General Characteristics of NTRP Playing Levels
(Wheelchair players please see note below)
For greater detail of the NTRP Playing Levels, and a stroke-by-stroke rubric of the NTRP Playing Levels
for self-rating, please click here.
You have limited experience and are working primarily on getting the ball in play.
You lack court experience and your strokes need developing. You are familiar with the basic positions for
singles and doubles play.
You are learning to judge where the ball is going, although your court coverage is limited. You can sustain
a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability.
You are fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but are not comfortable with all strokes and
lack execution when trying for directional control, depth, or power. Your most common doubles formation is
You have achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but need to
develop depth and variety. You exhibit more aggressive net play, have improved court coverage and are
developing teamwork in doubles.
You have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand
sides on moderate-paced shots. You can use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some
success and occasionally force errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in
doubles is evident.
You have developed your use of power and spin and can handle pace. You have sound footwork, can
control depth of shots, and attempt to vary game plan according to your opponents. You can hit first
serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. You tend to overhit on difficult shots.
Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
You have good shot anticipation and frequently have an outstanding shot or attribute around which a
game may be structured. You can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away
volleys. You can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, overhead smashes, and have good
depth and spin on most second serves.
You have mastered power and/or consistency as a major weapon. You can vary strategies and styles of
play in a competitive situation and hit dependable shots in a stress situation.
6.0 to 7.0:
You have had intensive training for national tournament competition at the junior and collegiate levels and
have obtained a sectional and/or national ranking.
You are a world-class player.
To place yourself:
A. Begin with 1.5. Read all categories carefully and then decide which one best describes your present
ability level. Be certain that you qualify on all points of all preceding levels as well as those in the level you
B. When rating yourself assume you are playing against a player of the same gender and the same ability.
C. For a stroke-by-stroke rubric of the NTRP Playing Levels for self-rating, please click here.
Players in Wheelchairs:
Players in wheelchairs should use these general characteristics to determine their NTRP skill level. The
only differences are as follows: Mobility: while players in wheelchairs may have skills that would normally
provide them a certain rating, the mobility factor suggests that when competing against able-bodied
players, they should participate at an NTRP skill level that provides for competitive rather than compatible
play. Serving ability: Due to the nature of the player’s injury or disability, a powerful serve may not be
possible. In this case, it may be more realistic to self-rate below 4.0 as service strength becomes key
beyond this level.
Many tournament players in wheelchairs have already received an NTRP rating. Wheelchair players
should check with players whose skills match their own before determining their rating. The very best
world-class players in wheelchairs have an NTRP rating in the low 4.5s.
National Tennis Rating Program