PDA

View Full Version : NTRP's Usefulness - YOUR THOUGHTS??


itisgregory
01-08-2009, 07:16 PM
I have read and re-read The National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) many times to determine where my opponents and I fit. After three years of playing many competitive local 3.5 and 4.0 matches I have come to believe that the NTRP ALONE is NOT a reliable indicator of one's playing ability/skill level.

Many of the category descriptions are too vague and do not clearly emphasize the mental capacity needed at the different levels for good player point construction and the physical stamina needed to endure a long three set match.

Too often players inaccurately rate themselves either too low or too high, sometimes to "sandbag" or mostly out of ignorance. People have many different interpretation of what each NTRP rating means as proven by one of the NTRP posts here asking us to rate the player video with the fast serve and nice forehand. Responses ranged from 4.0 to 5.5 - all of us saw the same video.

A better indicator of ability would be to modify the NTRP slightly to incorporate more specific mental and physical fitness descriptions and the tactics and strategy neccesary to win COMBINED with one's personal match winning percentage. For example, If a player is winning most of their matches at 4.0 in two sets then they are probably a weak 4.5 with everything else being equal, even though another 4.5 player may have better strokes.

I had a difficult time winning matches against 3.5 because my mental game was not mature. My winning opponents would often sincerely comment that I had much better strokes than they and should have won. Now, I am a 4.0 because I got my mental game under control which reduced my unforced errors.

YOUR THOUGHTS ON MODIFYING THE RATING SYSTEM?

NightBandit
01-08-2009, 08:17 PM
itisgregory,

If you're reading the NTRP guidelines to try to determine your rating, forget it. Tear up the sheet! From reading the guidelines, I would rate myself somewhere between a 5.0 and 5.5. But after years of playing USTA League Tennis (and tournaments), I KNOW that I'm a 4.0 (after slowly working my way up from a 3.0).

In my opinion, the only way to truly determine your NTRP (and be accurate) is to play in USTA leagues and tournaments. It's all computerized these days and the computer takes into account your rating, your opponents rating, the ratings of the players your opponents have played and the scores of your matches. If you start winning too much (or too easily), the USTA will bump you up a level. If you're having troubles winning, they'll drop you down.

Actually, the USTA has what they call a dynamic rating. They don't just look at a player as a 3.5 or a 4.0, they see a player as a 3.65 or 4.13. After every match you play, the computer gives you a new dynamic rating. Once a year (at the end of the year), the computer looks at this dynamic rating and if you're over (or below) a certain threshold, you will get a new rating (3.5 or 4.0).

I think that each section works a little differently, but here in the Northern Section, all new players need to self rate (leading to captains looking for unrated players and then having them underrate themselves). Years ago, players needed to go to a rating clinic where they would be watched by a pro and given a rating. Even though the USTA no longer uses rating clinics here, there are still a few clubs around that run ratings clinics.

Another thing that lead to inaccurate ratings (at least here in the Northern section) was that while USTA leagues were used in determining ratings, up until two years ago tournaments were NOT used in the ranking system. I've met several players at tournaments that I would swear should be playing a level higher and when we chatted after the match, they would admit to only playing tournaments and not in leagues just so that they wouldn't get bumped up a level. I guess that for some players, winning is more important than playing a good competitive match.

So to answer your question, the NTRRP rating system is very accurate if you let your results (either from leagues or tournaments) determine your rating and not the written guidelines.

NightBandit

Kevo
01-08-2009, 09:34 PM
The NTRP is a guideline. It is not meant to be used in a vacuum. The only way to judge mental ability is to find out how well you compete in matches, and match play is the ultimate test of NTRP.

Having said that, if you have some good ideas about how you would add mental ability into the mix I'd like to hear it.

The best I can come up with is, "If you struggle with composure and frequently make egregious errors due to negative thinking, anger, or conveniently give up at the earliest excuse for failure, then subtract 1 - 1.5 NTRP points."

Kick_It
01-08-2009, 11:21 PM
1) I'd make an explicit distinction between self rated and computer rated, and to have a rating include which of the two it is.

I'm not saying that self-ratings don't serve a valid purpose - instead that there should be less trust and credibility to self ratings, and they be explicitly labelled as such

2) Just a random thought for self-rated (that I'm sure has a different set of problems I haven't yet considered) in the context of leagues - is to have all self rated players play in a tournament at the beginning of league season w/ some computer rated players. Simply put - if they don't have competitive score results against the computer rated players - they end up in the next lower level for that league season. Kinda like tryouts for HS or college teams.

