NTRP Year-end Ratings: What You Need to Know

When the USTA League championship year ends, tennis players everywhere eagerly await the most highly anticipated time of the year – the moment year-end ratings are published! This is when you’ll know if your NTRP rating stays the same or is adjusted and that can mean a lot for planning your next tennis season.  

Tennis partners playing on court

After pausing Year-End ratings in 2020, we know this year is as important as ever for our tennis players, and having helpful information to understand ratings is essential.

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 NTRP Year-End ratings calculated?

A Year-End Rating, also known as a Computer Rating, is generated for every player who plays at least three valid matches in either a qualifying USTA League or NTRP Tournaments. USTA Flex Leagues and Flexible Format leagues do not count towards ratings.

When are Year-End ratings published?

They are published each December, at the conclusion of the league championship season. The exact date varies from year to year based on National Championship dates.

How is my dynamic rating 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 nightly, whereas year end ratings are based on a combination of a player’s cumulative match results throughout the year.

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

All NTRP ratings are generated by a computer using a very advanced algorithm. Whether your NTRP level increases, decreases or stays the same, that information was calculated by a computer using your match play results. 

My NTRP Year-End Rating 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!

Interested in being a Captain? You don’t have to wait around to find a team! You can form your own team by signing up to be a League Captain.  Complete this form and we’ll help get you set up and choose the team feature (Open, Closed, and Closed but Seeking) that’s best for you.

My NTRP was bumped up. I am nervous about playing at a new level and leaving my team. What’s next for me?

CONGRATULATIONS! You have worked hard to get to this point and should be proud of what you have accomplished! This is an opportunity for you to meet new people and take your tennis to the next level. Your next step is to find a team at your new rating. Remember, we can help you through our Tennis Connect service.

Miss your previous teammates? Don’t forget we offer a variety of combined rating leagues that will give you an opportunity to stay connected to your old crew.  

My NTRP was bumped down and I am disappointed. Any advice?

Don’t worry about it. You can always play up and stick with your team or you can use Tennis Connect to find a new team. If you are looking for opportunities to improve, don’t forget to check out our Stroke of the Week videos for tips on improving your game or email community@mas.usta.com if you’re interested in connecting with a teaching professional in your area.

My teammate was bumped up and my rating didn’t change despite having a better record. Why?

Your Win/loss record does not directly affect the year-end calculation. Other factors include different dynamic start ratings (in hundredths) based on previous Year-End ratings and matches played against opponents with different dynamic ratings.

How do I appeal my rating?

As a Computer (C) rated player, the way to appeal your rating is online through TennisLink. When you click to appeal your rating, TennisLink checks to see if you are within the appeal range. You will receive an immediate response (Granted or Denied).  If your appeal is granted, TennisLink will automatically adjust your rating level. If your appeal is denied, you are not within appealable range and there are no further opportunities to appeal.

See below for more detailed instructions on 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 your player profile on usta.com or 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 League, 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 need more clarification, who can I reach out to regarding ratings? 

Adult league tennis players in the Mid-Atlantic Section can email the Adult Leagues Team. This is the best and fastest way to get an answer from a member of the Adult Team in regards to ratings. 

I have my NTRP rating and I am ready to play. What’s next? 

Tennis is always happening in the Mid-Atlantic! Check out our Adult Leagues calendar to see what’s playing next in your area or find a tournament to participate in. 

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.
  • On average, nearly 80 percent of Mid-Atlantic players will NOT have their rating change at year-end.
  • 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.
  • This year, because of the 2020 pause in ratings, your Computer rating will include your match results from both 2019 and 2020.

Don’t miss a thing in Mid-Atlantic tennis! Make sure to subscribe to USTA Mid-Atlantic’s YouTube Channel and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Plus, make sure to check out our Facebook page and celebrate 12 Days of Gifting with USTA Mid-Atlantic. Learn more by clicking here.

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

Summer Guide to Tennis

The Ultimate Summer Guide to Tennis

In the Mid-Atlantic

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis

Here in the Mid-Atlantic, you can tell summer is right around the corner. The weather is heating up and that means the tennis courts are getting busier than ever. We know you’re lacing up your sneakers and popping open a fresh can of tennis balls to get to the action this summer, but first, we want to ensure you are prepared for the conditions. Tennis is tough enough without the sun beating down on you during your match, so we’ve got some tips and tricks on how to properly prepare to beat the heat and make the most of your tennis experience with the ultimate summer guide to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.

