USTA Colorado
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Denver, CO  80209
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FAQs


Many questions about ratings can be answered by reading the information on this website. If you have a question that isn't answered on this site, please send an email to Jason Rogers. Questions will only be handled via email.
 

The year-end NTRP calculation is a computer algorithm that solely uses objective results to determine players’ ratings throughout the country. All year-end ratings are calculated by USTA National using this algorithm. Appeal criteria are also determined by USTA National. Outside of the appeal processes that are outlined on this page, there are no other means to attempt to change your rating. Even though the National Tennis Rating Program has been around for many years the league department at the USTA Colorado still receives more questions about NTRP than any other subject. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about NTRP.

General NTRP Questions
Self-Rating Questions
Dynamic NTRP (Promotion / Disqualification)

 
GENERAL NTRP QUESTIONS

How does the NTRP calculation work?
Click here to see a short help video that is available to explain the basics on the year-end calculation.
Computerized ratings are affected by the score of the match as well as your partner’s and your opponent’s dynamic NTRP rating. Based on player dynamic ratings at the start of a match, the NTRP algorithm expects a particular outcome of a match. The actual outcome is then compared to the expected outcome and, as a result, a player’s dynamic rating adjusts up or down (or there is no change, if the outcome was as expected). Computerized ratings are not directly affected by what position you played, your actual number of wins and losses, age, or team standing.

How can I appeal my year-end rating?
Instructions are available on this page of our website.

My online appeal was denied.  Who can assist me further with my appeal?
If appealing up, there are no further appeals that can be filed.  If appealing down, the only other appeal that exists is a medical appeal; however, those are extremely narrow in scope.  See the page about how to “Appeal Your NTRP Rating” (link along the left) for information about filing a medical appeal.  If your appeal is denied via the online appeal and if you do not meet the medical appeal criteria, there is nothing else that can be done.  On the bright side, we do allow 25% of each team roster to be comprised of players who are playing up.  So if you feel you are competitive at the higher level, you can play up.

I was injured while I played last year, but have recovered now. Can I file a medical appeal to move up?
Medical appeals are only considered for players who want to move down due to a permanently disabling injury or illness. It is recommended that you log onto to TennisLink and use the auto appeal option to move up.

Can my rating be reconsidered based on my win-loss record?
Win-loss records do not directly affect the year-end calculation. Your rating may have improved (in hundredths), but it may not have improved enough to move you into the next level. Even if players are in the same NTRP level, they can have a different start rating based on their year-end rating from the previous year. If they had any matches against different opponents, that would also cause deviation between their ratings in hundredths.

Can my rating be reevaluated?
No. The NTRP calculation is an objective process that is handled by the computer. Outside of the appeal processes that are outlined on our website, there are no other means to adjust ratings.

Can someone hit with me to see if my rating can be adjusted?
No. The visual rating process ended many years ago.  Year-end ratings are based on match results.

My pro says my rating is higher than what the computer says.  Can my rating be adjusted based on what my pro is telling me?
Teaching professionals have a general sense of how someone may compete at various NTRP levels. This enables them to help connect new players with other players who may have a compatible style of play. However, they are not trained by the USTA to accurately assess someone’s exact NTRP rating. Ratings are based on match results – not how well someone can hit their strokes or play points during a lesson.  In addition, a formal visual verification process is no longer recognized by the USTA.

Why did my year-end rating move back down (or back up) when I had successfully appealed my rating up toward the end of last season?  
When players successfully appeal their rating, it moves them to that level but has a negligible effect on the year-end calculation. If the appeal took place late in the season and no matches were played after that point, the appeal still has no effect on the year-end rating.

I appealed my rating online and it was granted, but I did it inadvertently.  Can it be changed back?
No. Do not attempt to appeal your rating unless you are sure you want to have it changed. If an auto appeal is granted, it cannot be changed back.

Is there a way to know if my appeal will be granted or not without appealing it online?
No. The only way to find out if your rating is within the appeal range is to go online and appeal your rating. If it is granted, it cannot be changed back. Exact ratings in hundredths are not available to players.

How close is my rating to the next level?
Exact ratings in hundredths are not available to players.

I found my rating in hundredths on an alternate website. How accurate is that information?
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.

My “Tournament Ranking” had me ranked pretty high.  How does that correlate with my NTRP Rating?  
Tournament rankings are based on “points per round” in tournament play.  A player could do very well in tournaments, achieving a high “ranking”, but the actual “ranking” has no bearing on your NTRP rating. All sanctioned tournament results are calculated into the year-end rating, so the tournament matches do have a direct effect on your rating; however, being “ranked” high doesn’t mean your rating will go up to the next level. It simply means that you received more “points” in the ranking criteria than other players.