Moz
01-09-2009, 03:07 AM
In my opinion its biggest weakness is that it tries to produce a universal rating based on both singles and doubles results. To make it worse it actually takes into account the score in matches rather than just the W or L.

I realise why they do this (a league play driven motive) but if you wanted to design on paper a more inaccurate system or one more open to abuse you just couldn't do it.

Automatix
01-09-2009, 04:42 AM
I have come to believe that the NTRP ALONE is NOT a reliable indicator of one's playing ability/skill level.

Of course it isn't reliable it's just to help out a bit... the NTRP it's self isn't that bad but the self rating part really demolishes it. You know how many 4.0-5.0 I've seen who barely fit the 3.5 NTRP? Some guys egos are just blown up to unimaginable proportions. Just as you wrote here:

Too often players inaccurately rate themselves either too low or too high, sometimes to "sandbag" or mostly out of ignorance. People have many different interpretation of what each NTRP rating means as proven by one of the NTRP posts here asking us to rate the player video with the fast serve and nice forehand. Responses ranged from 4.0 to 5.5 - all of us saw the same video.

A better indicator of ability would be to modify the NTRP slightly to incorporate more specific mental and physical fitness descriptions and the tactics and strategy neccesary to win COMBINED with one's personal match winning percentage. For example, If a player is winning most of their matches at 4.0 in two sets then they are probably a weak 4.5 with everything else being equal, even though another 4.5 player may have better strokes.

But how can you incorporate a factor which is: regularity... by that I mean some people don't have magnificent strokes but they don't make as many mistakes/frame shots/ etc.. Remember that the NTRP tells you what someone can do with the ball with his/hers technique but that doesn't mean they are really regular with let's say backhand e.g.: a 4.0 guy can hit a very nice 1hbh but if he has to hit it 4-5 times in a row he most likely frame it thus probably loosing the point.

I had a difficult time winning matches against 3.5 because my mental game was not mature. My winning opponents would often sincerely comment that I had much better strokes than they and should have won. Now, I am a 4.0 because I got my mental game under control which reduced my unforced errors.

In the NTRP unforced errors are not relevant. In the NTRP it's states that if you have a confident stroke yadda yadda yadda then you have "x" NTRP level.

Many of the category descriptions are too vague and do not clearly emphasize the mental capacity needed at the different levels for good player point construction and the physical stamina needed to endure a long three set match.

A better indicator of ability would be to modify the NTRP slightly to incorporate more specific mental and physical fitness descriptions and the tactics and strategy neccesary to win COMBINED with one's personal match winning percentage. For example, If a player is winning most of their matches at 4.0 in two sets then they are probably a weak 4.5 with everything else being equal, even though another 4.5 player may have better strokes.

I think that building a one universal rating system would make our lives easier when it comes to choosing opponents but it is a really tough stunt to pull off.

Currently I say the best way to rate yourself overall is doing the 3 following ratings:
NTRP - overall tennis technique level;
ITN - topspin technique level (I don't like this system because you get more points for maximum topspin thus neglecting flat hitting or stop volleys etc. But the strength of this rating is that it is done on court with points like in a test)
VO2max - physical fitness test - your O2 "efficiency"...

goober
01-09-2009, 05:53 AM
Self rating is a joke. The self rating descriptions can lead a 3.5 to rate himself a 5.0 or a former top 200 pro to self rate 5.0:wink:

But computer rating is pretty accurate. I only occasionally see people out of level with computer ratings. The only time when it is inaccurate is when people try to game the system by deliberately losing matches or making matches close when they shouldn't be. I don't see how any system can be devised to account for such behavior.

Solat
01-09-2009, 06:00 AM
Self rating is a joke. The self rating descriptions can lead a 3.5 to rate himself a 5.0 or a former top 200 pro to self rate 5.0:wink:

But computer rating is pretty accurate. I only occasionally see people out of level with computer ratings. The only time when it is inaccurate is when people try to game the system by deliberately losing matches or making matches close when they shouldn't be. I don't see how any system can be devised to account for such behavior.

if you build it they will come..

if you create a set of constraints on anything, people will endevour to find the loophole to give them an advantage.

the only system which seems effective is like the English Premier League football, the bottom teams drop out and the best teams of the next division move up. Now this wont solve individual ITN discrepencies but as a team they can sandbag for one season and win it but will then play in the next level the next season. It should therefore also be reflected that the highest (strongest) divisions get the best prize / most respect / greatest exposure so thta players are encouraged to play at stronger levels.

