On The Way: More Safe Places to Play Tennis

Local tennis courts – whether at a public park, school, or within a community – have the power to bring people together. The tennis court is where someone can learn the sport for the first time, where friends and neighbors meet for fun competition, and where people of all backgrounds and abilities find common ground. But not all tennis courts are equal. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic strives to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and having safe, well-maintained and inviting places to play in local communities is critical to growing the game. Yet, many communities have courts with more wear-and-tear or lack accessible tennis courts completely.

That’s why we are proud to continue to offer and award our Safe Place to Play Grants. 

Safe Place to Play grants support tennis court refurbishment and construction projects in the Mid-Atlantic region to help revitalize tennis court spaces and create more opportunities for people to experience the sport.

Morgan County Tennis Association looking to fill this area with tennis courts.

At the conclusion of 2019, we awarded two local entities with grant funding to support their tennis court projects with work to begin and continue through 2020. 

The Morgan County Tennis Association (Berkeley Springs, W.Va.) – Safe Place to Play grant funding will support the continuation of their work to construct the first regulation-sized tennis facility in their local area. Without any regulation-sized tennis courts in Morgan County, this new facility will be a welcome addition to the community and will enable more people, especially children, to have access to free tennis programming. They are working with the local government, parks and recreation department and local school board on this project and received grant funding from USTA Mid-Atlantic in 2018. This additional grant funding will support the final phases of the project including construction beginning in June 2020 and court activation in the fall of 2020.

Westleigh Recreation Club (North Potomac, Md.) and MATA Sports – MATA Sports is an organization based in the Washington, D.C. area that aims to instill healthy living habits among youth through sports, especially through tennis. The organization is working to rebuild and reinvigorate the love of tennis at the Westleigh Recreation Club in North Potomac, Md., and for the surrounding community, however, the state of the existing courts has become detrimental to the effort. Grant funding from the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section will help repair, repaint, and resurface the courts; replace the backboard; and purchase new windscreens and nets.

With improved courts at Westleigh and strong community interest in tennis, MATA Sports hopes to increase tennis participation among all ages and levels. For youth, they plan to host weekly tennis events, especially beginner and introductory Net Generation events that help introduce kids to the game in fun ways. They also hope to reinstate USTA Junior Team Tennis, host competitive events and training for those juniors looking for more and offer USTA League for adults at all levels. Free sports days, scholarship opportunities and more are planned to reach even more people with tennis. Their goal is to complete the tennis court revitalization efforts by the beginning of April 2020.

Mid-Atlantic’s Safe Place to Play Grant at work in 2019.

USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, aims to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region. Quality tennis infrastructure in more Mid-Atlantic communities of all types is a key aspect of succeeding in the mission and vision of the organization.

Your tax-deductible donations support this grant program and efforts to improve and add tennis court infrastructure throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Make a donation today so that we can continue to offer even more Safe Place to Play grants to help more local tennis courts become safe, inviting places to learn and play the game. 

More information about the 2020 Safe Place to Play Grant application and process will be announced soon. 


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Kathy R: It’s a Game Changer

This month, we talked with USTA Mid-Atlantic donor and volunteer Kathy Renzetti, CAE. Kathy is a member of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Board of Directors and shared why she gives her time to tennis, the importance of sport in shaping lives, and why she donates. 

Why are you involved with USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (USTA MAS)?

Kathy R.: I decided to get involved with USTA MAS because I was impressed with its mission of bringing tennis to everyone. The staff and volunteers really do take this to heart as they have seen first-hand how tennis can change lives. I am a firm believer in the use of sport to bring diverse communities together and USTA MAS is committed to reaching all communities, especially children, and introducing them to the game regardless of their background, zip code or ability to pay. USTA MAS looks for ways to break down barriers so that everyone has the opportunity to discover tennis.

Learn more about the impact of our work to bring tennis to everyone! 

What is something you wish people knew about USTA Mid-Atlantic? 

Kathy R.: I wish people knew more about the incredible work USTA MAS does in the community for kids. USTA MAS is reaching more kids than ever through its after school program. It has brought tennis to schools where 100% of students qualify for free and reduced meals; they also provide financial support and scholarships for kids. 

USTA MAS is truly committed to changing the face of tennis in the Section. I don’t think people are aware of that. I also don’t think they are aware that USTA MAS relies on donor support to make all of this happen. I know more and more people are getting involved and I love to see this happen because community support, especially philanthropic support, makes a huge impact and sparks transformative change.

Why do you choose to support USTA Mid-Atlantic?

Kathy R.:  I choose to donate to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section because the organization is committed to bringing the game of tennis to youth in underserved communities. Just one example is the after school tennis program, which is supported by donors. The program experienced unprecedented growth and has had more than 15,000 youth participation since 2016.

I had the opportunity to attend a session. The staff was amazing and the kids were learning about the game, making friends, and having fun! It’s a game-changer.

