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What is NTRP?

National Tennis Rating Program is a classification system developed in 1978 that identifies and describes the general characteristics of thirteen levels of tennis-playing ability.


What is a self-rating?

A self-rating is an entry-level rating determined by the new player based on questions asked in the TennisLink registration process. All players must enter league tennis with a valid computer rating or self rate using TennisLink. (See #18)


What is a year-end rating?

A year-end rating is a NTRP level assigned at conclusion of the league championship year that reflects level of ability. A player’s year-end rating shall be used to enter leagues during the following year and will be valid for up to three years or until another rating is generated.


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

  • Combo Doubles League
  • Singles League
  • Mixed Doubles League (if you played in Adult, Senior or Super Seniors 60s Leagues)
  • Super Senior 70s League
  • Tri-Level League
  • NTRP Tournaments
  • Non-USTA Leagues/Fun Leagues/Flex Leagues
  • Non-Sanctioned Tournaments


What is a benchmark rating?

A computer rating for a player using a combination of their dynamic rating and their rating derived at championships. A Benchmark does not reflect the numeric value of a rating. It is neither the prototypical player at a particular rating, nor does it mean the player is at the top of their level. A player with a benchmark rating can have the highest rating at a level and they can have the lowest rating at a level, or anything in between. Further, beating a player with a benchmark rating does not mean that you will be moved up. All the Benchmark indicates is how the rating was calculated and used in the rating process. Benchmarks will not be published on TennisLink.


What is a mixed exclusive rating?

A year-end rating for players generated solely from matches played in the Mixed Doubles League.


Can my rating level change during the championship year?

Yes, if you do not have a computer (C) or benchmark (B) rating.

  • If you receive the 3rd strike and are dynamically disqualified at your present level.
  • If a Self-Rate Eligibility Grievance is upheld, this may also result in raising your level. (see Disqualification Process #24-30)


What is a dynamic rating?

A dynamic rating is a rating that is calculated daily during Adult/Senior and Super Senior 60s League play based on match scores and other player ratings. A dynamic rating may change with each match played.


When are dynamic ratings calculated?

Dynamic ratings for local play are calculated nightly for the Adult and Senior Divisions. During championships, dynamic ratings are run instantly as match results are entered.


Is there a difference between a dynamic rating and a year-end rating?

Yes, there are several.

  • Dynamic ratings are not disclosed to players, where year-end ratings are published annually at NTRP levels.
  • Dynamic ratings are expressed to the one-hundredth of a point, where year-end ratings are expressed only to the one-half point.
  • Dynamic ratings are calculated regularly and based on an average of the current match plus the previous three dynamic ratings, whereas year-end ratings are based on a combination of one’s cumulative dynamic rating during the season and a comparison to an appropriate benchmark player.


If my rating changes with every match played, can I see it?

No. Ratings are only published at year end.


Does the dynamic calculation treat doubles partners differently?

Dynamic calculation maintains the rating differential between doubles partners that existed before a match. For example if a 3.3 and a 3.5 player are paired together, specific match results are applied to each player equally and the two partners will maintain the .2 differential.


Does the dynamic calculation apply to Mixed Doubles League play?

Yes, for players who participate exclusively in the Mixed Doubles Division. Mixed Doubles results will not be part of generating a player’s year-end rating except for those players who play exclusively mixed doubles.


Can I use my mixed exclusive rating to play in other divisions?

A mixed exclusive player must self-rate in order to join the Adult, Senior and Super Senior divisions. Mixed exclusive is a minimum NTRP start level only. A mixed exclusive rating is not supported by any NTRP calculation data and is subject to NTRP grievance.


Do USTA sanctioned tournaments count in the dynamic rating system?

If so, can a tournament win be used as one of the three “strikes”?

The Southern Section does not include NTRP tournaments in ratings calculations.


If my NTRP level of play is not available in my local league, what are my options?

  • File an appeal to determine if you are within the appeal range.
  • Work with your local or district league coordinator to establish a new division.
  • Play in a league that offers combined ratings.
  • Play USTA sanctioned tournaments.


Can I appeal my year-end rating?

The appeal link is available on TennisLink under your NTRP rating information once you are logged in to your home page. 

Who can appeal?

  • Computer rated players—Up or Down
  • Mixed Exclusive players—Up or Down
  • Self-rated players—Up

What must be referred/heard by the Section or their designee?

  • Self-rated players who wish to move DOWN
  • All medical appeals
  • Already APPEALED ratings


What if I think a self-rated player has not rated himself or herself accurately?

On any given day, a player may play above or below his or her rating. If you truly feel a self-rated player is significantly above level, you may file an NTRP grievance. Contact your local league coordinator.


Can I declare a different self-rating for different League Divisions (e.g., 3.5 for Adult and 4.0 for Senior)?

No. Once you declare an initial self-rating, you are bound by it for two years or until you generate a computer rating. So if you plan to play 4.0 Senior but also want to play 3.5 Adult later in the year – be certain that you select 3.5 if an option.


What if I have self-rated and played four matches in the Adult Division and then sign up for the Senior Division. Will I use my self-rating or will the system generate a computer rating for me?

You will continue with the self-rating you selected until the year-end computer ratings are published; unless of course, you are disqualified and you then must immediately move up.


