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 NTRP levels?
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:
How does one get an NTRP rating?
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.
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.
There are rules in place for players that are close to being bumped up or bumped down to appeal and automatically have it granted. To appeal your rating:
Click on Find Your Rating
Enter your USTA NUMBER (do not type in your name)
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.
The Greater Fort Worth Tennis Coalition is represented by area tennis organizations.
These organizations offer a variety of adult and junior tennis programs for respective areas.
Visit their website for additional information.
Learn more about USTA programs through these USTA websites.