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The Fort Worth Tennis Circle Message Board Tutorials, Guides, and Tips › How to determine your USTA rating / level.

How to determine your USTA rating / level.

A former member
Post #: 4
One of the questions that you're asked when you created a profile here at the FWTC is what your "skill level" is, which is followed up by a set of decimal numbers 3.0 4.0 etc. If you've wondered what the heck those numbers mean and how to figure exactly which number is yours, here's information directly from the USTA (United States Tennis Association) about the various rating levels. Be sure to read at least through the 4.5 level before deciding "I'm a beginner, so I must be 1.0" As you read on, you'll see that there are various levels of "beginner".

I'd be happy to assist anyone who has questions regarding how to "rate" themselves.

1.0 This player is just starting to play tennis.
[Has to be taught how to hold a raqcuet, what the various lines on the court mean, etc]

1.5 This player has limited experience and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play.
[Understands the game at a basic level and can hit the ball, but can't sustain a rally of more than 1 - 2 strokes]

2.0 This player needs on-court experience. This player has obvious stroke weaknesses but is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play.
[Can probably sustain a rally of 3 - 4 shots before making an error; however, doesn't generally know where the ball is going to go when they hit it]

2.5 This player is learning to judge where the ball is going although court coverage is weak. This player can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability
[Lack of footwork is a key weakness here. Most people who prior experience but have been away from the game for some number years generally will fall into this category]


3.0 This player is fairly consistent when hitting medium paced shots, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth, or power. Most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.
[Can hit a forehand, backhand, and lob but will make errors when trying to "overplay" the ball. Most people who are returning to the game after a few months off will fall into this category]

3.5 This player has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, bur still lacks depth and variety. This player exhibits more aggressive net play, has improved court coverage, and is developing teamwork in doubles.
[Generally plays tennis 2 - 3 times a week; has improved footwork; can probably hit flat and with slice. Serve and return of serve is generally not that strong]


4.0 This player has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success. This player occasionally forces errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident.
[League / recreational tournament player. Typically annoyed when playing with anyone below 3.0]

4.5 This player has begun to master the use of power and spins and is beginning to handle pace, has sound footwork, can control depth of shots, and is beginning to vary game plan according to opponents. This player can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. This player tends to over hit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
[May have a USTA ranking points from paying sanctioned tournaments]

5.0 This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which a game may be structured. This player can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, over-head smashes, and has good depth and spin on most second serves.
[Nobody in this group qualifies; LOL]
A former member
Post #: 1
Hey Ya'll, I got hurt bad last year and I am just getting back into playing.. I was a 3.5 player and I think I can still handle my own. Love doubles and would possibly consider singlesl... I want to do the early morning West Side Hit around, so keep posting and I will be there. If I can incourage my husband ( my hitting partner ) to get up and play then we will have 2. Let me know. Thanks Dawn
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