Watch this video to learn more about the impact of the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program on youth and why your support is needed! 

What is it like being a volunteer for USTA Mid-Atlantic?

Kathy R.: I’m proud to be a board member of USTA MAS. We are trying hard to lead the way in the region – experiencing transformative change ourselves as a board. We want to change the face of the sport, especially among youth, and to break down barriers to access whether that be financial or by providing courts or safe places to play.

What would you tell someone that is thinking about donating to USTA Mid-Atlantic?

Kathy R.: I encourage people to learn more about USTA MAS – to talk to the coaches, volunteers, teachers, and players. It’s important to see for yourself how USTA MAS is making an impact in the region. Also, success is in the numbers. USTA MAS is very transparent about the use of donated dollars. Donors can feel confident that the money they invest in USTA MAS is truly making an impact.

It is through the love of tennis we can change lives together. You can help us continue to make tennis accessible to all in the Mid-Atlantic Section, and help us deliver more after school and summer camp tennis programs to ALL children in our region. You can make a tax-deductible donation today!


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Because Every Child Belongs

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is on a mission to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region by helping people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Our goal is to bring tennis to all, especially children, in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Thanks to you and your gift your tax-deductible donation directly supports increased access to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic through our programs, such as our Youth After School and Summer Camp Tennis Program, our Safe Places to Play Facility Assistance Program and our Junior Competition Scholarship

This year we continue to invest in the next generation by teaching children the benefits of the sport. Tennis is a lifetime sport and our After School and Summer Camp Programs teach tennis to those that may not have the opportunity to play or learn the game elsewhere. We are building a foundation for children to live a healthy life and to learn character skills that they will use for years to come. Watch this video to learn about our program and how, together, we can put a racquet in the hands of more children…because every child belongs.

Make a tax-deductible donation today to support USTA Mid-Atlantic’s charitable programs. 

After School Tennis Reaches More Kids Than Ever

“My son was interested in tennis but not a huge fan. After attending the [USTA Mid-Atlantic’s] TGA program after school, he is a FAN! He wants me to sign him up for classes over the summer so he’s ready for next year’s after school program! Thank you for lighting this fire under him and getting him enthused about something other than his iPad!” – Amy K.

This is a real testimonial submitted to USTA Mid-Atlantic from a mother of a child that participated in our after school tennis program, called TGA Premier Youth Tennis, in Prince William County, Va. This quote exemplifies the objective of our program and our vision – to introduce all children to tennis and to inspire a passion for healthy, active lifestyles through the sport that will last a lifetime. 

Since 2016, we’ve had more than 15,000 youth participate in our programs and learn a sport they may not otherwise have had the chance to try. Consider the fact that during 2018, on average 17 percent of children age 6 to 12 engaged in NO sport activity¹. 

We are actively combating this trend! 

Thanks to the support of generous donations, our after school and summer camp tennis program continues to grow and see significant success engaging local youth with the healthy, and positive benefits tennis provides.

This fall alone, our after school tennis programs held more than 200 sessions with more than 5,000 registered. This is more registrations in our program than we had in all of 2018, and 2019 is on track to have a 41 percent increase (or  more) in registrations compared to last year – that is A LOT of kids playing tennis and having fun with the sport.

When you give, you help support the impact we can have through our programs. Here are a few highlights of the successes from the fall season of the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program:  

Anne Arundel, Md.:

  • Thanks to a generous donation from the Anne Arundel County Tennis Association (AACTA), a scholarship was offered to Lindale Middle School for after school tennis. The scholarship provided a six-week tennis program and racquets to 14 students.

Arlington, Va.: 

  • Fleet Elementary School was the first after school tennis program offered in this area of Northern Virginia and the program was completely full

Fairfax, Va.:

  • Four elementary school programs achieved all-time high registrations including Charles Barrett Elementary School (45 students), Aldrin Elementary School (25 students), Fort Hunt Elementary (26 students) and Belvedere Elementary School (22 students). 

Howard County, Md.:

  • Tennis after school programs held in the county had more than 700 registrations in the fall season alone, which is the highest of all of our areas offering programs. 

Loudoun County, Va.: 

  • Fall tennis after school program registrations grew by 18 percent compared to last year and programs were introduced at three new elementary schools in the county. 

 Prince William County, Va.:

  • The fall season marked the highest single season participation in tennis after school programs with 272, and overall participation has increased 15.8 percent compared to this time last year. 

Richmond, Va.:

  • After school tennis at Woolridge Elementary set a record for the most kids – 81 – participating in the calendar year.

West Virginia: 

  • For the 2019 calendar year, programs in West Virginia had 700 registrations, setting a new record and at North Elementary School, 70 students went through the after school tennis program during the year – also setting a new record for participation! 