How did some of the players that I beat end up moving up, but I did not?
Players have an entirely different set of results from one another. If you beat someone who moved up, it is likely that your match rating for that particular match was a number that moved you upward. Overall, your rating could be higher now than it was previously, but it did not move high enough to place you in the next level.

My partner / teammate appealed to move up and was granted, but my appeal was denied.  Why is that?  What can be done?  
Even if players are in the same NTRP level, they can have a different start rate based on their year-end number from the previous year. If they had any matches against different opponents, that would also cause deviation between your ratings in hundredths. There are no other appeals, or any other means to change your rating if your appeal was denied.

My record was similar or better than my partner(s) / My record was better than someone else who moved up.  Why didn’t I move up too?  What can be done?
Win-loss records do not directly affect the year-end calculation. Your rating may have improved (in hundredths), but not quite high enough to put you into the next level. Even if players are in the same NTRP level, they can have a different start rate based on their year-end number from the previous year. If they had any matches against different opponents, that would also cause deviation between your ratings in hundredths. There are no other appeals, or any other means to change your rating if your appeal was denied.

I had a very good win-loss record, but was not moved up.  Why is that?  What can be done?
Win-loss records do not directly affect the year-end calculation. Your rating may have improved (in hundredths), but not quite high enough to put you into the next level. Even if players are in the same NTRP level, they can have a different start rate based on their year-end number from the previous year. If they had any matches against different opponents, that would also cause deviation between your ratings in hundredths. There are no other appeals, or any other means to change your rating if your appeal was denied.

Does Trio count toward ratings?
Yes.

Which leagues count toward my rating?
All USTA sanctioned leagues in Colorado count toward year-end ratings, except USTA Flex and World Team Tennis. Mixed leagues only count toward ratings when a player only plays mixed doubles during that year.

Which leagues do not count toward my rating?
USTA Flex and World Team Tennis

Which tournaments count toward my rating?
In the Intermountain Section, all USTA sanctioned tournaments count toward your year-end rating.

What is the rule regarding players who are over 60, relating to year-end ratings?
See USTA Regulation 2.05E.

What is the rule regarding players who are over 65, relating to year-end ratings?
See USTA Regulation 2.05E.

I am discouraged since I was not moved up.  Is there anything else that can be done?
If you have already tried to appeal your rating online and were denied, then there is nothing else that can be done to change your rating. On the positive side, we do allow 25% of every team to be comprised of players who are playing up.  So if you are competitive at the next level, you are still allowed to play in that level, even if your rating doesn’t change.


Do different positions/lines affect ratings differently?  In other words,  does No. 1 singles count more for my rating that No. 3 doubles?
No. Regardless of which position/line you play, your rating will be calculated using the score of the match and the rating of your opponent.  Since order of strength is not a requirement, it cannot be assumed that the stronger players will always be in the higher positions/lines.

I won several tournaments, but my rating did not move up.  Why is that?  What can be done?
Your rating could be higher now than it was previously, but it did not move high enough to place you in the next level. This could be caused by many variables, but a few could be a lower start rating, or if your matches were against players who were lower in the level. Other than the standard online appeal process, there is nothing that can be done to try to change your rating.

I injured myself and would like to play at a lower level. How can that be accomplished?
First, try the year-end auto appeal process online to see if your rating is within range to be granted to the lower level. If you are outside of the appeal range, you can consider whether your situation makes you eligible to file a medical appeal. Information is available on the “Appeal Your NTPR Rating” page (see link in left frame) about what criteria must be met to file a medical appeal.

I played while injured last season, so my rating should be higher now that I have fully recovered. Can I file a medical appeal to move up to the next level?
No. Medical appeals can only be requested to move “down” a level.

How many players were moved up or down?
The exact number of players that move up or down each year can vary.  The calculation does not attempt to control the number of players that move levels.

I thought more players would have been moved up/down than what I am seeing.  Why is that?
Since the algorithm that calculates ratings contains multiple unknown variables, as well as the unknown algorithm, it is impossible for anyone to predict how much movement may occur.  Most assumptions are based on players’ win-loss ratios, which do not directly affect the calculation.

Would a retired match affect my year-end rating?
Only the games that were played would affect your rating, so it would not have a large effect on your rating.

What are the various rating types?
Each published rating will have a "Rating Type" associated with it. The following table defines each of these types:
S – Self-rate
A – Appeal
C – Computer
M – Mixed Exclusive Year-end Rating
T – Tournament Exclusive


What is NTRP?
National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is a classification system developed in 1978 that identifies and describes the general characteristics of thirteen levels of tennis-playing ability.

