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NTRP Rating Guide

The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is the official system for determining the levels of competition for the USTA League Program. This tournament is not a USTA sanctioned tournament but we do use a player's USTA rating to ensure players are in the appropriate division.

If you do not have a USTA rating, or if you played college tennis or higher and are unsure of what your NTRP rating is, you can use both the chart below and the USTA Elite Player Guideline sheet to help determine your ability level.

 Rating   Description
1.0 This player is just starting to play tennis.

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


Incomplete swing; lacks directional intent.  Avoids backhands; erratic contact; grip problems; incomplete swing.  Incomplete service motion; double faults common; toss is inconsistent; return of serve erractic.  Reluctant to play net; avoids backhand; lacks footwork.  Familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play; frequently out of position.


Form developing; prepared for moderately placed shots.  Grip and preparation problems; often chooses to hit forehand instead of backhand.  Attempting a full swing; can get the ball in play at slow pace; inconsistent toss; can return slow-paced serve. Uncomfortable at net, especially on the backhand side; frequently uses forehand racquet face on backhand volleys.  Can lob intentionally but with little control; can make contact on overheads.  Can sustain a short rally of slow pace; modest consistency; weak court coverage; usually remains in the initial doubles position.


Fairly consistent with some directional intent; lacks depth control. Frequently prepared; starting to hit with fair consistency on moderate shots.  Developing rhythm; little consistency when trying for power; second serve is often considerably slower than first serve; can return serve with fair consistency.  Consistent forehand volley; inconsistent backhand volley; has trouble with low and wide shots.  Can lob fairly consistently on moderate shots.  Fairly consistent on medium-paced shots; most common doubles formation is still one up, one back; approaches net when play dictates but weak in execution.


Improved consistency and variety on moderate shots with directional control; developing spin.  Hits with directional control on moderate shots; has difficulty on high or hard shots; returns difficult shots defensively.  Starting to serve with control and some power; developing spin; can return serve consistently with directional control on moderate shots.  More aggressive net play; some ability to cover side shots; uses proper footwork; can direct forehand volleys; controls backhand volley but with little offense; difficulty in putting volleys away.  Consistent overhead on shots within reach; developing approach shots, drop shots, and half volleys.  Improved consistency on moderate shots with directional control; improved court coverage; starting to look for the opportunity to come to the net; developing teamwork in doubles.


Good consistency; hits with depth and control on moderate shots; may try to hit too good a placement on a difficult shot.  Directs the ball with consistency and depth on moderate shots; developing spin.  Places both first and second serves, often with power on first serve; uses spin; dependable return of serve; can return with depth in singles and mix returns in doubles.  Depth and control on forehand volley; can direct backhand volleys but usually lacks depth; developing wide and low volleys on both sides of the body. Can put away easy overheads; can poach in doubles; follows aggressive shots to the net; beginning to finish point off; can hit to opponent's weaknesses; able to lob defensively on difficult shots and offensively on set-ups.  Good consistency on ground strokes with directional control and depth demonstrated on moderate shots; not yet playing good percentage tennis; teamwork in doubles is evident; rallies may still be lost due to impatience.


Very good consistency; uses speed and spin effectively; controls depth well; tends to over-hit on difficult shots; offensive on moderate shots.  Can control direction and depth but may break down under pressure; offensive on moderate shots.  Aggressive serving with limited double faults; uses power and spin; developing offense; on second serve frequently hits with good depth and placement; frequently hits aggressive service returns; can take pace off with moderate success in doubles.  Can handle a mixed sequence of volleys; good footwork; has depth and directional control on backhand; developing touch; most common error is still overhitting.  Hits approach shots with good depth and control; can consistently hit volleys and overheads to end the point.  Very good consistency; more intentional variety in game; is hitting with more pace; covers up weaknesses well; beginning to vary game plan according to opponent; aggressive net play is common in doubles; good anticipation; beginning to handle pace.


Strong shots with control, depth and spin; uses forehand to set up offensive situations; has developed good touch; consistent on passing shots.  Can use backhand as an aggressive shot with good consistency; has good direction and depth on most shots; varies spin.  Serve is placed effectively with intent of hitting to a weakness or developing an offensive situation; has a variety of serves to rely on; good depth, spin and placement on most second serves to force weak return or set up next shot; can mix aggressive and off-paced service returns with control, depth and spin.  Can hit most volleys with depth, pace and direction; plays difficult volleys with depth; given an opportunity, volley is often hit for a winner.  Approach shots and passing shots are hit with pace and high degree of effectiveness; can lob offensively; overhead can be hit from any position; hits mid-court volleys with consistency.  Frequently has an outstanding shot, consistency or attribute around which game is built; can vary game plan, according to opponent; this player is "match wise," plays percentage tennis and "beats himself or herself" less than the 4.5 player; solid teamwork in doubles is evident; game breaks down mentally and physically more often than the 5.5 player.


This player is capable of hitting dependable shots in stress situations; has developed good anticipation; can pick up cues from such things as opponent's toss, body position, backswing, preparation; first and second serves can be depended on in stress situations and can be hit offensively at any time; can analyze and exploit opponent's weaknesses; can vary strategies and style of play in a competitive situation.


These players will generally not need NTRP ratings. Rankings or past rankings will speak for themselves. The 6.0 player typically has had intensive training for national tournament competition at the junior level and collegiate legels and has obtained a sectional and/or national ranking. The 6.5 player has a reasonable chance of succeeding at the 7.0 level and has extensive satellite tournament experience. The 7.0 is a world-class player who is committed to tournament competition on the international level and whose major source of income is tournament prize winnings.