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.

Create Your Tennis Comeback Story

Don’t let time away from tennis deter you from coming back to the game.  USTA Mid-Atlantic Section has so many ways for you to enjoy tennis and gain the healthy benefits of the sport – from competitive opportunities through USTA League to casual tennis fun, and tournaments too. 

We don’t have to remind you of the many benefits you get from playing tennis: 

✅ Physical fitness 

✅ Fun with friends 

✅ Expanding your network

✅ Stress relief 

✅ Leadership opportunities

✅ Competition and new challenges

✅ A sport you can play no matter your age

Over the next couple of months, we are challenging you to create your tennis comeback story! We have gathered inspiring comeback stories from people just like you that took time off from tennis for various reasons but are back and flourishing in the game. We’ll be sharing these stories with you and hope they motivate you to get back out there and play tennis with USTA Mid-Atlantic. You’ll want to make sure you visit our news page to see these stories

In the meantime, we’ve gathered up some tips and helpful information that will help you get reacquainted with your game as well as what’s going on and available in the Mid-Atlantic Section for adults so that you can start playing. 

Tip 1: Get back into the swing of things without any pressure. USTA Mid-Atlantic has launched NEW social tennis events that allow you to get back into tennis in a fun, low-pressure way. Check out all the opportunities available and check often. We update this page regularly with new social events! 

Tip 2: Brush up on your techniques and strategies. If you’re memory of the game is as fuzzy as a tennis ball, don’t worry! USTA has a ton of great articles that can help refresh your on-court strategies and improve your game. There are even articles on the basics such as keeping score. 

Tip 3: Take a refresher lesson or classes with a local tennis pro. You can look for introductory classes at your local community courts or recreation center (or if you belong to a club or facility). Look for classes that use lower compression balls which will help you quickly gain success and reawaken the muscle memory. 

Tip 4: Come back with a friend and get REWARDED! Tennis is all about fun with friends so bring them along with you. Having friends on court is always a reward because you get to spend time together, but we are making it even better. If you are registering for a USTA League and you refer a new or lapsed 18 to 39 year old player to a League team, you’ll get rewarded. More information is available here

Tip 5: Fire up your competitive spirit and join a USTA League. USTA League is the country’s largest adult competitive tennis league for players of all skill levels. You can check out the various local leagues that are registering now and contact the listed Local League Ambassador for information on how to get involved. You can also contact USTA Mid-Atlantic at leagues@mas.usta.com  and we will be able to help you get started in local leagues. 

Now that you have some tips, it is time to start planning your tennis comeback! If you already have a tennis comeback story, share it with us and inspire others from the USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis community! Contact Megan Driscoll with your story

We can’t wait to see you on the courts soon and hear your comeback story. Make sure you are following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get all the latest about tennis in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Physical Fitness Month: On Court Steps Challenge and Giveaway

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, and what better way to celebrate than playing tennis! Spending time on the tennis court playing matches, practicing your serve and volleying the ball with friends and family can help you stay active this month and all year long. Also, research shows that tennis is better for your physical, mental and overall health, so now you have all the proof you need to pick that racquet up, get some tennis balls and get active!

USTA Mid-Atlantic has lots of ways you can add more tennis to your life. From adult tournaments and leagues to fun social tennis opportunities, there is always an opportunity to get on the court and play. To celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month we are sharing stories of how tennis helps people of all ages get and stay healthy and fit.

In honor of this special month, USTA Mid-Atlantic invites you to participate in a fun challenge and GIVEAWAY. We want to see how you are staying active in May through tennis. Get out there with your FitBit or Smartwatch on and then share photos on social media that show how many steps you took during your match or even while you are just hitting around and having fun! Use the hashtag #OnCourtSteps and tag USTA Mid-Atlantic!

This will be a fun and exciting way to see how players are constantly moving during the game. You can even make it a challenge with your teammates; make it a competition to see who took more steps during the match. Tennis is not only a game of focus, but a game of motion, and we encourage you to capture this motion by sharing the number of steps you took while playing the game.

To enter the GIVEAWAY, simply share a photo of your @FitBit or Smartwatch on Instagram or Facebook and tag @ustamas and in the caption or comments tell us how many #OnCourtSteps you got during your tennis match or outing. You will then be entered in the GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag filled with recovery rollers, sunscreen, tennis balls, and other goodies. This offer is valued at $60 total.

The giveaway will run from Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 through Friday, May 31st, 2019 and a winner will be drawn at random and notified on June 3, 2019. The winner will be messaged directly through Facebook or Instagram in order to claim their prize.

We know that you are enjoying Physical Fitness month as much as we are by celebrating the benefits of tennis every week. Now it is time to share those moments with us on social media so we can celebrate together. Don’t miss this opportunity to enter this GIVEAWAY and have a chance to receive this awesome tennis goodie bag.

The specific rules of this giveaway are outlined below:

The contest will be announced on official USTA Mid-Atlantic social media platforms on May 15th and run through May 31, 2019.  Users can enter one of two ways:

1. On your public Instagram, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

2. On your public Facebook, post a photo and tag @ustamas and tell us how many steps you got during your tennis match or outing using #OnCourtSteps in the caption or comments.

  • Individuals can enter up to one time per week per platform. An individual may have eligible entries on multiple platforms within the same week. Each week is defined as beginning at 12:00am EST on Monday and ending at 11:59pm EST on Sunday. Week 1 of the contest will start May 15th. Week 2 of the contest will end at 11:59pm EST on May 19.
  • Among eligible entrants, one winner will be selected to receive a USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis bag and miscellaneous tennis gear with an equal value of $60. The winner will be selected by USTA Mid-Atlantic at random from eligible entrants.  
  • Winners will be notified via Facebook, or Instagram message and must respond with their address within 24 hours or a replacement winner will be chosen. By accepting the contest prize, winners agree to allow their photo and name to be shared on USTA Mid-Atlantic social media outlets.
  • OFFER VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by these rules and represent that you satisfy all eligibility requirements.
  • ELIGIBILITY: The Physical Fitness #OnCourtSteps  (the “Contest”) is open to residents of the United States over the age of 18. Employees and other representatives of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (“USTA MAS”) or its affiliates, distributors, agencies, and members of each of their immediate families are not eligible to enter or win. Offer is void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  • TIMING: Winners will be selected from submissions received within two weeks. The contest will begin on May 15, 2019, and the contest will conclude on May 31, 2019. To be eligible for submissions, entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2019. USTA MAS reserves the right to select no winners.
  • SELECTION OF WINNERS: Winners will be chosen at the discretion of the USTA MAS employees, by selection and random drawing. USTA MAS reserves the right, at its discretion, to disqualify any entry that does not comply with the rules or to disqualify any individual (and their entry) who tampers with the entry process.
  • WINNER VERIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified by Facebook or Instagram message. If the winner is unreachable, ineligible or fails to claim the prize within forty-eight (48) hours after being contacted, such winner will forfeit the prize and the prize may be awarded to another winner, at the discretion of USTA MAS.
  • GENERAL CONDITIONS: Entrants grant to USTA MAS the right to use and publish their proper name online, in print or in any other media in connection with the Contest. Acceptance of a prize constitutes permission for USTA MAS to use winners’ names and likeness’ for advertising and promotional purposes without additional compensation unless prohibited by law. By entering, participants release and hold harmless USTA MAS, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, and agents from any and all liability for injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the Contest or any prize won. Promotion is subject to the USTA Privacy Policy found at https://www.usta.com/en/home/about-usta/who-we- are/national/usta-privacy- policy.html?intloc=footer  A list of winners can be made available upon request.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook or Instagram

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: 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.