Can I be disqualified if I have a valid computer rating?

No, however players whose year-end ratings have been reduced through appeal actions, players who have Mixed Exclusive ratings, players who have tournament produced ratings, or players with published dynamic ratings in early-start leagues are subject to dynamic disqualification.


Who can be dynamically disqualified?

Year-end computer (C) and benchmark (B) players are not subject to dynamic NTRP disqualification. All other players are subject to NTRP disqualification.


Why would I be dynamically disqualified?

When a player receives three strikes, they will be notified that they have been dynamically disqualified. This happens because you, your captain, or your tennis professional indicated an NTRP level much too low for your ability on your selfrating.


What is a strike and how do I get one?

Each time a player’s dynamic rating exceeds the maximum tolerance for the level, he or she automatically earns a “strike.”


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.


How high can my dynamic rating go before I earn a “strike”?

The Dynamic NTRP system allows a certain tolerance for player improvement—more for lower level players where rapid improvement is more likely; less for higher-level players. The specific improvement factor is not published because of concerns that individuals, captains or others may attempt to manipulate their ratings.


If I receive a third strike while participating in another division, but following the conclusion of our section championship for a given year and division, will I be allowed to advance to Nationals if otherwise qualified.



What are the consequences of disqualification?

In all cases, the player is disqualified from participation at that NTRP level.

During Local League:

In all cases, the player is disqualified from participation at that NTRP level. Each USTA Section will determine what matches, if any will be reversed for the local season.

Following completion of Championship play

The player is disqualified from participation at that NTRP level for the balance of the year and the succeeding year. Match scores by the DQ player will stand.


Will I be notified if I earn a “strike”?

No. Notice occurs only after three strikes are accumulated. Many players receive one or two strikes and never get the 3rd. To needlessly worry or prevent a player from participating based on the possibility of getting a strike is not fair to the player or the team.


Will I be told exactly which matches earned me “three strikes”?

Yes, if you ask, a copy of your matches can be provided but these are already visible on TennisLink.


Who is notified in the event of a disqualification? By whom? How quickly?

Responsibility for monitoring dynamic ratings lies with the Section League Coordinator. When a “third strike” situation arises, the Section League Coordinator will notify the State League Coordinator.  The State League Coordinator will then notify (a) the player’s Team Captain (b) the affected player and (c) the relevant Local League Coordinator via e-mail or USPS at the addresses as noted on TennisLink. Notification is made as soon as possible once a third strike has been received.


The rules state that NTRP disqualification is not part of the Mixed Doubles Division. If I am disqualified at the Adult or Senior Divisions, am I allowed to participate at the disqualified level in Mixed Doubles Division for the remainder of the league year?

No. Even though the Mixed Doubles Division does not allow disqualification, it must follow the rules in relation to playing at the correct level. A player who has been moved up as a result of a disqualification in the Adult or Senior Divisions must immediately adjust his/her NTRP level of play in the Mixed Doubles Division. The player will have two options:

1)    If a combined NTRP level team, he/she may continue on that team by

adjusting the levels. (9.0 combined team—dq’d 4.5 player now at 5.0 must

play with no greater than a 4.0 player)

2)    If a single NTRP level team, he/she must move up to the appropriate

NTRP level or sit out the balance of that season depending on the

section’s regulations. (A player on a combined NTRP level team may also

choose to move up if the section allows.)

In the Mixed Doubles Division, all matches played up until the notification of the disqualification will be counted. Any match played at the disqualified level following notification of the disqualification will be counted as defaults for the individual team match of the disqualified player and 6-0, 6-0 wins for the

opponents in those individual matches.


If I am NTRP disqualified during the Adult Local league, what happens to my matches in other Divisions?

  • If a local NTRP disqualification occurs during concurrent Adult and/or Senior local league seasons, the disqualifications shall affect the matches played by the disqualified player in both Divisions.
  • If the seasons are not concurrent or over-lapping, the NTRP disqualification shall affect the matches played by the disqualified player in the season in which the NTRP DQ occurred.

The Section determines the penalties to be imposed for NTRP disqualifications.


Are all players in a given NTRP level equal in ability?

No …The NTRP system identifies general levels of ability, but an individual will be rated within those levels at 50 different hundredths of a point. For example, a 3.5 player can fall anywhere between a 3.01 and a 3.50. That is the reason many people feel they are playing sandbaggers – they are closer to the bottom of that range while their opponents are closer to the top of the range. A typical match

result for a player, for example, with a 3.01 rating versus a 3.49 player, both of whom are 3.5s, would be 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the higher rated player.


Who may appeal their year-end rating?

Any player with a C or M rating may appeal. Some players with B ratings may appeal. If a player received their B rating from participation in local playoffs, they will be allowed to appeal. If the B rating came from participation in State, Section or National Championships, the player is not eligible to appeal


How do I appeal my year-end rating?

All year-end appeals are now processed through Tennislink by the player. You must log in to TennisLink and enter your USTA number (your name alone will not work) in “Find A Rating”. There, you will see Appeal Rating (in blue) next to your year-end rating. Click on that and 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.


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.


The Combo Doubles Sectional Championship is scheduled to be played in the year following 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.