United States Tennis Association (USTA) teams are some of the most popular competitive match-play programs during the summer months. Players are placed on teams that correspond with their level based on the NTRP scale of 1-7 (1 = complete beginner while a 7 = a world class player).
USTA matches should be first and foremost fun, however the process of joining a team can be a bit vague and subjective at some clubs. At the MLTC, certain rules and parameters have been put in place so that the experience is enjoyable and the process is fair.
Open vs. Closed Teams
At our facility, we make a distinction between teams that we manage and teams that are managed by the players. “Open” teams are rosters that are controlled by our program and those rosters are open to any player of an appropriate level who wishes to play. “Closed” teams are groups that play under our banner, however we do not organize or coordinate them.
The Closed team concept is made for players who have a group of friends that want to play together without a coach or a club dictacting their fate. We are more than happy to work with players, coach them and even assist with suggesting the line-up if requested, however the recruitment of players, contact with the league and collection of funds must be handled by whoever is designated as the captain.A $150 deposit is required in order to secure a Closed team.
If someone is looking to join an open team, the following guidelines have been put into place to help make the process fair and transparent:
Open Team Guidelines for USTA
- Returning USTA players have the right of first refusal on their slot until February 20th. After this date, the position becomes available to the next potential candidate.
- If a returning player’s rating has dropped below the level of the team they wish to continue playing on, then that player no longer has the right of first refusal and must wait until after February 20th to potentially join the team.
- Players who commit to a larger number of weeks are given preference if there are limited spots available. Players have the ability to join the team by committing to the largest number of weeks up through March 1st. After that date, the next highest commitment will be considered, but nothing less than 5 weeks. A commitment of 8 weeks or more will guarantee a returning player’s spot.
- Players must commit to and pay for a minimum of 5 practices and 5 matches upfront.
- Players must choose practices and matches from the same weeks (i.e. they cannot choose a practice from one week and a match from another).
- Players must agree to find their own substitutes and take care of payment between each other in such an event.that finding a substitute is necessary.
- Players who have a rating that is consistent with the team they wish to play on are given preference over those who have either a lower rating or those who do not have an official rating at all.
- Anyone with a rating that is .5 below the team they wish to play on may be added to the roster after March 1st pending approval of the MLTC. If multiple players of a lower level would like to join a team once registrations have opened up to all players, priority will be given based on the number of weeks they are willing to register for and secondarily on a first come/first served basis (e.g. If there is one spot remaining and two players of a lower level would like the spot, whichever player submits the most available weeks will be given priority. If two or more players are willing to commit to the same amount of weeks, then whichever player contacted us first will have priority).
- If a player defaults a doubles match, he/she is responsible for the match fee of BOTH players.
These guidelines have been instituted to help foster an environment of camraderie amongst peers. The creation of a unified team is much more likely to happen when levels are consistent and players are committed to the group.
If you have an interest in joining a summer USTA team, then please contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.