What is a self-rating?
A self-rating is an entry rating level determined by the new player or a player re-entering the Adult or Senior Division with an M (mixed) or T (tournament) rating, based on questions asked in the TennisLink registration process. All players must enter league tennis with a valid computer rating or self-rate using TennisLink.

What is a Dynamic rating?
A dynamic rating is the result of a player's current match averaged with up to three of your most recent dynamic results generated. A dynamic rating is calculated after each match. A dynamic rating may change with each match played by the player.

What is a year-end rating?
A year-end rating, also known as computer rating, refers to a player’s rating generated by their participation in USTA League Adult Divisions of 18 & Over, 40 & Over or 55 & Over during the course of one calendar year. The term “rating” is most often used to refer to a rating generated by this play but can also include USTA Sanctioned Tournament play. A year-end rating is an NTRP Level assigned at the conclusion of the league championship year that reflects a player’s ability level determined by a mathematical algorithm. A player’s year-end rating, published each December, is used to determine which USTA League(s) they are eligible to participate in following year. Year-end ratings are valid for up to three years for players 59 or under or two years for players 60 and over or until another rating is generated.

When are end-of-year ratings published?
Year-end NTRP ratings are generally available on TennisLink around December 1.

How many matches are required to generate a Year-End rating?
A
minimum of three “valid” matches in qualifying USTA Leagues or NTRP tournaments opted-in by your Section are needed to generate a year-end rating. A valid match is defined as a team match in which a majority of the individual matches played by the two competing teams have completed at least 6 games.


Why are NTRP ratings important?
The best league competition takes place when players play at their correct level.  Playing up weakens match play at the higher level. USTA Colorado strongly recommends for players to play at their rated level.

What matches are included in the ratings?
All NTRP tournament results and all USTA and CTA league matches, except World Team Tennis, are included. Three results are needed to generate a published rating.  Players who play only mixed doubles will generate a mixed doubles exclusive rating provided they play 3 or more matches. Mixed matches do not count toward year-end ratings unless the player only plays mixed matches. Players who only play tournaments generate a tournament exclusive (T) rating.

I played with only one doubles partner last year.  I moved up but she didn’t.  Why?
Doubles partners can have different ratings if one or both players played matches in addition to those with their doubles partner.

I had a 3-7 win/loss record last year and was moved up.  One of our doubles teams went undefeated and remained at the same level.  How does that happen?
NTRP ratings are based on who you played and how well you played against them, not whether you won or lost.  Look at your individual match record.  Were your losses against players who also moved up and were the scores close?  Were your wins decisive?  Did the doubles teams have several three set wins against players in the same level or even a lower level?  All of these factors are taken into consideration when the ratings are calculated.

I’ve been a 3.5 player all my life and I now have a 4.0 rating.  I’m afraid I’m going to get whooped this year.  Help!
NTRP ratings are calculated to the one-hundredth of a point with lines drawn every one-half point.  For example, a 4.0 published player may have an actual rating anywhere from 3.51 to 4.00.  This means your opponent may be within a tenth of a point of you or there may be almost a half-point difference between you.  It’s the luck of the draw.

Can I see my actual NTRP rating?
No.

I didn’t play last year so I don’t have a current Year-End NTRP rating.  What should I do?
Ratings are valid for 3 years for anyone under 60 years of age and for 2 years for anyone 60 and over. If your last published rating is within that time frame, it remains valid for the current league and tournament season. If you look up your rating and see a "0", your rating is expired. If you have an expired rating, you can follow the Self-Rate process to get your rating.

How often are dynamic ratings calculated?
Local play is calculated nightly for the USTA Adult 18 & Over, USTA Adult 40 & Over and USTA Adult 55 & Over leagues. During championships, dynamic ratings are run instantly as match results are entered. In all other divisions, match ratings are produced at year-end.

Is there a difference between a dynamic rating and a year-end rating?
Yes, there are several.

Dynamic ratings are not disclosed to players, whereas year-end ratings are published annually at NTRP levels.
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.

Can my rating level change during the championship year?
Yes.
If you receive a 3rd strike by the dynamic calculation, you are dynamically disqualified at your present level.
If a Self-Rate Eligibility Grievance is upheld, this may also result in raising your level. (see Disqualification Process #24-30)


If my rating changes with every match played, can I see it?
No. Ratings are only published at year-end.

Does the dynamic calculation treat doubles partners differently?
No. Dynamic calculation maintains the rating differential between doubles partners that existed before a match. For example if a 3.3 and a 3.5 player are paired together, specific match results are applied to each player equally and the two partners will maintain the .2 differential.