Moz
01-09-2009, 06:19 AM
The way I see it the main failing of the system is that it doesn't incentivise people to increase their rating - in fact it has the opposite effect.

In the UK I have never met anyone who wishes they had a worse rating, wants to get moved down a rating or wants to stay where they are. Over here the pre-occupation is with improving ones rating.

People in the UK aren't inherently more competitive but the system over here doesn't reward you if you keep your rating low. In the US mid-altantic many don't want to move up to 5.0 as they would end up having to play mixed league only. Moving up to 5.5 would mean opting out of league play altogether.

A wider question. Does anybody who lives in a country other than the US have a system where people feel it's in their best interests not to attain the best rating possible?

goober
01-09-2009, 07:05 AM
Taking incentives out of keeping your ratings low would be a big step.

I see people form these stacked teams so they can go to Nationals. We were playing a team that went to Nationals 2 years ago. Essentially their whole team got bumped. At their new level they have yet to win a single match. After talking to these guys I had the distinct impression that they were deliberately losing so they could get dropped down next year so they could get another run at Nationals at the lower level. So taking away a playoff system and Nationals would be a big step but everybody seems to want to keep that system.

In my nonUSTA leagues where you just play your league and then its over without any playoffs, everybody is trying to play up. If they are not playing well then they worry about getting bumped down. I actually had a guy ask me one time to let him win some more games because he was in danger of falling below the certain cutoff to stay in the league. Completely opposite mentality.

NightBandit
01-09-2009, 07:28 AM
In my opinion its biggest weakness is that it tries to produce a universal rating based on both singles and doubles results.

You raise a very good point here. Just because a player is a 4.0 at singles, doesn't mean that the same player is 4.0 at doubles. If they are just breaking into doubles and don't understand proper positioning and court movement, they could be a 3.5 doubles player. The opposite could also be true about a doubles player trying to play singles.

Also, you have the problem with regular tennis vs. senior tennis. I've had a few players on my team that were pushing 60 and have lost much of their mobility on the court. In my mind, they were 3.5 players trying to play in a 4.0 league. But because they were also playing in a senior's 4.0 league (and winning just enough), the USTA left them at 4.0. Though I do have to say that some of the seniors players are extremely good players.

the only system which seems effective is like the English Premier League football, the bottom teams drop out and the best teams of the next division move up.

The USTA does use this method (sort of). In general, if your team advances to Nationals the entire team will be bumped up to the next level (the only exception seems to be if an individual player gets to Nationals and doesn't win a single match, losing badly along the way).

And speaking of Nationals, after playing there a couple of times at different levels, I've come to realize that a 3.5 player from Los Angeles isn't the same as a 3.5 player from Minneapolis or a 3.5 player from Atlanta. The differences can be big enough that it feels like you're playing someone a whole level higher (or lower). USTA ratings aren't consistent from one section to another.

I've heard rumors (I have no proof), that just like there are captains who like to load their teams with sandbaggers, there are entire USTA sections that load up with sandbaggers by delaying when they bump up their players. They want to have more national champions come from their sections. Of course, all 3.5s playing within that section are playing on level ground, but when they get to Nationals, they have a HUGE advantage.

So in my opinion, the NTRP has more working against it than just self rating.

NightBandit

raiden031
01-09-2009, 09:50 AM
You raise a very good point here. Just because a player is a 4.0 at singles, doesn't mean that the same player is 4.0 at doubles. If they are just breaking into doubles and don't understand proper positioning and court movement, they could be a 3.5 doubles player. The opposite could also be true about a doubles player trying to play singles.


Completely agreed.


Also, you have the problem with regular tennis vs. senior tennis. I've had a few players on my team that were pushing 60 and have lost much of their mobility on the court. In my mind, they were 3.5 players trying to play in a 4.0 league. But because they were also playing in a senior's 4.0 league (and winning just enough), the USTA left them at 4.0. Though I do have to say that some of the seniors players are extremely good players.


