What is UTR?
Universal Tennis Rating or “UTR” is a system that the tennis world has been waiting for. Those of you who have played sanctioned tournaments are probably familiar with the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) rating system that is based on a scale of 1-7. The USTA scale rates players in increments of .5. For example, a very common rating for a club player may be 3.0 or 3.5. Unfortunately this system has always been very limited and could not capture the full range of players.
UTR uses a scale of 1-16 down to a hundredth of a point. For example, Roger Federer on a given day could be 16.26, Serena Williams 13.03, a top male college player 14.5, a 3.5 women’s USTA player 3.12. The system applies to EVERYONE regardless of gender or age.
Prior to UTR, the MLTC adopted a system called “Tencap” (short for “tennis handicap”) which was an improvement on the USTA’s 1-7 leveling; however, only Tencap users were familiar with it.
UTR has been adopted by nearly all of the most prestigious tennis academies and institutions worldwide. The USTA has been supportive of providing UTR with the data that it needs to thrive, and you will also see UTR numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen of the Tennis Channel.
UTR vs. Verified UTR?
There is a difference! Players in the system have two ratings. One is simply called their UTR. It is a more casual number that is meant to give players an approximate idea of what their level is. A player’s “Verified UTR” is a player’s official rating that you can only gain from participating in designated verified events. Because the USTA has partnered with UTR, all USTA sanctioned events go towards your Verified UTR score.
For juniors, a Verified UTR is to college tennis what SAT scores are to academics. It is the now the most important criteria for college coaches to distill the true level of incoming players.
The MLTC will be incorporating periodic verified events into the Junior Challenger Series League (JCSL) program beginning in the fall of 2019.
Although some other New England clubs have joined in the movement, very few programs understand how to leverage it. Similar to how the MLTC created the Mass Tennis Association, introduced Tencap to the area and also helped develop PlayViewTennis, the MLTC has created an exclusive implementation plan for UTR. Both our juniors and our adults will be having opportunities throughout the year to improve their UTR ratings at the MLTC.
If you would like to join the MLTC’s UTR club, you can do so at no charge by clicking here.