The USTA’s National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is the official system for determining the levels of competition for all players. At first, a player’s rating is a simple self-assessment. Once a player participates in USTA competitions, the players ratings are updated after officiated matches.
The primary goal of the NTRP (according to the USTA) is “to help all tennis players enjoy the game by providing a method of classifying skill levels for more compatible matches, group lessons, league play, tournaments and other programs.”
The chart below can help you assess your NTRP rating.
This player is just starting to play tennis.
This player has had limited experience with stroke development and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play. This player is not yet ready to compete.
This player needs on-court experience, with an emphasis on play. This player struggles to find an appropriate contact point, needs stroke development/lessons and is not yet familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles.
This player is learning to judge where the oncoming ball is going and how much swing is needed to return it consistently. Movement to the ball and recovery are often not efficient. Can sustain a backcourt rally of slow pace with other players of similar ability and is beginning to develop strokes. This player is becoming more familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles, and is ready to play social matches, leagues and low-level tournaments.
Potential limitations: grip weaknesses; limited swing and inconsistent toss on serve; limited transitions to the net.
Potential limitations: inconsistency when applying or handling pace; difficulty handling shots outside of their strike zone; can be uncomfortable at the net.
Potential strengths: players can generally rally from the baseliner opposite a net player. Players at this level may start to utilize mental skills related to concentration, tactics and strategy.
Potential strengths: dependable secondserve; recognizes opportunities to finish points.
Potential strengths: points are frequently won off the serve or return of serve; able to offset weaknesses; may have a weapon around which their game can be built.
Potential strengths: covers and disguises weaknesses well; can hit offensive volleys and half-volleys from mid-court; can employ physical or mental fitness as a weapon.
Strengths: can hit offensively at any time; can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive situations; first and second serves can be depended upon in stress situations.