Agreed. Senior leagues are always lower quality than adult leagues


The USTA does use this method (sort of). In general, if your team advances to Nationals the entire team will be bumped up to the next level (the only exception seems to be if an individual player gets to Nationals and doesn't win a single match, losing badly along the way).


Not necessarily. The good players will usually advance but most teams have a few at-level players who will not. There are a decent amount of players at Nationals who don't get moved up.


And speaking of Nationals, after playing there a couple of times at different levels, I've come to realize that a 3.5 player from Los Angeles isn't the same as a 3.5 player from Minneapolis or a 3.5 player from Atlanta. The differences can be big enough that it feels like you're playing someone a whole level higher (or lower). USTA ratings aren't consistent from one section to another.


I completely disagree with this. You MUST determine whether the player is self-rated or computer-rated before making such judgements. Most of the players who seem out of level are self-rated. You can't say that self-rated players represent the level of play of a certain area.


I've heard rumors (I have no proof), that just like there are captains who like to load their teams with sandbaggers, there are entire USTA sections that load up with sandbaggers by delaying when they bump up their players. They want to have more national champions come from their sections. Of course, all 3.5s playing within that section are playing on level ground, but when they get to Nationals, they have a HUGE advantage.


Sections have nothing to do with the computer rating process.

raiden031
01-09-2009, 09:54 AM
The way I see it the main failing of the system is that it doesn't incentivise people to increase their rating - in fact it has the opposite effect.

In the UK I have never met anyone who wishes they had a worse rating, wants to get moved down a rating or wants to stay where they are. Over here the pre-occupation is with improving ones rating.

People in the UK aren't inherently more competitive but the system over here doesn't reward you if you keep your rating low. In the US mid-altantic many don't want to move up to 5.0 as they would end up having to play mixed league only. Moving up to 5.5 would mean opting out of league play altogether.

A wider question. Does anybody who lives in a country other than the US have a system where people feel it's in their best interests not to attain the best rating possible?

Most players I know want to be higher-rated, but don't have much of a choice. There is immense pressure to play downwards because of captains wanting to have winning teams. Remember the only way you can play league tennis is if a captain accepts you on their team. It is too much trouble for most to run their own teams, and so they have to ensure they are on the stronger end of their level in order to get a spot on a team and be a contributor to the team's success. If you can't compete then you sit out. I see this alot when people get bumped up and not play the following year.

I just got bumped to 4.0 and am very afraid that I won't have a team this year and feel blessed that I even found an 8.0 mixed team to take me. If I don't perform well then I feel like I'm screwed come adult season.

raiden031
01-09-2009, 10:11 AM
The NTRP is a guideline.

This is not true. It is not a guideline because you could have all the qualities listed in the 4.5 category yet be competitive at 3.5!! NTRP is simply a way to define that there are X number of skill levels between beginner and pro. Each level is bounded arbitrarily and shows that you are better than the level below you but not as good as the level above you. To try to classify each skill level with certain skill criteria is ludicrous! I was doing the same crap at 3.0 that I am doing at 4.0! The difference is that I was alot less consistent at 3.0 than I am now.

EikelBeiter
01-09-2009, 11:17 AM
The way I see it the main failing of the system is that it doesn't incentivise people to increase their rating - in fact it has the opposite effect.

In the UK I have never met anyone who wishes they had a worse rating, wants to get moved down a rating or wants to stay where they are. Over here the pre-occupation is with improving ones rating.

People in the UK aren't inherently more competitive but the system over here doesn't reward you if you keep your rating low. In the US mid-altantic many don't want to move up to 5.0 as they would end up having to play mixed league only. Moving up to 5.5 would mean opting out of league play altogether.

A wider question. Does anybody who lives in a country other than the US have a system where people feel it's in their best interests not to attain the best rating possible?

I'm confused about This NTRP rating system. A lot of people on the boards here have posted video's because they don't know what rating they are, and want to find out what they are. But then again you say people don't want to get to a higher rating because then they can't play in the same leagues anymore. Which would mean they do know what rating they are :-? ..... ?

Where i live, everyone who plays tennis has a rating and you can look it up on the internet and you get a card at the beginning of the year with your rating on it.

Moz
01-09-2009, 11:48 AM
Basically....

People who post videos usually already know their ratings or they are beginners.

I suspect many are just fishing for compliments.