We depend on continued support to achieve such significant growth and reach even more children, especially those in underserved areas of our region. No matter the circumstances we want EVERY CHILD to play tennis and we remain committed to subsidizing costs to make it happen. Tax-deductible donations help us give more kids the chance to play. 

You can make a difference and make sure that the next generation gains the benefits, and fun, of tennis. Give today, especially before the end of 2019, so that your gift to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section can be part of the $10,000 match being made by an anonymous donor. 


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

  1. 2019 Sport & Fitness Industry Association Sports, Fitness, And Leisure Activities Topline Participation Report. 

Year-end Ratings: What You Need to Know

As the USTA Adult League season winds down, we gear up for the most highly anticipated time of the year – the moment year-end ratings are published! Think about it like this: you know on TV shows when the teacher posts test scores outside the classroom and everyone rushes to check their grade, this is that for league tennis players – except the teacher is a computer and you can’t fail!

This year, the year-end NTRP Ratings are expected to be published on December 2, and we want to share with you some helpful information to get you ready for when you will know if your NTRP rating stayed the same or is adjusted.

Adult NTRP ratings are used in leagues and tournaments to group players of similar skill levels; for general information on the rating system, click here.

How are dynamic ratings calculated?

A player’s dynamic ratings, calculated after each match, are not solely contingent on record. They are calculated by an algorithm that considers your rating, your opponent’s rating, the expected outcome of the match, and the actual outcome of the match.

What is the difference between a dynamic rating and a year-end rating?

  • Dynamic ratings are not disclosed to players, whereas year-end ratings are published annually at NTRP levels.
  • Dynamic ratings are expressed to the one-hundredth of a point, whereas 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 a player’s cumulative dynamic rating during the season and a comparison to an appropriate benchmark player.

Why did [insert USTA employee] decide to change my rating?

All NTRP ratings are generated by a very smart computer using a very advanced algorithm. Whether your NTRP level increases, decreases or stays the same, no humans are involved in creating that year-end rating.

My NTRP has changed. How do I find a team at my new level?

We can help! USTA Mid-Atlantic offers Tennis Connect, a service that can match up players and captains.  Just fill out the form here. We’ll help you find the right match for a team in your area!

How do I appeal my rating?

As a Computer (C) rated player, the way to appeal your rating is online through TennisLink. When you do, TennisLink checks to see if you are within the appeal range.  This is a scale based on your dynamic ratings and the number of matches you’ve played in the most recent Championship year.  You will receive an immediate response (Granted or Denied).  If your appeal is granted, TennisLink will automatically adjust your rating level.

Here is how to appeal:

  • Log in to Tennislink and click the USTA League tab (across the top and to the left)
  • To the right of “Welcome!”, look for your NTRP Level
  • Under that, click “Appeal Rating Level”
  • Select Appeal rating level “Up or Down”
  • You will receive an immediate response at the top of the page

Things to know:

  • There is no appeal committee, thus no written letter of explanation. It’s all based on match data and numbers.
  • Appealing will NOT reveal your rating in the 100th of a point.
  • When an appeal has been granted, that player is eligible for dynamic disqualification

I see my ratings on other websites.  Are they the same as USTA?

The USTA posts the official NTRP ratings on TennisLink, located at tennislink.usta.com. This is the only public website where official NTRP ratings authorized by the USTA are posted and can be obtained.

The USTA is aware of other sites that suggest they provide NTRP ratings or player statistics and skill analysis. Any alleged NTRP related information available on these other sites is not endorsed by the USTA, is not accurate, and cannot be relied upon.

I’ve been away from tennis for a while, how do I get a rating?

If you have never had an NTRP Rating or it’s been a few years since you’ve played USTA Leagues, your first step will be to Self-Rate online through TennisLink.  

  • Log in to Tennislink
  • On “Welcome!” page under the USTA League tab
  • Look for “Find NTRP Rating Info”
  • Under that, click on the blue “Self-Rate” button 
  • A pop-up window will appear with the questionnaire
  • Based on your answers you will be assigned a minimum self-rating
  • You have the option to accept that rating, choose a higher rating, or request to appeal for a lower rating

I just really want to talk to someone about my NTRP. Who do I call?

Adult league tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic Section can call or email Adult Programs Coordinator Cassie Nocera. She is your go-to on all things year-end ratings and NTRP. She is totally cool with you reaching out!

Hmmm, alright you’ve answered my questions. Got any fun facts to share?

Funny you should ask, we really do have fun facts about NTRP and year-end ratings!

  • You need three valid matches to generate a year-end rating
  • Your Computer rating does not change during the year. It stays the same until the next year-end.
  • Nearly 81.8 percent of Mid-Atlantic players will NOT have their rating change at year-end.
  • Last year, when year-end ratings were published, TennisLink received 5.4 million page visits over a four day period.
  • The highest rating on the NTRP scale is 7.0. Note: This does not mean two 3.5 players could go toe-to-toe with Rafael Nadal, but it sure would be entertaining to watch.