March 17, 2021
For detailed guidelines and other important information regarding junior competitive play in the Eastern section during COVID, please visit our Playing Tennis Safely page.
Adult Tournament Pathway
Whether you are just looking to get a few hours of competition close to home or want to compete against the best all over the country, USTA Eastern provides quality competitive opportunities for all adult players across the section. ADVERTISEMENT Participants in USTA Adult Tournaments obtain a National ranking, and they can sharpen their skills, improve their fitness, health and mood, make new friends, and ultimately, propel their game to the next level.
USTA Adult Tournaments are offered in a variety of formats: individual, team, non-elimination and elimination.
Levels of Tournaments
The new tournament structure—which debuted in January 2021—utilizes seven levels of events, ranging from Level 7 (Intermediate) to Level 1 (National Championships), as well as a national ranking system that will distribute points consistently across the country. Level 1-3 National events are included on the USTA National Adult Schedule and sanctioned by the USTA National Office. Sectional Levels 4 - 7 are sanctioned by the USTA Eastern Section.
Level 7 (L7) Express
1-day event, open to anyone. These events are for busy adults who don't have time to commit to a league season. They are ideal for a player who is just starting competitive play or wants to work on their NTRP rating. Players can meet and compete against others at the same ability level.
Level 6 (L6) Cup
Up to 3-day events, open to anyone. These events are for the same type of player who competes in an L7, but can commit more time to tournament play. Players at this level can begin to build a national adult ranking.
Level 5 (L5 Tour)
Up to 5-day events (can be non-consecutive weekends), open to anyone. These events are geared toward the more competitive player and are formerly known as sectionals. Either adult or NTRP, players at these events can build their ranking to qualify into national competitions.
Level 4 (L4) Grand Slam
Up to 5-day events (can be non-consecutive weekends), open to anyone. These events are eared toward the more serious player. Most competitive. Either adult or NTRP, players at these events can build their ranking to qualify into national competitions.
Types of Adult Tournaments
USTA Eastern strives to hold the following events at every tournament level.
Age Group Events
Age Group Events are open to all players with current USTA memberships who have reached or will reach the minimum age limit of the division (25, 30, 35, 40…, 80, 85, and 90) on or before December 31st.
The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) is the official system for determining the levels of competition for the USTA Adult Leagues and NTRP Tournaments. The primary goal of NTRP is to help all tennis players enjoy the game by providing a method of classifying skill levels for more compatible matches and tournament play. The rating categories are generalizations about skill levels. Players must have a USTA rating to enter sanctioned NTRP events, and they may "play up" in divisions .5 higher than their NTRP rating. Players are not permitted to play events below their rating or more than .5 above their rating.
NTRP National Championships
The NTRP rating system is a way to create level-based competition at the 18 & Over, 40 & Over and 55 & Over age groups. NTRP National Champions are crowned in Men’s and Women’s singles and doubles at the 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 levels.
Dates and locations for the 2022 NTRP National Championships are TBD. To learn more about the 2021 NTRP National Championships, click here.
USTA Eastern Qualifications for the NTRP National Championships
The NTRP National Standings List published on January 12th will determine which players qualify.
To qualify for a spot, a player must:
Be a current USTA member
Be an Eastern resident
Have played in at least one NTRP tournament in the Eastern section within the last 12 months
Be age eligible in the divisions being offered
Meet all NTRP validation requirements
Be in good standing with the section
Self-rated players are not eligible. Please click here to familiarize yourself with the NTRP validation.
Alternates: If a qualified player cannot play the National Championships, the next highest ranked, age-eligible player will be chosen until the spot is filled.
Family Events include: Father-Son, Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, Mother-Daughter, and Husband-Wife Doubles, and Century Doubles.
Top 500 - Coming Soon
Ranking points are earned by winning singles and doubles matches at all levels of tournaments.
