Understanding NTRP ratings
Organizers have several options when grouping players together, whether it’s for a practice session, a single match, a Play Day or a tournament.
While grouping players by age may seem a natural fit, it may not necessarily be the best approach because players develop and advance at difference rates. This is where ratings can be advantageous.
A rating is a measuring tool that indicates a person’s current playing ability, and it can be used to track their progress as they develop their games. An accurate rating should give players access to level-based competition, ensuring that they have a positive experience.
Ratings are a great solution for tournament acceptance and seeding. In non-elimination formats, ratings are a great way to group players of similar ability together in round-robin groups and compass draws.
There are two main types of ratings:
Junior NTRP ratings are divided into levels between 2.0 and 7.0. The rating scale for junior players is shown in tenths, starting with 2.0, which is the lowest, progressing to 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 etc. until you reach 7.0, which is the highest rating.
Ratings are generated once a youth plays four matches against another rated player and then updated and recalculated over a rolling 18-month period every time they play a match, with more emphasis placed on recent matches. The more a person plays, the more accurate their ranking is going to be.
Most importantly for organizers of more informal events, players can also self-rate. Learn more about self-rating.
In terms of grouping players, those with up to a .5 difference in ratings are generally considered "compatible." At a .5 difference in ratings, the outcome becomes more predictable, with the higher-rated player winning routinely.
NTRP ratings are used for adult players or youths playing in an adult USTA competition. The ratings are divided into levels between 1.5 and 7.0. Unlike a Junior NTRP rating, the scale increases in .5 increments.
A player with a 1.5 NTRP rating has had limited experience with stroke development and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play and is not yet ready to compete. By contrast, a 3.0 player is fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth, pace or altering distance of shots.
At the top end of the rating spectrum, a 6.0 player typically has had intensive training for national tournaments or top-level collegiate competition and has obtained a national ranking. The 6.5 and 7.0 are world-class players.
NTRP can also be determined through self-rating. Get a breakdown of the NTRP ratings.
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