Greater Ashland Tennis Association

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NTRP Information and Q&A

2006 NTRP Frequently Asked Questions
NEW in 2006:

Self-rate Approval Process in TennisLink for all new players
All new players registering for USTA League Tennis (Adult, Senior, Mixed, Super Senior), BMW Combo Doubles and other league programs utilizing TennisLink will first answer an online questionnaire intended to approve the self-rating based on tennis background, athletic history, and age. This approval process can be appealed by the player at the time of registration and the appeal will be handled by Southern’s Self-Rate Appeal Committee.

• Super Seniors Division data will produce a year-end rating.

• 2001 and 2002 Ratings are deleted from TennisLink for players 60 and over.

• In addition to this new procedure, the USTA Southern Section has elected to reverse all wins for new players disqualified by the NTRP Computer Rating System in 2006. Players with computer ratings who are disqualified will continue to have the 3rd strike match and any subsequent wins reversed. USTA and the Southern Section continue to look at ways to reduce self-rating abuses and to maintain the integrity of league tennis.

• There were 117 Self-Rate Grievances filed in the USTA Section in 2004 and 35 in 2005. The Experienced Player Guidelines are credited with reducing grievances and are the basis of the approval process now automated in TennisLink.

USTA Southern Section NTRP Ratings Disclosure Statement

It is the current policy of the USTA to publish NTRP ratings only in half-point levels (3.5, 4.0, 4.5, etc). NTRP ratings are intended to indicate the player’s minimum level for registration, not to finitely measure one player against another, or to use for strength alignment within a team.

The NTRP system calculates current ratings based on the ratings that the players have generated coming into a match combined with the results of that match. A player’s rating may go up or down as the season progresses and so might the ratings of partners and opponents. But, ratings are not stand-alone measurements, they must be considered in relation to other NTRP information to which they are linked.

The NTRP is designed to provide:
1. A system of measuring current skill levels that will give tennis players a quantitative assessment of his/her general ability. This enables players with similar skill or abilities to easily arrange compatible and competitive play.
2. A system to manage placement of players within NTRP levels and formats to promote generally level competition in various leagues and tournaments.

Many factors of play can not be reflected in NTRP calculations, such as:
Physical condition of players at time of match
Court conditions: sun, wind, temperature
Styles of play
Preferences of surface
Strengths of players: physical, mental, strategy
Players playing the “match of their life”
Players playing far below current skill level
This emphasizes the necessity to address ratings in ranges, not as an absolute number that specifically identifies a level at a particular time.

The system using NTRP levels as a range to manage play has been extremely successful in the last 25 years. We believe that providing ratings in tenths or hundredths can be misleading and can also lead to manipulation of match results. For these reasons we do not provide NTRP information more detailed than that now available.

As we move into the next 25 years of league tennis, we strive to offer the best programs in the country to the members of the USTA Southern Section.


How often are the ratings calculated and who sees the changes to ratings?
• The dynamic ratings for Adult & Senior Division matches are calculated every night in a national database in New York.

• Mixed Doubles (for those who ONLY play Mixed Doubles), National Championships Category I and Category II Age Division Tournaments, National 5.5 and Open Invitational Championships, NTRP Tournaments and Super Seniors data is calculated during the final calculation of yearend ratings.

• The section NTRP Administrator reviews the NTRP information daily in TennisLink.

How does the computer work?
• A singles example – a new player to the system plays a computer rated (3.23) player and wins 62,62. The new player receives his/her first dynamic rating (the computer algorithm uses a calculation that compares the games won and lost by both players and assigns a rating to the new player (based on this score, it might be 3.58 for example. If it were a match with two computer rated players, each would receive a new rating based on their ratings coming into the match and the score. A 3.42 who wins 64,64 over a 3.23 would lower the 3.42’s rating and raise the 3.23’s rating. Keep in mind that the computer is using the match score and the quality of the opponent(s) to determine ratings for players. The position played or a win/loss record is not part of the criteria.

Does Dynamic NTRP treat doubles partners differently?
• The NTRP Computer Rating System maintains whatever rating differential between doubles partners that existed before a match.
Example, a 3.32 player and a 3.50 player win 61,63 against a 3.08 and 3.42 team: all four ratings will change based on the score of the match but the partners’ differential or spread between each other’s ratings will not change.

Who received a year-end rating in 2005?
• All Adult, Senior & Super Senior Divisions players who played at least two matches.

• Players who exclusively played in at least two matches in the Mixed Doubles Division.
(if you play Adult, Senior, Super Senior Divisions or NTRP Tournaments, your mixed data does not calculate).

• NTRP Tournament Players who played in at least two matches. (Note: if you are a new player and both matches are played against new players, you will not receive a rating. Also, if there are any membership issues, the data will not calculate.) In 2005, some consolation draw matches did not calculate if the Tournament Director did not enter a date for the match. (This has been corrected for 2006.)

How often are ratings published nationwide?

• Every November, a “year-end” rating is published for every player nationwide. That rating is entered into the NTRP National Database as the start rate for the following year. The year-end rating is based on 50% on the player’s dynamic rating and 50% on the benchmark calculation. The dynamic rating is comprised of adult, senior, mixed doubles and super seniors league results and NTRP Tournament data up to mid November. The benchmarking process is what gives nationwide uniformity to the system as it calculates data from nationals, sectionals, state championships, local playoffs in that order and is averaged with the dynamic ratings for players to produce a year-end rating.

