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.

Handle It: Addressing Common Tennis Rules and On-Court Questions

Nothing is more frustrating than when you are having a great tennis match and a question comes up about a rule that stops your game or makes you lose focus. USTA Mid-Atlantic is here to help! We talked with our expert official from the Mid-Atlantic Section, Dzarr Daniels, to find out a few concerns/questions and tips for handling them. These scenarios are good ones to know whether you are playing competitively in USTA League play or for recreation and fun.

  1. Can I call foot faults in non-officiated tennis matches? Yes you can – on deliberate ones where your opponent’s foot is clearly over or on the line as they’re serving the ball.  In a respectful way, you should inform your opponent and request that they monitor their feet before they serve.
  2. Here is a really good one.  Can Player A call a double bounce on opponent Player B?  No, you can’t. Only the player B while attempting to hit the ball can make that call.  And a let should never be played. If player A prematurely makes a call for them they still will lose the point.
  3. In a doubles match Team A was serving to their opponents on Team B.  After Team A served to their opponents one player from Team B called the ball “out” but their partner stated the ball was good.   Team B wanted to play a “let.”  No let is played. Team A subsequently won the point since their opponents saw different versions of the ball. They would have to weigh in the favor of the ball being “in” and the point goes to Team A!

For more information about common issues and “Friend at Court,” questions you can also check out this great resource from USTA, “What’s the Call.”

And if you are looking for ways to spend more time in the sport you love, give consideration to officiating. Officiating can be a great way to deepen your involvement with tennis and gain new experiences and appreciation for the sport. New officials are always in need. Find out more about getting on the path to officiating now. You can also contact Bonnie Vona at USTA Mid-Atlantic about becoming an official in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section.

Gearing Up for League Tennis: The GEAR (Giveaway)

From that pop and hiss of a fresh can of tennis balls to the feel of a new racquet, to the latest tennis apparel trends, having the gear to get your season of USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues started right is just as essential as it is to making sure you’ve got your rating and registration all taken care of!

Turn sound on! ^

There’s just something alluring to having new tennis gear items in your bag at the start of the season. When your tennis gear is ready, you’re another step closer to fun competition.

We’ve been getting you prepared for the season with our “Gearing Up” series of articles. So far, we’ve covered:

Now, let’s talk a little bit about gear. Any tennis player knows that your basic essentials include a tennis racquet, tennis balls, the proper shoes and attire, and towels or items to keep you dry/cool. A bag is helpful to keep everything organized, too, and don’t forget a water bottle. You may want some additional accessories such as grip tape, vibration dampeners for your strings, and of course if you are playing outside, protection from the sun (hats, visors, sunglasses) and sunscreen.  

And you’ll want to proudly rep the Mid-Atlantic Section this league season, so you’ve got to get some gear in our official “color wars” color for 2019: ROYAL BLUE!

To go a little more in depth, there are excellent articles on USTA.com that have helpful information about tennis gear, from selecting the right racquet, to the importance of the strings in your racquet, to buying the right shoes. Check them out here.

As tennis enthusiasts ourselves, we love new gear just as much as you do! So we want to get you “geared up” and ready to play with a fun GIVEAWAY to kick-off the spring adult tennis league season.

You have a chance to WIN our Gearing Up prize pack that includes tennis strings from @MainandCrosses, 10 grips from @AlienPros, a case of tennis balls, a foam roller, and $100 in  gift cards. To enter, simply leave a comment on this Facebook post telling us “I signed up for my local spring league” and let us know which one. The contest is open now, March 6, 2019 and will run through Friday, March 22, 2019. One winner will be drawn at random at the end of the contest period; good luck!

Read the official rules here.

What tennis gear do you have in your tennis bag? Let us know on Social Media. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and subscribe to the blog.

The 2019 calendar is here for you to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

Gearing Up for League Tennis: Mental Toughness on the Court

Get  answers to questions about playing USTA Mid-Atlantic adult leagues, check! 

Get new tips and tricks to get physically ready for the tennis season, check! 

Reviewed the USTA Mid-Atlantic adult tennis leagues playing in my area and know the registration dates, check! 

If you’ve got these items crossed off your list, than it sounds like you’ve been following along on our “Gearing Up” series! We want you to have your best season of team tennis so we are continuing along with more information to help you “gear up” for spring leagues.

Here’s a topic you may not often give much *thought* to: improving and staying mentally tough on the tennis court.

Sport psychologists have examined how mental skills training helps athletes improve performance by not only developing skills, such as concentration and stress control, but also making efforts to influence personal characteristics, such as self-esteem and sportsmanship. We went straight to the experts from the USTA Player Development program to provide you with some tips on how to be, and stay, mentally tough on the court. What’s key is developing a routine between points. 

Dr. Larry Lauer is a mental skills specialist for USTA Player Development and has been a sport psychology consultant for over a decade with elite tennis players from juniors, college, and pros. Dr. Lauer developed a concept called “The Green Light Routine” that helps outline basic steps to be able to let go of the last point and focus on the current point.

