.

Also available at USTA Southern Section leagues homepage: (southerntennis.com under Adults/Leagues)

2008 NTRP Update (stats on number of players at each level, % moved up and down)

Protocol for Filing Self-Rate Grievances

Medical Appeals Procedures

2008 USTA Southern Section NTRP Ratings Disclosure Statement

It is the current policy of the USTA to publish NTRP ratings only in half-point levels (3.5, 4.0, 4.5, etc). NTRP ratings are intended to indicate the player’s minimum level for registration, not to finitely measure one player against another, or to use for strength alignment within a team.

The NTRP system calculates current ratings based on the ratings that the players have generated coming into a match combined with the results of that match. A player’s rating may go up or down as the season progresses and so might the ratings of partners and opponents. But, ratings are not stand-alone measurements, they must be considered in relation to other NTRP information to which they are linked.

The NTRP is designed to provide:

1. A system of measuring current skill levels that will give tennis players a quantitative assessment of his/her general ability. This enables players with similar skills or abilities to easily arrange compatible and competitive play.

2. A system to manage placement of players within NTRP levels and formats to promote generally level competition in various leagues and tournaments.

Many factors of play can not be reflected in NTRP calculations, such as:

Physical condition of players at time of match

Court conditions: sun, wind, temperature

Styles of play

Preferences of surface

Strengths of players: physical, mental, strategy

Players playing the "match of their life"

Players playing far below current skill level

This emphasizes the necessity to address ratings in ranges, not as an absolute number that specifically identifies a level at a particular time.

The system using NTRP levels as a range to manage play has been extremely successful in the last 25 years. We believe that providing ratings in tenths or hundredths can be misleading and can also lead to manipulation of match results. For these reasons we do not provide NTRP information more detailed than that now available.


What is a dynamic rating?

  • A dynamic rating is a rating that is calculated daily during Adult/Senior League play based on match scores and player ratings.

What is a year-end rating?

  • Once benchmarks have been established, a year-end rating is assigned by the computer based on the average of all Adult/Senior League play, National 5.5 and Open Championships, and Super Senior play.

What is a benchmark rating?

  • A computer rating for a player using a combination of their dynamic rating and their rating derived at championships.

What is a mixed-exclusive rating?

  • A year-end rating for the player that played only mixed-doubles.

What is a tournament-exclusive rating?

  • A year-end rating for the player that played only Category I and II National Age Division Tournaments

What data is not used to calculate year-end ratings?

  • Combo Doubles
  • Non USTA Leagues/Fun Leagues/Flex Leagues
  • NTRP Tournaments
  • Non-Sanctioned Tournaments
  • 6-0, 6-0 match results

Who sees the changes in dynamic ratings?

  • Only the section NTRP Administrator reviews the NTRP information daily in TennisLink.

How does the computer calculate a dynamic rating?

  • It uses only two pieces of information in calculating ratings at the conclusion of a match. The computer uses the actual rating of the players at the time of the match and the match scores to calculate a new dynamic rating for each player at the end of the match. It does not factor in position of play, age, gender, or win/loss record.

When calculating dynamic ratings, does the computer treat doubles partners differently?

  • Whatever mathematical difference that existed between partners at the beginning of a match is maintained at the end of the match. For example if partners’ ratings were two-tenths of a point apart at the beginning of a match (3.3 and 3.1), then they will remain two-tenths of a point apart at the end of the match (3.5 and 3.3).

How do I receive a 2008 year-end rating (computer rating)?

  • All adult, senior, and super senior players who played at least two matches that calculated a rating (6-0, 6-0 matches do not calculate at year-end) receive a year-end rating.
  • Players who exclusively played mixed doubles in at least two matches that calculated a rating (6-0, 6-0 matches do not calculate at year-end) receive a year-end mixed exclusive rating.
  • Category I and II age division tournament players and 5.5/Open Championship players that played in at least two matches (all matches are calculated) receive a year-end rating.

What are the ways a player can be disqualified/promoted mid-year?

· During Adult and Senior local league competition and at every level of championship competition below national championships, computer ratings will be calculated for all players and a evaluation will be made to determine if any self rated players have reached the disqualification level (a strike). Self Rated players will be disqualified if they reach the disqualification level three times based on all matches reported. Such disqualification procedures will also apply to players who have tournament ratings, players with mixed exclusive ratings, players with medical appeals granted to a level lower than published rating, players who have received an automatic appeal down.of their year-end published rating and players in early start leagues with dynamic ratings lower than published year-end ratings.,

· If a new player who self-rates to enter a league program has a Self-rate Grievance filed against him or her, and it is upheld by the Section Self-rate Grievance Committee the player will be disqualified.

· A player is promoted when they hit three strikes for their self-rating but are playing at a higher level. A player may continue to play at the higher level without penalty and must register for all subsequent leagues at the newly assigned level.

If a player is disqualified, what is the notification procedure?

· The Section NTRP Administrator will notify the State League Coordinator (or designee) who will then notify the player, captain and LLC. The Section NTRP Administrator will reverse matches in the local standings if applicable and change the player’s rating in TennisLink.

What happens when a player is disqualified during local league play?