USTA league play is organised by ratings - you need a rating to play in the league. In the area in which I lived there was a 4.5 league but not a 5.0 or 5.5 league. Therefore few people wanted to go up to 5.0 because it meant they would no longer be able to play in the leagues.

The ratings themselves don't distinguish between singles and doubles results and some areas in the US ignore tournament results.

Once you get to 5.5 or better the ratings become completely irrelevant for competitive tennis unlike the UK, France and from what you said before The Netherlands.

oneguy21
01-09-2009, 11:51 AM
I wonder who voted for 6.0

raiden031
01-09-2009, 11:56 AM
I'm confused about This NTRP rating system. A lot of people on the boards here have posted video's because they don't know what rating they are, and want to find out what they are. But then again you say people don't want to get to a higher rating because then they can't play in the same leagues anymore. Which would mean they do know what rating they are :-? ..... ?

Where i live, everyone who plays tennis has a rating and you can look it up on the internet and you get a card at the beginning of the year with your rating on it.

Most of the people who post videos do not participate in USTA leagues because they are teenagers or simply just haven't been exposed to USTA competition. There is pressure to play at the lowest level allowed when it comes to USTA team competition.

skiracer55
01-09-2009, 01:23 PM
...people overrate themselves, sandbag to play down to an easier division, whatever. If you want to find out how good you are (or not), play open tournaments or age groups...

EikelBeiter
01-09-2009, 02:07 PM
Basically....

People who post videos usually already know their ratings or they are beginners.

I suspect many are just fishing for compliments.

USTA league play is organised by ratings - you need a rating to play in the league. In the area in which I lived there was a 4.5 league but not a 5.0 or 5.5 league. Therefore few people wanted to go up to 5.0 because it meant they would no longer be able to play in the leagues.

The ratings themselves don't distinguish between singles and doubles results and some areas in the US ignore tournament results.

Once you get to 5.5 or better the ratings become completely irrelevant for competitive tennis unlike the UK, France and from what you said before The Netherlands.

Most of the people who post videos do not participate in USTA leagues because they are teenagers or simply just haven't been exposed to USTA competition. There is pressure to play at the lowest level allowed when it comes to USTA team competition.

Ok So basically you only have a rating if you play in a USTA competition or league? So what if a teenager who has never played competition and hence has no NTRP rating decides to play competition, does he have to play in the lowest one? or can he choose whichever league? Then after he has played in a say 3.5 competition, he receives a 3.5 rating? Then can he only play in a 3.5 tournament? Or can he also decides to play 4.0 and higher? Also how do you get a higher rating? do you have to win a tournament? or is it sufficient to beat a few higher rated players?

And do you have tournaments that have different categories? For instance 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 etc all in one tournament? Sorry for all the questions, but i find this rather interesting

goober
01-09-2009, 02:32 PM
Ok So basically you only have a rating if you play in a USTA competition or league? So what if a teenager who has never played competition and hence has no NTRP rating decides to play competition, does he have to play in the lowest one? or can he choose whichever league? Then after he has played in a say 3.5 competition, he receives a 3.5 rating? Then can he only play in a 3.5 tournament? Or can he also decides to play 4.0 and higher? Also how do you get a higher rating? do you have to win a tournament? or is it sufficient to beat a few higher rated players?

And do you have tournaments that have different categories? For instance 6.0, 5.5, 5.0 etc all in one tournament? Sorry for all the questions, but i find this rather interesting

Teenagers play in junior competition until they are 18 (no NTRP ratings). .

Open tournaments: juniors can play and adults of any level. These typically have the best players although sometimes 3.5-4.5 level players will sign up. Most NTRP tourneys top out at 4.5, but some strong parts of the country (tenniswise) will have 5.0 and 5.5 tourneys. Typically if you are 5.0+, you play Open levels. Once you get to 6.0 you basically are playing futures events.

If you are strictly playing tournaments as an adult, the first year you can sign up for any level and move yourself up and down as you please. At the end of the year you will get a rating and from then on you can only play at that level or higher. You can move up and down with tournament ratings but these are typically only changed at the end of the year.

In league play you must self rate at a certain level. The computer will give you a dynamic rating which can move you up or down depending on how you do during the year. If you do too well you can be disqualified and put into a higher rating.