There are four basic steps to Lauer’s “Green Light Routine,” outlined here, and we’ve included a VIDEO below of him discussing these steps:

Step 1: Respond

As soon as the point has ended, there will be a response. It will be positive, negative or neutral. The goal is to stay positive or neutral. Go to your strings, show positive body language and walk briskly back behind the baseline. A slumping posture will only fire up your opponent.

Step 2: Relax

Take deep breaths and let go of the last point. You want to slow down your breathing and heart rate and quiet your mind.

Step 3: Refocus

Use a towel, touch the fence, pick up the balls, walk around and focus on the current point. You should have full commitment to the current point knowing your play. Serve and Return – Visualize and commit to it. Turn and walk to the line when you know what the plan is and you are committed to it.

Step 4: Ready

Bounce the ball however many times you feel comfortable according to your routine (like a free throw shooter in basketball); sway back and forth on your returns, take a deep breath and lock in on the ball. You are now NO LONGER THINKING. Quiet the mind and trust what you are doing.

Check out this video featuring Dr. Lauer explaining the routine: 

Read Dr. Lauer’s article to get more details about this and other mental health routines.

What routines have you used to help you stay focused and mentally tough during a tennis match? Share them with us on social media – tag us and use #ustaspringgearup.

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with more articles to come as you “gear up” for spring adult league tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.

And be sure to check the 2019 calendar here to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

Gearing Up: Physical Fitness for Adult Tennis Players

We are keeping the “Gearing Up” series going for all you adult tennis league players out there in the Mid-Atlantic so that you are prepared for your best season of tennis yet! Besides getting some of the top questions you may have about playing USTA Mid-Atlantic League tennis this season answered, part of getting prepared is being ready physically.

We caught up with Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists, who are the provider of certified Athletic Trainers at all of our USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis Championships in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. They’ve spent a lot of time with Mid-Atlantic tennis players at our regional and sectional events and have taken a range of questions from players. Out of all the questions asked, they identified the top three they heard the most during the 2018 League Championship year as it relates to physical fitness. They have provided the questions here with their top tips associated. Read up and see how these tips may help you prepare for playing league tennis this spring in the Mid-Atlantic.

1. How do I prevent myself from overheating and becoming too dehydrated during match play, so that I can perform my best all tournament long?

There are many preventable ways to beat the heat and maintain a low body temperature and proper hydration levels during your match and throughout a tournament. Here are some tips and guidelines to ensure you stay healthy!

  • Acclimatize your body before your match by performing a 5 minute warm-up so there won’t be a sudden shock to your body on hot days!
  • It’s imperative to limit sun exposure (as much as possible) in between and during the break times during matches.
  • Make sure to bring cold packs and cold towels with you to the court to cool off during breaks and changeovers.
  • It is very important to MAINTAIN HYDRATION during your match with ICE COLD water and sports drinks.
  • Wear proper attire to allow for breathability and provides moisture wicking properties that will assist in keeping body temperatures low.
  • Be cautious of too much caffeine and alcohol consumption because these can cause dehydration, especially on warmer days.

hydration_heat_illness_handout

Review additional resources on hydration and heat:

Heat and Hydration tips

2. I will be playing a lot of tennis this season and want to protect my shoulder. What can I do to keep my shoulder healthy?

In order to keep your shoulder healthy in any overhead sport, such as tennis, it is important to address strength and mobility. The Throwers Ten Shoulder Program is a relatively simple but comprehensive compilation of shoulder exercises to address weakness and promote proper shoulder mechanics. Click here to view a video of one of our athletic trainers performing these exercises.

It is also important to prepare for the season by slowly increasing your activity level over time.  After a period of rest during the off season, your body needs time to acclimate to the stresses being placed on it. Follow a natural progression by increasing the demands placed on your shoulder over a few weeks. Click here to find an interval tennis program to help increase your activity in a systematic fashion.

3. My elbow hurts and I’ve been told it is most likely “Tennis Elbow.” What exactly is tennis elbow and how can I treat it? 

The medical name for Tennis Elbow is Lateral Epicondylitis. It is a painful condition involving the tendon attachment to the bone on the lateral side of the elbow. The tendons help to anchor the muscle to the bone. The muscle involved in this condition, the Extensor Carpi Radialis Brevis, helps to extend and stabilize the wrist. With Lateral Epicondylitis, degeneration of the tendon’s attachment occurs, weakening the anchor site and placing greater stress on the painful area. This can then lead to pain associated with activities in using the muscle such as lifting, gripping, and or grasping. Such sports as tennis are commonly associated with this condition secondary to the repetitive nature of the sport. Treatment options for Tennis Elbow can include bracing with a tennis elbow strap, proactive stretching, ice massage, anti-inflammatory medications, and strengthening the surrounding musculature. Below you will find further explanation of these treatment options. If pain should persist following treatment, please consult with an orthopaedist for further evaluation.  Find our other article about Tennis Elbow on Tennis on Point with more information.

elbow stretches-blog

What are some ways you get yourself in shape physically before the start of the tennis league season? Share them with us on social media – tag us and use #ustaspringgearup.

And be sure to check the 2019 calendar here to see which leagues are registering in your area. Contact the listed Local League Ambassador for your local area or our Tennis Connect service to get playing!

Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and subscribe to the blog so you can keep up with more articles to come as you “gear up” for spring adult league tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.