Hydration is Number One:

Staying hydrated is going to be a major factor in your performance and health this summer. If you’re going to be playing out in the heat, make sure to start drinking water at least 24 hours before your match for peak hydration and to stay cool during your match. We recommend you to bring at least a quart (32 ounces), if not more, to your match to make sure you don’t lose your edge. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis - player returning a forhand

Don’t forget to replenish those electrolytes after those grueling games… Drinking during the changeover is also crucial to prevent getting sick or cramping. We recommend bringing Gatorade, Pedialyte, or something similar during a match because these drinks offer the perfect balance of sugar, sodium, and electrolytes. Another helpful summer guide to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic is to be prepared with snacks! Make sure you have enough fuel to keep your body healthy during those long matches under the hot, hot sun. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis Insider Tip:

  • Pack your tennis bag the night before, this way you can rest easy knowing that you are prepared with water, Gatorade, and yummy, healthy snacks for your important match the next day. Plus when you prepare the night before there’s no additional stress or rushing around before your match!

Clothing and Apparel to Wear in the Heat 

What you wear can be just as important as what you put in your body. When playing in the heat, you need to make sure you stay dry and cool with light-weight, moisture-wicking fabrics. Additionally, consider wearing wristbands to keep your hands and racquet dry from sweat, allowing your grip to stay firm. Finally, wear during your match is a hat or visor to keep the sun out of your eyes and keep your head and face cool. Keeping the sun out of your face helps you keep your head in the match. 

If you’re interested in what local tennis shops in the Mid-Atlantic specialize in for types of tennis equipment and apparel, make sure to check out our blog on preparing for the season in fresh new gear. Take it from the experts who specialize in making sure you get out and play with the right equipment. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Summer Guide to Tennis Insider Tip:

  • Don’t forget the sunscreen when you are getting ready for your match! Make sure to apply sunscreen generously and often before and after your matches to keep from burning. 

Tennis Events to Get Excited about When You’re Not Playing

Summer 2021 tennis events are back and we are so excited to celebrate tennis with you. As you are planning your summer vacation or weekend getaways, make sure you take note of the high-level events that are taking place in the Mid-Atlantic. There are some great professional and recreational events taking place right in your backyard. 

Citi Open (July 31- August 8) – Secure your tickets today! The tournament is operating at 50% capacity this year, so make sure to act quick. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic League Championships 

  • Goucher College (July 30- August 2)
  • Columbia Association (July 23-26) , (August 20-23)
  • More dates are being added, so make sure to bookmark this link and check back in. 

Don’t forget youth tennis this summer

  • There are plenty of opportunities for Juniors to be a part of team events here in the Mid-Atlantic. We encourage your junior player to sign up for a Team Up event. With this event, junior players have fun while playing competitively on a team. Plus, juniors can nab a free USTA membership now. So grab that deal to kick off their summer of tennis right! 

How to Get Involved:

There are so many ways for you to get out and play this summer in the Mid-Atlantic region. If you are looking to uplevel your tennis game and satisfy that competitive edge, we highly recommend you participating in USTA Mid-Atlantic Leagues. Here you will be able to play on a team for a chance at a National championship. Now if that doesn’t sound like the best summer ever, we don’t know what does.

Plus, make sure to stay connected with USTA Mid-Atlantic on social media and follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to join the tennis conversation and engage with other players in the area.

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USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how you can help bring tennis to more communities throughout the region.

By Patrick Twomey: an intern with USTA Mid-Atlantic. Patrick is an upcoming sophomore at the University of Tennessee

Play Tennis for your Well-being

Tennis Creates Well-Being

For both your physical and mental health

Putting an emphasis on self-care, in any form, has been a priority for most during the COVID-19 pandemic. But have you thought about fortifying your mental health lately? An easy and fun way to prioritize your mental health is by picking up a tennis racquet. Tennis unlocks many benefits for you physically, socially, and emotionally. With a racquet in your hand, you can gain more self-confidence, while reducing stress.

Now you may be thinking, how do tennis and mental health go hand in hand? Well, you’d be surprised to know that tennis is one of the leading sports that benefit your mental well-being.

Tennis creates well-being, get out and play tennis today.

“Since tennis requires alertness and tactical thinking, it may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and this promotes a lifetime of continuing development of the brain,” according to scientists at the University of Illinois. In turn, advancing your brain function helps reduce stress which supports your mental health.  