· In 2009, if a self-rated player is disqualified for that particular level of play, all matches played by that individual player shall be considered losses and scored (6-0, 6-0).

What are the disqualification procedures for Playoffs/Championships?

· Players eligible for disqualification who are not disqualified by the conclusion of local league play will be eligible to compete in the entire local playoff. Local league play concludes twenty-four hours after the last scorecard has been entered. Ratings will be calculated at the end of the local playoff to inform any disqualified players that they may not advance to the State Championships.

· Once a player has finished local play without disqualification, the player is eligible to play all matches in the State Championships. The USTA Southern Section NTRP Administrator will review reports through TennisLink on the day after the State Championships. Players eligible for disqualification who hit a third strike during the championship will be notified that they are not eligible to advance to the Sectional Championships. The same process occurs the day after the Sectional Championships. Points earned by disqualified players at State or Sectional Championships will stand.

How many players were disqualified in 2008?

  • Out of 101,000 players in the nine Southern states, there were 585 dynamic disqualifications based on the NTRP Computer Rating System. Of those, 331 had played in one level while 254 had played in two levels. 103 were computer rated players (they are no longer subject to disqualification) and 482 were self-rated. 423 were disqualified during local round robin play, 36 during local playoffs, 84 after the State Championships, and 42 after the Adult/Senior Sectional Championships.
  • 652 were notified that their self-rating had been raised while playing at a higher level. Another 23 players were disqualified through the Self-rate NTRP Grievance procedures. There are about 14,000 self-rated players entering league tennis in 2008. 2200 appealed the rating received through automated self-rating process in Tennis Link. Approximately, 700 players received a lower rating during the appeal process due to position on team, strength of school, junior tennis background or injury/illness since college experience.

Does playing up increase your chances of being disqualified or moved up at the end of the year to the higher level?

· Remember ratings are calculated based on individual player ratings and match scores not the division being played. So, your rating depends on who you play and how competitive you are. If you play higher rated players and are competitive, then your rating may increase. When playing a higher division you are more likely to play higher rated players, therefore you could increase your rating.

Who may appeal their year-end rating?

· Any player may appeal except for those who participated in a League Championship Tournament.

Why are most medical appeals denied?

  • Very few medical appeals should be granted, as it is usually better to let the computer determine the NTRP Skill Level based on actual match play. Most orthopedic injuries are denied as surgery typically improves mobility and arthritic conditions are typically progressive rather than traumatic in nature. Many adult/senior players will experience at least one orthopedic condition/injury during their tennis career. Please review the USTA Medical Appeals Procedures at leagues home page at southerntennis.com.

How do I appeal my year-end rating?

· All year-end appeals are now processed through Tennislink by the player. You must to go to the Tennislink home-page and click on "Find A Rating" on the upper right-hand side. Enter your USTA number (your name alone will not work) and you will see Appeal Rating (in blue) next to your year-end rating. Click on that and enter the zip code that is associated with your membership. You will be taken to the appeal page and can then appeal your rating. You will get an instant reply letting you know if the request is granted or denied

Early Start Ratings

What is an "early start" league season?

  • Any league season that starts registration for the following championships year prior to the November publication of year-end ratings.

What rating is used to register for "early start" leagues?

  • The system uses the player’s current dynamic rating for registration. The state publishes a list of players whose dynamic rating has changed NTRP level and self rated players who have produced dynamic ratings. If a player is not on the list, the player’s NTRP level did not change. A player moved up during this process may move back down the next time ratings are published in his/her area. Example, in Atlanta, players receive ratings 3 times each year: once in March for the summer season, once in August for the winter season and once in November as the year end rating. A player might be a 3.56 in March (has to register at 4.0), a 3.52 in August (can appeal back to 3.5) and a 3.57 at year end. This process moves many players up at each registration period as the player cannot be above level at the time of registration. Many players (in all leagues) are above level after play begins but all players are monitored by the dynamic calculations each day. No players advance to championships at any level with 3 strikes.

Why can the rating for a player listed on a roster be different than the rating listed on the player’s individual record?

  • The rating you see on a roster is the rating that was valid at the time of registration for that season. The player may register at a different time in the year and have a different rating for that registration period (due to an early start league or a disqualification). The rating displayed by the player’s individual record is the November year-end rating from the previous year or new rating as a result of disqualification or an appealed rating.

Combo Doubles and Super Seniors Sectional Championships are scheduled to be played in the following year of the local and state championships season. May a player use the rating on roster if their year end rating is higher or lower?

  • Yes, unless the year end rating is two levels higher than the rating on the roster. In that case, the player will be informed by the state league coordinator as to whether they can play the middle level at sectionals or whether they must play two levels higher. Example: a player is "double bumped" (moved from 2.5 to 3.5 at year end). If the player’s year end rating is not at DQ for 3.0, the player will be permitted to play as a 3.0 at sectionals. If the player’s year end rating is at DQ for 3.0, then the player would be required to play as a 3.5 at sectionals.

We welcome suggestions from players, captains, coordinators, volunteers, tennis professionals, etc.

Contact your local or state league coordinator or email Holly Goddard, USTA Southern Section Director of Adult Competition and Leagues at goddard@sta.usta.com


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