PDA

View Full Version : Juniors in NTRP Tournaments


HenryS12
01-13-2009, 01:57 AM
So I'm signed up to play in an adult tournament in 3.0 singles this weekend. I noticed in the other half of the bracket a boy who's been playing in primarily Boys 18 junior tournaments.

In contrast, I've been playing on and off since I was a teenager but if you count the actual times I've played it's probably around 3 years. Granted, this concern is premature because I have to beat one opponent before potentially facing him, but my questions are:

1. How can someone enter a NTRP tournament without a rating?
2. Aren't high school boys tennis by nature much better than the average 3.0 player? They take private lessons, go to tennis camps, plays in a boatload of tournaments and they're ingrained all the fundamentals at a very young age.

I know this is whiny and I don't mind being embarrassed by another grown man who beat me fair and square. But something about this smells. If I do end up playing this boy and lose, I probably won't make too much fuss about it (like filing grievances) because every opponent is a learning experience. But given I've been playing in sanctioned tournaments for less than two months, I'm really not all that experienced in these odd situations.

So, discuss. End of whine. :)

Mark46750
01-13-2009, 03:46 AM
This might not be the case with your potential opponent but don't assume that just because he is in high school he is taking private lessons and going to tennis camps. In my area only the top one or two players on teams took lessons.

goober
01-13-2009, 05:23 AM
1. How can someone enter a NTRP tournament without a rating?
NTRP tournaments are not restricted only those with ratings. In your first year of play you can sign up basically for any level. This doesn't apply to leagues where you have a dynamic rating and must self rate.

2. Aren't high school boys tennis by nature much better than the average 3.0 player? They take private lessons, go to tennis camps, plays in a boatload of tournaments and they're ingrained all the fundamentals at a very young age.
Most high school players are better than 3.0, but no they are not uniformly good as you portray. Alot of them start late, have no formal coaching and are in the 3.0-3.5 range.

NTRP tourneys are suppose to be for adults, but Tournament Directors apparently can let juniors in at their discretion.

10isDad
01-13-2009, 05:35 AM
From the USTA website:

12. How does age enter into the NTRP ratings?

A. The NTRP is not based on age divisions. All players of the same gender, regardless of age, should be used as reference points in determining player ratings.

13. Can the NTRP be used to rate junior players?

A. Yes if junior players participate in an adult activity using the NTRP, their ratings are in comparison to all other players of the same gender of any age - not just other junior players. Junior players should not be rated until they are experienced in match play.

Regarding Goober's assertion that "most high school players are better than 3.0", I think that depends on location. In Arizona, I would venture to say the majority of players playing high school tennis are not better than 3.0 level. This is especially true in non-affluent areas. USTA tournament playing juniors are usually above a 3.0 level but not necessarily high school tennis players.

boilerfan
01-13-2009, 05:42 AM
At least when I was in high school, most of our team would be 3.0's or 3.5's with the random 4.0 or 4.5 thrown in there. Most teams in our area had nobody close to 4.0's. Granted that was in the ******* in an area not known for tennis, but don't just assume that a junior is going to be great. Granted if he is playing tournaments he could be pretty reasonable.

If you make it to that match, just view it as a challenge and go in it to win. You might be surprised at how much age helps. He might have prettier strokes and be able to run faster, but a lot of times the kids are still learning to construct points and just go out and hit with no strategy. I have played many juniors in tourneys and always enjoyed it. The ones I have played were very respectful and were playing to get experience against different types of players.

goober
01-13-2009, 05:47 AM
From the USTA website:



A. Yes if junior players participate in an adult activity using the NTRP, their ratings are in comparison to all other players of the same gender of any age - not just other junior players. Junior players should not be rated until they are experienced in match play.

Regarding Goober's assertion that "most high school players are better than 3.0", I think that depends on location. In Arizona, I would venture to say the majority of players playing high school tennis are not better than 3.0 level. This is especially true in non-affluent areas. USTA tournament playing juniors are usually above a 3.0 level but not necessarily high school tennis players.

I would pretty much bet that this particular junior does not have a NTRP rating and is self rating or going by TD/coaches advice.