Solat
01-09-2009, 05:18 PM
so why isn't there a 5.0 level competition? why do these players have to stop playing?

we run a different system here in Australia, basically in my state we use ITN rating system. Teams can be made up of any ratings, the sum of the top 4 players determines what division the team plays in.
So team A: 3, 3.5, 5, 5 would play against a team of 4, 4, 4, 4.5, now it should be noted that ITN is a 10 level not a 7 so rankings are more accurate by having less variation in each level

The top 6 teams make up the premier league and then divisions of 8 teams are made up from there. In the end the highest divisions are the the most sought after and players are encouraged to move up the rankings.

What is the format in the US? if you play in a 4.0 league do you have to be a 4.0? or is 4.0 the max?

goober
01-09-2009, 06:06 PM
so why isn't there a 5.0 level competition? why do these players have to stop playing?


What is the format in the US? if you play in a 4.0 league do you have to be a 4.0? or is 4.0 the max?

5.0s can't play team formats in many parts of the country because there simply aren't enough 5.0s that are available and are interested to form enough teams. So the ones that are around end up playing and are recruited to 4.5 (after self rating 4.5). This leads to downward pressure on ratings. The only ones that are routinely available for 5.0 is 9.0 mixed where a 5.0 can play with a 4.0.

As for your other question. If you are 4.0 you can play 4.0 minimum not max. You can play 4.5 too but it will often be hard to get on a team and get playing time.

Kevo
01-09-2009, 07:55 PM
This is not true. It is not a guideline because you could have all the qualities listed in the 4.5 category yet be competitive at 3.5!!

I think you misunderstand the idea of a guideline. A guideline is non-determinant. The NTRP guidelines do not define your level. Only matchplay can do that. The guideline is there to help determine what level your at when you don't have a matchplay record to give a real answer.

Secondly, your assertion that you could have all the 4.5 qualities and be competitive at 3.5 is highly doubtful. The only way that would happen is if you have a skewed perspective on what the terminology means. The guideline can be somewhat ambiguous for people who do not understand the terminology in context. It does take some experience to correctly judge different levels of spin and power. Like what does developing spin mean. How fast is pace. How much variety is there in a 4.5s game. These guidelines are non-functional in a vacuum, but they work pretty well in context.

I keep waiting for everyone who has bashed the NTRP guidelines to offer an alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

SirBlend12
01-09-2009, 08:25 PM
(snip)

I keep waiting for everyone who has bashed the NTRP guidelines to offer an alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

The ITN. It's just a cleaner, no trash system.

I would explain, but everyone has already given just about every reason why NTRP doesn't work all that well.

Wouldn't it just be easier to use what everyone else uses? (if I'm not mistaken, the rest of the world uses ITN...?)

Oh, one good reason...

(poster watching video of another poster...) "Well, if he's a 4.5, then I'm blah blah blah".

Do you have anything in mind? (Not a challenge, seriously asking, because we really do need a better system... what say you, Kevo?)

EDIT: Good God... to add to the reasons why, just check the poll... out of 39 voters, 16 claimed to be 4.5 or above... wow... just wow.

Captain Tezuka
01-09-2009, 10:38 PM
ITN vs NTRP

ITN is cleaner but it is a bit complicated as in you have to have enough court time to be able to upgrade yourself to a newer level say 2-3 or 9-10 or whatever. However NTRP despite being trashed and confusing everyone U.S. wise and beyond has a advantage in being you can access it through the internet while not needing a password or username but disadvantage is not global applies mostly to U.S. Also even though global if your coach doesn't do the ITN assesment next year like our school did it for Yr7 but when Yr8 came around I was expecting to do it again apparently not. So even if you think you are a level 3 player maybe next year without any test you would be a level 5 or 6 player but not noticed because of not being tested. Also a record of your play is kept as a chart online but unfortunately for me I loss my certificate as in missplaced it and can't log in. :confused: :oops: LOL

Well I will appreciate any arguements or debates on this because I think it is a good topic to talk about.

Side Note: To all aussies out there hi.

Solat
01-09-2009, 10:59 PM
ITN vs NTRP

ITN is cleaner but it is a bit complicated as in you have to have enough court time to be able to upgrade yourself to a newer level say 2-3 or 9-10 or whatever. However NTRP despite being trashed and confusing everyone U.S. wise and beyond has a advantage in being you can access it through the internet while not needing a password or username but disadvantage is not global applies mostly to U.S. Also even though global if your coach doesn't do the ITN assesment next year like our school did it for Yr7 but when Yr8 came around I was expecting to do it again apparently not. So even if you think you are a level 3 player maybe next year without any test you would be a level 5 or 6 player but not noticed because of not being tested. Also a record of your play is kept as a chart online but unfortunately for me I loss my certificate as in missplaced it and can't log in. :confused: :oops: LOL

Well I will appreciate any arguements or debates on this because I think it is a good topic to talk about.