What are the NTRP related ways a player can be disqualified mid year?
• During local league competition and at every level of championship competition below national championships, computer ratings will be calculated for all players to determine if any players have reached the NTRP disqualification criteria using the USTA NTRP Computer Rating System Procedures. Players will be NTRP disqualified if they reach the disqualification level three times based on all matches reported in the national database for Adult and Senior Divisions.
• If a new player who self-rates to enter a league program has a Self-rate NTRP Grievance filed against him/her and it is upheld by the Section Self-rate NTRP Grievance Committee.
• When playing a higher level than their self-rating, a player will be notified if he/she has reached the disqualification level three times based on matches reported in the national database for Adult and Senior Divisions. This will prevent the player from using the self-rating to register for other league programs from that point forward.

If a player is disqualified, what is the notification procedure?
• The State League Coordinator (or designee) will notify the player, captain and LLC. The Section NTRP Administrator will reverse matches in the local standings if applicable and change the player’s rating in TennisLink.

How do disqualifications affect local standings?
• If a self-rated player is disqualified for that particular level of play, all matches played by that individual player shall be considered losses and scored (6-0, 6-0). If a computer rated player is disqualified for that particular level of play, the individual match that produced the third disqualification dynamic NTRP rating and any subsequent match won by the player shall be considered a loss and scored (6-0,6-0). For local play in the USTA Southern Section, if a player is disqualified from a NTRP level of play, the individual match that produced the third disqualification dynamic NTRP rating and any subsequent match won by the player at that level shall be considered a loss and scored (6-0,6-0). Players not disqualified by conclusion of local league round robin play will be eligible to compete in the entire local playoff. Ratings will be calculated at the end of the local playoff to inform any disqualified players that they may not advance to the State Championships.

What are the disqualification procedures for Championships?
• Once a player has finished local play without disqualification, the player is eligible to play all matches in the State Championships. The USTA Southern Section NTRP Administrator will review reports through TennisLink on the day after the State Championships. Players who participated in the State Championships and are now on the disqualification report will be notified that they are not eligible to advance to the Sectional Championships. The same process occurs the day after the Sectional Championships. Points earned by disqualified players at State or Sectional Championships will stand.

How many players were disqualified in 2005?
• Out of 95,000 players in the nine Southern states, there were 350 dynamic disqualifications based on the NTRP Computer Rating System. Of those, 156 had played in one level while 194 had played in two levels. 42 were computer rated players and 308 were self-rated. 248 were disqualified during local round robin play, 37 during local playoffs, 51 after the State Championships and 14 after the Sectional Championships.
• 232 were notified that their self-rating had been raised while playing at a higher level. Another 35 players were disqualified through the Self-rate NTRP Grievance procedures. There were 15,000 self-rated players in 2005.

Does playing up increase your chances of being disqualified or moved up at the end of the year to the higher level?
• The risk appears minimal for disqualification (see question above). Don’t forget that many players live “on the fence” between two levels. Our system moves players by as little as a hundredth of a point. This is why many players might be moved between two levels each year.

Who may not appeal their year-end rating except by medical appeal?
• Players who participated at the 2005 National Championships. Adult players with valid ratings from the 2001-2004 National Championships may appeal through their state associations. Senior players age 60 and over with valid ratings from 2003-2004 National Championships may appeal through their state associations.
• Adult players with a valid rating from 2001 or 2002 who played at the state and/or sectional Chps.

Why are most medical appeals denied?
• Very few medical appeals should be granted, as it is usually better to let the computer determine the NTRP Skill Level based on actual match play. Most orthopedic injuries are denied as surgery typically improves mobility and arthritic conditions are typically progressive rather than traumatic in nature. Most adult/senior players will experience at least one orthopedic condition/injury during their tennis career.

For those who may appeal their year-end rating, what are the criteria?
• Appeals from players who are within .05 of the rating will be granted. Appeals from players who are above .05 of the rating will be denied. For a player appealing a 4.0 rating, their year-end rating would need to be between 3.51 and 3.55 in order to grant the appeal.
Appeals from players age 60 or older who are within one tenth of the rating will be granted; if above one tenth, the appeal will be denied. For the same player age 60 or over, their year-end rating would need to be between 3.51 and 3.60 in order to grant the appeal.
• Once appeals have been reviewed by the state they are sent to the USTA for review and to have ratings changed if necessary.

Early Start Ratings

What is an “early start” league season?
• Any league season that starts registration for the following championships year prior to the November publication of year-end ratings.

What rating is used to register for “early start” leagues?
• The system uses the player’s current dynamic rating for registration. The state publishes a list of players whose dynamic rating has changed NTRP level and self rated players who have produced dynamic ratings. If a player is not on the list, the player’s NTRP level did not change.

Why can the rating for a player listed on a roster be different than the rating listed on the player’s individual record?
• The rating you see on a roster is the rating that was valid at the time of registration for that season. The player may register at a different time in the year and have a different rating for that registration period (due to an early start league or a disqualification). The rating displayed by the player’s individual record is the November year-end rating from the previous year or new rating as a result of disqualification or an appealed rating.

If a player’s published early start rating changes NTRP level, do they have to adjust in Mixed, Southern Combo Doubles or Super Seniors?
• No, unless the player’s published early start dynamic rating is at the disqualification level for the rating submitted on the Mixed, Combo or Super Seniors roster.