As for your other comment that most AZ tennis high school players are not above 3.0, I'll take your word for it since you have seen a lot more junior tennis than I have. If that is true, I think that is pretty sad. I have played probably 7-8 high school players and they were all in the 3.5-4.5 range, but my sample size is small and skewed. :)

10isDad
01-13-2009, 06:11 AM
^^^Unfortunately, with many of the schools the teams can't even be filled enough to have a JV squad. Where my kid plays, he used to be the only kid to have ever had a lesson. There's another kid to takes a clinic, now. My kid plays men's open divisions sometimes and usually does okay. There's a player who's never had a lesson but probably could hold his own against 3.5 to 4.0 players. 2 or 3 others in the 3.0 range, but the others (7 others) are basically beginners.

JLyon
01-13-2009, 06:52 AM
As long as the Junior turns 19 this year then it is no problem and they can determine their correct level.

HenryS12
01-13-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the thoughts so far. I did a little digging about the junior in question and it appears that he went to a private Catholic high school and was playing varsity tennis by his junior year. The school plays in a Catholic athletic league (no public schools) with other prominent Catholic schools and they all come with the expensive tuition. The school is also located in a major city and it's definitely not cheap. With these factors in mind, I had a feeling maybe he's a little bit more polished than a 3.0.

Ah, the powers of Google. :) I had a opponent who Googled me before a match once, so I figured to give that a try..haha

smoothtennis
01-13-2009, 01:05 PM
Hmmm...I played an active Junior this year in a USTA tournament, but it was Open, so not sure if he could have done the NTRP's or not.

kylebarendrick
01-13-2009, 02:13 PM
As others have noted, high school experience can be spotty. Since you noted that he plays junior 18s, can you look up his tournament record? A strong enough junior rating (a high sectional ranking or being nationally ranked for instance) would place him well above 3.0 on the self rating chart.

Even if he's not ranked, you can try to look at his record against kids that do have high rankings within his section. If he takes routine 0-0 beatings than 3.0 may be appropriate. If he can take 4 or more games from strong juniors, then he has no business playing 3.0.

GeorgeLucas
01-13-2009, 04:01 PM
It's always ironic when the schooled starts giving the schooling. ;)

beernutz
01-14-2009, 11:04 AM
The USTA self-rating guidelines http://www.usta.com/~/media/9B46CE5C64B14C04B93686466D9C47AA.ashx state that high school players should rate at least as 3.0 and if they have post season play experience they should rate at least as 3.5.

I don't know if this applies to tournaments but maybe you should do a little more googling into this player's past history and find out if they have played in the post season.

Bottle Rocket
01-16-2009, 07:10 AM
The kid may or may not be good, but I've seen some guys playing 3.0 that definitely shouldn't be there. As good as this kid might be, I doubt he wins the tourney. Also, don't sell yourself short. I suspect (hope) that you're a more intelligent player than the average high school kid.

With that in mind, I would recommend that you focus your attention on your first match.

If you're interested in gaining as much from the experience as possible, quit worrying about your second round match. You're not there yet.

Okazaki Fragment
01-17-2009, 09:55 PM
So I'm signed up to play in an adult tournament in 3.0 singles this weekend. I noticed in the other half of the bracket a boy who's been playing in primarily Boys 18 junior tournaments.

In contrast, I've been playing on and off since I was a teenager but if you count the actual times I've played it's probably around 3 years. Granted, this concern is premature because I have to beat one opponent before potentially facing him, but my questions are:

1. How can someone enter a NTRP tournament without a rating?
2. Aren't high school boys tennis by nature much better than the average 3.0 player? They take private lessons, go to tennis camps, plays in a boatload of tournaments and they're ingrained all the fundamentals at a very young age.

I know this is whiny and I don't mind being embarrassed by another grown man who beat me fair and square. But something about this smells. If I do end up playing this boy and lose, I probably won't make too much fuss about it (like filing grievances) because every opponent is a learning experience. But given I've been playing in sanctioned tournaments for less than two months, I'm really not all that experienced in these odd situations.

So, discuss. End of whine. :)

So, how did the high school kid do? Was he actually a 3.0?