Side Note: To all aussies out there hi.

you don't need to do an ITN assessment to get a rating, it just needs to be assigned by a coach. It is then just based on league results, i assume in the same (or similar) to the NTRP formula, based on scorelines etc

hellonewbie
01-09-2009, 11:30 PM
NTRP has its good points that clusters of similarly skilled players can compete together. Of course there are wolves hiding in sheep's clothes such as 5.0 playing on 4.5 teams, but I see that as a positive for other lower level players to get challenged and maybe incentivized to become better.

EikelBeiter
01-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Teenagers play in junior competition until they are 18 (no NTRP ratings). .

Open tournaments: juniors can play and adults of any level. These typically have the best players although sometimes 3.5-4.5 level players will sign up. Most NTRP tourneys top out at 4.5, but some strong parts of the country (tenniswise) will have 5.0 and 5.5 tourneys. Typically if you are 5.0+, you play Open levels. Once you get to 6.0 you basically are playing futures events.

If you are strictly playing tournaments as an adult, the first year you can sign up for any level and move yourself up and down as you please. At the end of the year you will get a rating and from then on you can only play at that level or higher. You can move up and down with tournament ratings but these are typically only changed at the end of the year.

In league play you must self rate at a certain level. The computer will give you a dynamic rating which can move you up or down depending on how you do during the year. If you do too well you can be disqualified and put into a higher rating.

Thanks for taking the time to explain. One last question, is that dynamic rating based on matches you win or lose, or based on how far you get into a tournament, quarter final, final etc?

raiden031
01-10-2009, 04:22 AM
I think you misunderstand the idea of a guideline. A guideline is non-determinant. The NTRP guidelines do not define your level. Only matchplay can do that. The guideline is there to help determine what level your at when you don't have a matchplay record to give a real answer.


I just said the same thing. A guideline would imply that it is useful information. The NTRP "guidelines" are useless because they cannot be used to gauge your skill level at all, even though thats the purpose of them.


Secondly, your assertion that you could have all the 4.5 qualities and be competitive at 3.5 is highly doubtful.


Well I played my game exactly the same at 3.0 as I do at 4.0. I varied power, spin, and direction, constructed points, had alot of variety such as kick serves, slice and topspin shots on both sides, etc. The only difference is my consistency and effectiveness in all areas of the game has improved from 3.0 to 4.0.


The only way that would happen is if you have a skewed perspective on what the terminology means. The guideline can be somewhat ambiguous for people who do not understand the terminology in context. It does take some experience to correctly judge different levels of spin and power. Like what does developing spin mean. How fast is pace. How much variety is there in a 4.5s game. These guidelines are non-functional in a vacuum, but they work pretty well in context.

I keep waiting for everyone who has bashed the NTRP guidelines to offer an alternative. I haven't seen one yet.

So you are admitting that basically you must be very knowledgeable in tennis terminology in order to self-rate yourself. That renders the NTRP guidelines useless for at least 75% of the tennis-playing population.

There's nothing wrong with the NTRP levels being described (although I heavily think it should be re-done so that it is somewhat valid), but USTA should not encourage their use as a means for players self-rating themselves. They should encourage an alternate approach such as doing so by playing against rated players or getting a teaching pro to help rate them.

raiden031
01-10-2009, 04:35 AM
Thanks for taking the time to explain. One last question, is that dynamic rating based on matches you win or lose, or based on how far you get into a tournament, quarter final, final etc?

The dynamic rating is re-calculated every time you play a match in the usta adult or senior leagues (only those sanctioned leagues where you can advance to Nationals).

When you are playing in these leagues, your dynamic rating always consists of your last 3 dynamic ratings averaged with your last "match" rating (rating that is generated directly from a match). So your rating should fluctuate a little after every match. If your dynamic rating rises to the next level mid-season and hits a certain threshold, you can get DQ'd and your matches are overturned (this only applies to self-rated/appeal players, and those who have a year-end computer rating are immune from this).

