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USTA League 2009 Year-End Ratings

Notice of Important Changes

The  year end 2009 NTRP ratings will reflect a nationwide movement in which a higher percentage of players will move upward this year. This reflects the concerns of the National Oversight Group, the Observers (Verifiers), charged with protecting the integrity of our NTRP levels as defined below. It was also the clear consensus of many others including staff, volunteers, team captains and players that the system is in need of adjustment as too many players were above the NTRP level they were playing at. Additionally, the same issue was noted through player concerns raised in survey work. A growing disconnect was seen between the standards used in the Self Rating guidelines and the actual characteristics of players on court at various levels, along with players who had been allowed for many years to appeal their year end ratings downward.

Of the 300,000 league players nationally, more than 90,000 will be seeing movement in their NTRP rating that should coincide with their appropriate skills. With almost a third of the players seeing movement, please know that if you are in this group, you will not be alone. We recognize that there may be initial concerns and questions, but we believe rating adjustments are necessary to protect the integrity of the NTRP and insure that the vast majority of all league players will have competitive matches.

USTA League 2009 Year End Ratings have been published to TennisLink.  Click here to find your rating.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact leagues@usta.com.

The table below shows the movement of players up and down from their previous rating levels. Players will continue to have compatible and competitive matches, although many will now be playing at a different level.

Players will also find that there will be far less ability to appeal NTRP ratings successfully based on current appeal guidelines.

This table shows a broad overview of the movement of players at 2009 year end.

Level at Start of Year
Total Players
Players Moving Up
No Change
Players Moving Down






































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 by Tom Gray
USTA Adult League National Committee Chair


The USTA National Oversight Group (NOG) is an experienced combination of observers (former national verifiers), computer data experts and volunteers, as well as Sectional and National staff who have observed players, talked with players and captains at National Championships and reviewed dynamic NTRP results and trends.  NOG’s charge is to protect the integrity of the NTRP Rating System.  NOG is a subcommittee of the League Committee, appointed by the chair, and therefore must get approval from the committee for any changes to the NTRP Computer Methodology which guides their work.  The NTRP Computer Methodology is considered to be part of league regulations.  Beyond those changes, the committee has representation through the chair and vice chair who attend all of NOG's meetings and conference calls.  The experience, understanding and expertise of NTRP and the computer program by the members of NOG would only be questioned if they were to go in a direction not authorized by the NTRP Computer Methodology

Through research reports and observation, NOG determined there has been a disconnect between what has been observed on court as it compares to the NTRP guidelines over the years and it is necessary to realign actual USTA League play with the NTRP guidelines. The causes of this disconnect or compression were many including appeals, two team leagues, self rate abuses, match manipulation, players playing up, etc. Some of these issues have been addressed over the yearsand changes are being made to address the other issues.

This subcommittee carefully studied and determined that out of 325,000 (year-end unique players in TennisLink) approximately 94,000 players needed to be moved up.  NOG has made adjustments like this since the USTA League went to dynamic ratings in 2003.  In 2007,players were moved up and in 2008, 49,513 players were promoted to the next level.

The consequence of this action has created concerns and questions as would be expected.  In essence the USTA League NTRP levels of play as defined in the NTRP Guidebook are being enforced.    Some recommended steps that may be taken by league administrators, managers, captains and players include: 

  • Be aware that while many players have been promoted into a new level, so too have players been moved up from that level to a higher level as well.
  • Look to see how many of your teammates and friends have moved up with you. 
  • Look to see how many of your previous competitors have moved up as well. 
  • Select those players who you want on a team, which may be made up of previous players and/or new players. 
  • Select many of your friends from your previous level to join you on a higher level team and stay within Sectional Guidelines.

There are many reasons why people play USTA League and it not just about playing to win but rather the relationships that are built through this wonderful sport.  So players may need for a short time to re-define their personal and team goals as they adjust to the new level.