The mental and social challenges involved with tennis can increase your capacity to deal with stress.1 The best part is, there is no time limit on when you can take advantage of the psychological benefits the sport has to offer. Whether you are a brand new player or someone who used to play tennis and is ready a get back out on the court, tennis creates well-being at any stage

Tennis helps strengthen your mental health by2:

  • Developing a work ethic: Improvement through lessons or practice reinforces the value of hard work. 
  • Managing mistakes: Learning to play within your abilities and realizing that managing and minimizing mistakes in tennis or life is critical. 
  • Managing adversity: Playing tennis enables you to learn to adjust to the elements (e.g. weather, a hard match, tiredness) and still be able to compete tenaciously. 
  • Learning to solve problems: Since tennis is a sport based on angles, geometry, and physics you learn to anticipate certain scenarios in order to play out a point during a match.
  • Accommodating stress effectively: The physical, mental, and emotional stress of tennis will force you to increase your capacity for dealing with stress. It will also help you learn how to recover from a stressful situation. 

We can’t forget about the social benefits tennis has to offer. Tennis will help you3:

  • Develop performance rituals before serving or returning to control your rhythm of play and deal with pressure. These skills can transfer to taking exams, conducting a meeting, or making an important sales presentation. 
  • Learn sportsmanship since tennis teaches you to compete fairly with opponents. 
  • Learn to win graciously and lose with honor. Gloating after a win or making excuses after a loss doesn’t work in tennis or in life. 
  • Learn teamwork since successful doubles play depends on you and your partner’s ability to communicate and play as a cohesive unit. 
  • Develop social skills through interaction and communication before a match, while changing sides of the court and after play. 

And most important, when you play tennis you will have FUN… because healthy feelings of enjoyment, competitiveness, and physical challenge are inherent in the sport.

Junior Playing tennis

At USTA Mid-Atlantic, we believe tennis creates well-being. Playing tennis an hour a day may improve your physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Get out and play today so you can maximize those benefits on and off the court. During Mental Health Awareness Month, inspire yourself and others to make tennis a part of your mental health journey. 

Let’s strengthen our mental health together. Meet us out on the tennis court to take advantage of the lifelong benefits the sport has to offer. To access more resources from USTA and to participate in webinars on Physical Wellness and Enhancing Your Child’s Well Being Through Competition, click here.

And don’t forget to catch up on the endless physical health benefits tennis has to offer by reading our Improve Your Overall Health with Tennis article

We can’t wait to see you out on the courts!

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1USTA.com, Tennis Makes You Happy and Healthy, Study Shows, 2019

2Health Benefits of Tennis: Why Play Tennis by Dr. Jack Groppel

334 Reasons to Play Tennis, Webinar Series with Dr. Jack Groppel

Header image-prevent injury on court blog

Keeping Injury Out of Your Game

Stay healthy and safe on the tennis court

This year is looking up. Our daily lives are slowly returning to normal, the warmer weather is here and we are grabbing our racquets and hitting the tennis courts. However, with the rush to get out there and start playing, is your body truly ready for the demands of our beloved game? If not, you run the risk of sustaining an injury. Being injured is no fun. In addition to the pain, we can be out of the game for an extended amount of time.

Remember the phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” We should aim to prevent injury to preserve the body and not lose any time on the court.

What can be done to reduce the risk of an injury? Before we review ways to prevent injury, let’s look at two of the most common injuries tennis players experience – tennis elbow and knee issues.

Tips to keep injury out of your game:

Prevent injury on court with these helpful tips

Tennis elbow is the weakening of the tendons that join your forearm muscles to your bone. It’s typically caused by repetitive motion, like painting or lifting objects. But for tennis players, tennis elbow can be caused by the stress of hitting the ball, incorrect form, incorrect racquet grip size, or having a racquet that is strung too tight. If you would like more information and tips on tennis elbow, check out our previous article, Doctor’s Tips for Tennis Elbow. 

Knee injuries can affect any area around the knee including the ligaments, bursae (fluid sacs located near major joints), tendons, cartilage, menisci (plural for meniscus), and the bones forming the knee joint. Because our knees are complicated, a knee injury can be caused by any number of factors such as inappropriate shoes and moving when our bodies aren’t warmed up. Visit our previous article, Doctor’s Tips for Knee Pain for more information on knee issues and to help keep injury out of your game. 