More information on rankings:
By registering for USTA Adult Tournaments, you are agreeing to abide by the ITF Rules of Tennis and the USTA Rules & Regulations set forth in the USTA Friend at Court, as well as USTA Rules & Regulations. These rules apply to spectators as well; the player is responsible for his or her entourage. "The Code" as outlined in Friend at Court also applies to all events sanctioned by the Eastern Section. The highest level of sportsmanship is expected from all tournament participants.
USTA Eastern Regulations
Below are some of the important regulations and policies for USTA Adult Tournaments in the Eastern Section.
Concurrent Tournament Rule
No player shall enter more than one Eastern sanctioned tournament where the scheduled dates overlap unless the officially announced tournament starting dates are at least three days apart, except where the scheduled dates of play do not conflict, such as in the case of two tournaments, one of which is scheduled over successive weekends and the other through the intervening week. This exception will not be broadened to permit entry into two tournaments where one is played during the daytime and the other evenings.
During individual competition, no coaching, either verbally or by signals of any kind, is permitted except during an authorized intermission (the 90-second odd game changeover is not an authorized intermission). The same rules apply to team competition unless they have been modified in advance by an agreement between the teams. Violation of this regulation renders the player and his/her coach or advisor liable to disciplinary action, which may include disqualification of the player and/or removal of the coach or advisor from the premises.
Matches Played Per Day
The scheduling guidelines in USTA Regulation II.D.9. and Table 9 in USTA’s Official Rule Book: The Friend at Court are mandatory for all USTA Adult and Family National Tournaments. Under normal conditions a player must not be required to play more than two singles matches or three doubles matches in any one day, excepting where a player is entered in both singles and doubles he/she may be required to play two singles and one doubles match per day at the discretion of the tournament referee.
Suspension Point System
This is a system under which Adult and Family players are assessed points for unsportsmanlike behavior in USTA sanctioned tournaments that are played in the U.S. A player who accumulates too many of these points is suspended.
All players participating in USTA sanctioned events are expected to know the rules of playing a tennis match including keeping score and how to play a tiebreak, be familiar with the general rules of fair play contained in The Code and agree to abide by USTA Rules and Regulations as well as the “Player Promise”. USTA Eastern strives to provide quality competitive opportunities for players to contest and develop their skills against other players, as they progress through the USTA tournament pathway. The utmost levels of courtesy and sportsmanship are required of all participants and spectators at all times. By registering for a tournament, players and parents agree to understand and abide by all USTA Eastern rules and regulations. Players and parents shall be familiar with and abide by USTA Eastern sportsmanship expectations as well as the Code of conduct, and are required to know and understand all other rules and regulations detailed in the USTA’s Official Rule Book: The Friend at Court.
Due to ongoing challenges associated with COVID-19 there may be aspects of these Regulations that must be modified on a case-by-case basis. In the event of a regulation change not noted herein, notification of changes shall be posted on the registration page for the event impacted. For more on our COVID-19 player/spectator guidelines click here.
Waiver of Claims
Players, participants, and any spectators or individuals who are participating in USTA tournaments, programs, or events acknowledge the risks associated with tennis, accept those risks voluntarily, and in consideration of their acceptance in the USTA tournaments, programs or events, assume all loss or damage, and any claim or demand therefore on account of injury to the person or property or resulting in illness and/or death arising out of or related to their participation, including without limitation as a result of any exposure to infectious syndromes or diseases whether caused by negligence or otherwise. By participating or attending a tournament, program, or event, the players, participants, and any spectators assume all risks whether known or unknown. Furthermore, players, participants, and spectators agree to release and hold harmless the USTA, its affiliated Sectional Associations, and Districts/Subdivisions, and the host facility (hereafter, Released Parties) and the Released Parties employees and agents with respect to any injury or loss caused by negligence or otherwise to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Seeding and Selection
USTA Eastern will use the most recently published National Standings List for seeding in sanctioned tournaments. However, some adult tournaments and other innovative tournaments (team events) may use the "All Factors Method" of seeding. The All Factors Method is based on the players’ chances of winning the tournament as determined by the Tournament Committee. The Tournament Committee shall consider all reasonably available information, including ranking lists, ratings, standing lists, recent records, types of surface, and particularly head-to-head encounters.