Tournament matches don't go towards calculation of your rating until the end of the year, and some usta sections (regions) do not count them at all.

itisgregory
01-10-2009, 11:52 AM
I agree with everyone here who mentioned that a computer rating system is often the best indicator of playing ability and thus NTRP placement. The key however is a computer rating system that is well thought out by measuring and weighting both match scores AND number of sets played into a point system that is translated into how strong your match play is.

I have played in three different online tennis leagues (non-USTA) all of which used a computer rating system. Of those there is only one I prefer (ultimatetennis.com). It is a well thought out and thorough system that measures how many sets where played, games won and lost in each set in each set and how many matches were played in the tournament. It then assigns a rating that will determine if you should move up, down or stay at the same level. In order to move up one NTRP level this system requires that you not only win many matches but win them by a healthy margin like 6-2 as opposed to 6-4 or win in 2 sets instead of 3. It can be tough to move up. Consequently, the competition at each level can be very good.

EikelBeiter
01-10-2009, 12:15 PM
The dynamic rating is re-calculated every time you play a match in the usta adult or senior leagues (only those sanctioned leagues where you can advance to Nationals).

When you are playing in these leagues, your dynamic rating always consists of your last 3 dynamic ratings averaged with your last "match" rating (rating that is generated directly from a match). So your rating should fluctuate a little after every match. If your dynamic rating rises to the next level mid-season and hits a certain threshold, you can get DQ'd and your matches are overturned (this only applies to self-rated/appeal players, and those who have a year-end computer rating are immune from this).

Tournament matches don't go towards calculation of your rating until the end of the year, and some usta sections (regions) do not count them at all.

I see, it all sounds very complicated, but it probably isn't once you get used to it.

equinox
12-25-2010, 09:20 AM
itn8, which was probably little low playing my best two years ago. nowdays it's correct. i'm 1/4 the player i was previously. crippled.

Zachol82
12-25-2010, 09:55 AM
NTRP is there for the heck of it. Just because Roger Federer lost one point to me and I told him I'm done for the day, does not make me better than him.

..Or does it...?

gameboy
12-25-2010, 11:56 AM
USTA ratings are designed to do one thing and one thing only; to facilitate competitive matches among people of similar abilities in USTA leagues and tournaments.

NTRP description is so broad and general that any given player could be rated +/- 1 to 2 ratings. Which basically means it is garbage.

Being a 4.0 just means one thing - you will be competitive against other 4.0 players. It does not matter if you have no backhand or lack other skills, as long as you can stay competitive with other 4.0 players, you are a 4.0 player.

deluxe
12-25-2010, 12:02 PM
In the UK I have never met anyone who wishes they had a worse rating, wants to get moved down a rating or wants to stay where they are. Over here the pre-occupation is with improving ones rating.

People in the UK aren't inherently more competitive but the system over here doesn't reward you if you keep your rating low. In the US mid-altantic many don't want to move up to 5.0 as they would end up having to play mixed league only. Moving up to 5.5 would mean opting out of league play altogether.

I know the US system is bad, but the uk system is terrible in different ways. As an adult, I'm *never* going to move down unless I ever reach 4.2. You know in advance if you're going to get bumped up, so if you want to get bumped up, once you reach the mark, the temptation is to not play any more matches until the ratings run. Playing a lower rated player can only ever be bad for you.

The chess rating system is much better. You get live updates these days too. US & UK tennis is still in the dark ages. Why is it not a continuous system? In the uk there was a cutoff date of the 19th Dec. for matches, but new ratings aren't available until 10th Jan. Are they doing it by hand?

Stiver
12-26-2010, 09:14 PM
NTRP is useful in that it lines people up who are of similar ability who want to play other players of roughly their same level. It is results based only. It is absolutely worthless as a description of playing style or of a person's strokes or technical skill. The only thing that it is useful for is matching people up with each other based on results, which is the way it should be. This is COMPETITIVE tennis. It is not a beauty contest. It is impossible to devise a system that categorizes tens of thousands of people based on a description of their playing style. That is why the descriptions of the playing styles are only supposed to be a rough guide. The real rankings are results based only, and they are designed to put you with people that you are competitive with. Sometimes a person dominates at their level, so they get moved up. Sometimes a person starts sucking, they get moved down. Its simple. If you want to play outside the NTRP system, enter Open draws. It ain't broke, don't fix it...