Now that we know a little bit more about common tennis injuries, let’s look at how we can prevent them. Here are a few tips that you can use that are simple and effective:

Prevent common tennis injuries:

  • Warm-up your body before you play. Warming up increases your body temperature and blood flow to your muscles and reduces tension. Reduced muscle tension can decrease your risk of injury. You should aim to warm up for at least 5 minutes before you play and can start with jogging around the court. For additional tips on warming up and preparing to play, check out our post from a fitness trainer, LaRue Cook
  • Stretching before and after you play. So many players skip stretching. But stretching improves mobility, relieves tension, and reduces soreness. A few quick stretches you can perform are thigh stretch, cross body shoulder/arm stretch, hamstring stretch, and calf stretch. Remember to hold each stretch between 15 and 20 seconds without bouncing. 
  • Strength training not only improves fitness and performance but also protects your joints, ligaments, and tendons from injury. Aim to strengthen the major parts of the body – arms, legs, and core. Simple strength exercises include walking uphill or upstairs, biking, push-ups, triceps dips, and plank.  

Getting to the technical aspects:

  • Having the appropriate gear will help to reduce your risk of injury. Your tennis sneakers should not only fit you properly but be supportive enough to suit your style of play. When it comes to your racquet, consult your coach or tennis professional on choosing the right racquet and string tension for your skill and strength. Check out our post on the latest gear for 2021.
  • Taking the time to learn proper technique. Incorrect technique can cause you to stress and strain while hitting the ball which in turn can lead to an increased risk of injury. Learning good form will allow you to move effectively while minimizing injury. A certified tennis pro can help you.

We know that not all injuries are avoidable. However, investing in injury prevention will help to keep injury out of your game and you healthy on and off the court.  

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section has lots of opportunities for you to play tennis in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and eastern and southern West Virginia. Visit us and see what’s available near you!  And make sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. 

Click here to find all sources for this blog article.

Team Playing Tennis

Improve Your Overall Health with Tennis

Top Reasons to Play

Have you thought about your heart health lately? In February, the NHLBI encourages you to celebrate American Heart Month to get motivated to adopt heart-healthy behaviors. One of the ways you can take care of your heart and improve your health is by playing tennis with your friends and family.

In other words, join the 3 million new players who picked up a racquet for the first time in 2020 because tennis is the safest sport to play in order to maintain social distance and safety while having fun.1

Reasons to play:

Team Playing Tennis

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Research shows that we’re more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same.”

There are a multitude of reasons why playing tennis is a great activity to improve your health at any age. Whether it is your first time picking up a racquet, or if you are a seasoned player the heart health benefits are endless. 

Play tennis to improve your health by:

Family playing tennis
  • Get fit, lose weight and burn more calories: An hour of singles play can burn 580-870 calories. Put on your favorite fitness tracker, hit the tennis court and watch those calories sizzle away!2
  • Live longer: Playing just three hours/week will reduce your risk of heart disease 56%3
  • Strengthen your heart muscle and your bones: Compared to other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease4
  • Develop hand-eye coordination: Playing tennis involves several skills that all contribute to good hand-eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and more. 

Together we can celebrate American Heart Month with stronger and healthier hearts today by getting out to play. 

But wait there’s more. The advantages of playing tennis do not stop there. 

Additionally, the lifetime sport of tennis helps your mental and overall well-being by:

  • Reducing stress: Tennis helps you with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges which increases your capacity to manage stress
  • Increasing brain power: From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades.5
  • Helping you learn to problem-solve: Tennis is a sport that is based on evaluating angles, geometry, and physics to get the best result, which translates into better problem-solving off the court6
  • Enjoying time with family and friends: Great for the whole family no matter what your age. With minimal equipment needed, it’s easy to meet up with  a friend to play or find one through the game
  • Developing teamwork and sportsmanship skills: From doubles play to team and league play, tennis develops your ability to communicate and work together
  • Improving social skills: Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics7

Ready to get out on the courts?

Man Playing Tennis

Most importantly, playing tennis is not just about the competition, it is about living your life to the fullest potential. Additionally, tennis can become part of your life at any age. So get started and gain a positive impact on your life immediately. During American Heart Month, inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart-healthier choices as a regular part of your routine – go play tennis! 

We can’t wait to see you out on the courts! 

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12020 Physical Activity Council Participation (PAC) Report

2Oja, et al, Brit J Sports Med, 2016

3According to a 2016 Harvard University study

440-year study conducted by Johns Hopkins University

5 2013 USTA Study

6In a study in the late 1990s, several experts proposed that tennis, since it requires alertness and tactical thinking, may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and promote a lifetime of continuing brain development. This was supported in John Ratey’s book “Spark.” Ratey was quoted in USA Today as saying, “A heart-thumping game of tennis can keep the brain in top shape.”

7According to a study by Dr. Jim Gavin at Concordia University