Does the dynamic calculation apply to Mixed Doubles League play?
Yes, for players who participate exclusively in the Mixed Doubles Division. Mixed Doubles results will not be part of generating a player’s year-end rating except for those players who play exclusively mixed doubles.

How does a mixed exclusive player get a rating?
The last dynamic rating generated with a minimum of three matches calculated in Mixed Doubles exclusively is the year-end mixed rating (M) that will be used as the NTRP start level for the next year.

Can I use my mixed exclusive rating to play in other divisions?
A mixed exclusive (M) player must self-rate in order to join the Adult, Senior and Super Senior divisions. Mixed Doubles exclusive is a minimum NTRP start level only. A mixed exclusive rating is not supported by any NTRP dynamic disqualification calculation data and is subject to NTRP grievance.

Do USTA sanctioned tournaments count in the dynamic rating system? If so, can a tournament win be used as one of the three “strikes”?
Each section has the option of including tournament results for year-end calculations. If your section includes sanctioned tournament match scores, they will not be calculated into the system until after the national championships. Sanctioned tournament results do not generate strikes; however, they will affect your year-end rating. Open/Age Division national tournament results are entered into the NTRP system after league national championships.

If my NTRP level of play is not available in my local league, what are my options?

File an appeal to determine if you are within the appeal range
Work with your local or district league coordinator to establish a new division.
Play in a league that offers combined ratings.
Play USTA sanctioned tournaments.
Play in the USTA Flex League.

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SELF-RATING QUESTIONS
When and how do I get a self-rating?
If you do not have a computer rating you must self-rate before entering a USTA league program. Go to TennisLink. You will need your membership number, your team number, and a major credit card. Click on “Register for a Team” and follow the prompts which will lead you through the registration and self-rate process. If you are not attempting to register for a team, you may click on the self-rate link and complete the process without a team number.  Click HERE for further information and a demo.

What if I think a self-rated player has not rated himself or herself accurately?
On any given day, a player may play above or below his or her rating. If you truly feel a self-rated player is significantly above level, you may file an NTRP grievance. Click HERE for more information on filing an NTRP grievance.

Can I declare a different self-rating for different League Divisions (e.g., 3.5 for Adult and 4.0 for Senior)?
No. Once you declare an initial self-rating, you are bound by it for two years or until you generate a computer rating. So if you plan to play 4.0 Senior but also want to play 3.5 Adult later in the year – be certain that you select 3.5 if an option.

What if I have self-rated and played four matches in the Adult 18 & Over Division and then sign up for the Adult 40 & Over Division. Will I use my self-rating or will the system generate a computer rating for me?
The system will have a Dynamic NTRP number on you from your adult play. However, you will continue with the self-rating you selected until the year-end computer ratings are published; unless of course, you are disqualified and you then must immediately move up.

Can I use my Tournament rating to play in other Divisions?
A Tournament exclusive rated player who chooses to participate in the USTA Adult 18 & Over, USTA Adult 40 & Over and/or USTA Adult 55 & Over must self-rate in order to join these Divisions. A Tournament exclusive rating is not supported by any NTRP calculation data and is subject to NTRP grievances.

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DYNAMIC NTRP (Promotion / Disqualification)
Can I be disqualified if I have a valid computer rating?
No. Players with a Computer (C) or Benchmark (B) rating cannot be dynamically disqualified. Only players with the following rating types can be dynamically disqualified: Appealed (A), Self-Rated (S), Mixed exclusive (M), Tournament exclusive (T), Dynamic (D).

Why would I be dynamically disqualified?
When a player receives three strikes, he or she will be notified that he or she has been NTRP Dynamically Disqualified. This happens because the dynamic NTRP calculation has calculated a rating that is too high for the current play level.

What is a strike and how do I get one?
Each time a player’s dynamic rating exceeds the maximum tolerance for the level, he or she automatically earns a “strike.”

If I receive a third strike while participating in another division, but following the conclusion of my Section Championship for a given year and Division, will I be allowed to advance to Nationals if otherwise qualified?
No. The exception is if you are playing in a league using combo ratings (i.e. Mixed Doubles, USTA Adult 55 & Over). As long as the player's (at the new NTRP level of play) and his or her partner's combined ratings do not exceed the NTRP level of your team, the player will be allowed to continue to play on that team.

How high can my dynamic rating go before I earn a “strike”?
The Dynamic NTRP system allows a certain tolerance for player improvement— more for lower level players where rapid improvement is more likely; less for higher-level players. The specific improvement factor is not published.

