View Full Version : Player skill level system in US

08-19-2004, 03:42 AM
It would be good to now a little bit more about the levelling system you have in the US (4.0, 4.5, 5.0...). What is it equivalent to (i.e. how good is a 5.0-5.5 player, like most of TW:s play tester's). Example: the Dutch had a system with A1=elite (tour challenge satellite), A2 approx. elite juniors and older tour players, B1= very good club players. Is there anywhere a player's strength and the points system?

marc tressard
08-19-2004, 05:04 AM
Well over 90% of players who play on average once per week or more range from beginner 2.5 up to advanced 4.5 NTRP, roughly equal to your B1. Solid B1 is probably near the 5.0 area. In the US. there is far more public court tennis than in Europe or elsewhere in the world. Only maybe 1% of all players are 5.5+, and 5% at 5.0+. The higher 5 to 5.5 level that comprises the brunt of TW racquet playtesters are on an exalted plane and rarely are seen on public courts. As for women, I see maybe two women per YEAR who can play at near 5.0 or more, and these are former college players. 3.5 to 4.0 are the dominant NTRP levels, which is below B1. Most leagues end at 4.5, at least in the Eastern U.S. north of the Mason-Dixon line. Local college teams have real trouble finding even 4.5+ women to form competitive teams and 40% of our better college progams are imported foreign 5.5+ players with vast junior tournament experince and often ITF rankings who cannot quite make it at the lower fringes of the pro tour. There have even been some Dutch players at U.S. college programs such as the University of Tulsa: Anousjka Van Exel (who later stalled at below #200 on the WTA tour), now Ilona Somers. In the U.S. there are so many sports that are far more publicized were it is easier (still very hard) to make a pro living. So the elite U.S. athletes, many from inner city or lower middle class environments do not play tennis at all. I seldom see anyone under 30 playing regularly if they are not on a school team. Tennis has been in decline for a decade here and I see a markedly lower turnout on the courts, with a graying (aging) base. 4.0 is considered a good recreational player. From what I understand, in the Netherlands tennis largely is a club affair.

08-19-2004, 05:29 AM
Thanks Marc. Extensive reply indeed. Means that the testers know what they are talking about, which was the main purpose with my post. FYI, I am Swedish but live in the Netherlands since 2000. Looks like the US playing habits are similar to the Dutch, a lot of VERY average recreational players, while in Sweden, a lot fewer play, but the average is better.