What are the consequences of disqualification?
During the local league:
In all cases, the player is disqualified from participation at that disqualified NTRP level and all scores for matches played by the player during USTA Adult 18 & Over, USTA Adult 40 & Over and/or USTA Adult 55 & Over will be reversed for standings purposes.

During Championships:
If a player receives a third strike during Districts or Sectionals (USTA Adult 18 & Over, USTA Adult 40 & Over or USTA Adult 55 & Over only), the following action will be taken:
 
  Throughout Championship play: (This method is used by the Intermountain Section)
    If the section elects to run calculations throughout the championship event, the player will be disqualified from participation at that NTRP level for the balance of the year and the succeeding year.
  Round Robin format: Throughout the championship, any player reaching the DQ criteria will have all matches at that NTRP level reversed to 0-6, 0-6.
  Single Elimination format: Throughout the championship, the last match played by the player at that NTRP level will be reversed to 0-6, 0-6.

Why are all scores reversed? This doesn't seem fair to our team.
Since the player's results indicate that he/she has been playing above the tolerance level for a strike to occur, the player's team should not benefit from his/her results.

Will I be notified if I earn a “strike”?
No. Notice occurs only after three strikes are accumulated. Many players receive one or two strikes and never get that third. To needlessly worry or prevent a player from participating based on the possibility of getting a strike is not fair to the player or the team.

Will I be told exactly which matches earned me “three strikes”?
Yes. If requested, the District League Coordinator can inform the disqualified player and his/her captain which matches earned the strikes. All matches played are visible in TennisLink.

Who is notified in the event of a disqualification? By whom? How quickly?
In Colorado, responsibility for monitoring dynamic ratings lies with the District League Coordinator. When a “third strike” situation arises, the DLC will notify the player’s Team Captain, using the Captain’s e-mail address or phone as reported on TennisLink; the affected player, by telephone, e-mail or voicemail message and the Section League Coordinator. Notification is made as soon as possible once a third strike has been received.

Are all players in a given NTRP level equal in ability?
No. The NTRP system identifies general levels of ability, but an individual will be rated within those levels at 50 different hundredths of a point. For example, a 3.5 player can fall anywhere between a 3.01 and a 3.50. That is the reason many people feel they are playing sandbaggers – they are closer to the bottom of that range while their opponents are closer to the top of the range.

A typical match result for a player, for example, with a 3.01 rating versus a 3.49 player, both of whom are 3.5s, would be 6-0, 6-0 in favor of the higher rated player.

The rules state that NTRP disqualification is not part of the Mixed Doubles Division. If I am disqualified in the Adult Divisions, am I allowed to participate at the disqualified level in Mixed Doubles Division for the remainder of the league year?
No. Even though the Mixed Doubles Division does not allow disqualification, it must follow the rules in relation to playing at the correct level. A player who has been moved up as a result of a disqualification in the Adult Divisions must immediately adjust his/her NTRP level of play in the Mixed Doubles Division. The player will have two options:
 
If a combined NTRP level team, he/she may continue on that team by adjusting the levels. (9.0 combined team—dq’d 4.5 player now at 5.0 must play with no greater than a 4.0 player)
If a single NTRP level team, he/she must move up to the appropriate NTRP level or sit out the balance of that season depending on the section’s regulations. (A player on a combined NTRP level team may also choose to move up if the section allows.) In the Mixed Doubles Division, all matches played up until the notification of the disqualification will be counted. Any match played at the disqualified level following notification of the disqualification will be counted as defaults for the individual team match of the disqualified player and 6-0, 6-0 wins for the opponents in those individual matches.

If I am NTRP disqualified during the USTA Adult Local league (18, 40 or 55), what happens to my matches in other Divisions?
If a local NTRP Dynamic Disqualification occurs during concurrent USTA Adult (18, 40 or 55) local league seasons, the disqualifications shall affect the matches played by the disqualified player in both Divisions.
If the seasons are not concurrent or over-lapping, the NTRP disqualification shall affect the matches played by the disqualified player in the season in which the NTRP Dynamic Disqualification occurred.

Our player was granted an appeal to play at this level, so he/she should be exempt from dynamic disqualification, right?
No. A granted appeal to a specific NTRP level does not exempt a player from dynamic disqualification.

Was this disqualification a result of someone filing a grievance or complaining about the player's NTRP level?
No. A dynamic disqualification is a completely separate process than an NTRP Grievance. In addition, any complaints that could have been filed about the player's NTRP level would have no bearing on the DNTRP calculation.

Is there a rating professional or someone who can observe this player to support our claim that he/she should not be disqualified?
No. The visual rating process is no longer observed by the USTA, so there is no person who is qualified or acknowledged to be able to visually rate a player anymore.

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