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A rating is a measuring tool indicating a standard of play and allowing players to record their progress. An accurate rating should give a player access to appropriate level competition.
For most competitions ratings takes precedence over rankings, for both acceptance and seeding, however ranking for acceptance is becoming more prevalent.
To get a rating you need to be a British Tennis Member (BTM). If you haven't already then join British Tennis Membership .
When you sign up for British Tennis Membership you will be automatically assigned a rating unless you choose to opt out. You may ask for a rating at a later date by emailing Info@LTA.org.uk with your name and BTM number.
The rating system is open to players of all ages but different criteria apply according to whether you are a Mini Tennis player, a Junior, in the Open (adult) age group or in a Senior age category. Please go to the Mini Tennis area to find out about how the Mini Tennis system operates.
Once you have a rating you will appear on the LTA Player Search.
Matches count for ratings in competitions Grade 1 - 7. Grade U (purely recreational competition) is excluded.
For both junior and adult players there are 20 rating bands, starting with 10.2, which is the lowest, progressing to 10.1, 9.2, 9.1, 8.2 etc. until you reach 1.1, which is the highest rating.
Junior and adult players rated 10.2, 10.1, 9.2 or 9.1 can improve their ratings by recording qualifying wins as follows:
These wins can be achieved at any time, ie. not restricted to a ratings run periods and may include wins from mixed singles matches as well as from yellow ball 'timed tennis' format competitions. Your rating will automatically change once you have the correct number of wins and your results have been recorded. The (overnight) calculation takes into account players' ratings as they stand at the time the calculation is made.
Wins from 'mixed' events and 'timed tennis' do not count as qualifying wins once 8.2 level is reached and are therefore not included in the quarterly, seasonal ratings runs.
If you are a junior with a rating of 8.2 or higher, you need to achieve:
If you are an adult player (ie no longer eligible to compete in 18U competitions) with a rating of 8.2 or higher you need to achieve:
The Ratings Win/Loss Calculator will help you find out whether your rating is going to change.
* There are 4 ratings run periods each year which fall into 2 competition seasons - summer and winter. The summer season runs from 1st April to 31st August and the winter season from 1st September to 31st March. There are ratings runs at the end of each season and also mid-season runs which take place half way through each summer and winter season. The bi-annual seasonal runs look at all results recorded during the entire competition season. The quarterly runs look at results recorded from the beginning of the competition season up to a (published) mid-season cut off date. Players are more likely increase their ratings at the end of a competition season than during the shorter mid-season periods.
A qualifying win = a win against a player rated the same or higher than you. Example: if your rating is 6.2 and you beat a player rated 6.2 or 6.1 or 5.2 and so on up, this will be recorded as a qualifying win for you.*
A qualifying loss = a loss against a player rated lower than you. Example: if your rating is 7.1 and you lose to a player rated 7.2, 8.1 or 8.2 this is a qualifying loss.*
* These definitions apply to routine ratings moves at the end of each competition period and not to the criteria which apply to manual ratings adjustments (LTA Competition Regulation 1.14 (b) Appendix Five). In this context a qualifying loss is a loss to an opponent rated at the level the player wishes to move to and losses at this level and lower are also taken into acccount.
Competition event end dates dictate the season in which matches will count for your rating, ie. if you play a match in August, but the competition event ends in September, that match will not count until the mid-season winter ratings run. The only exceptions to this rule are events in summer County Closed tournaments (results from these events will count for summer end of season ratings runs) and league matches in which match dates have been set.
Walkovers: a walkover in a match does not count as a ratings win or loss. At least one point has to be played for a match to count for ratings purposes. Example: you are sheduled to play a match but your opponent fails to appear. You are given a walkover into the next round but do not get a ratings win from the no show.
Retirements: a retirement during a match may (according to players' ratings) count for ratings purposes. Example: you suffer an injury after one game in a match and have to retire. Your rating is 5.1 and your opponent's rating is 5.2. This counts as a qualifying loss for you.
Grade 7 'Internal' Matchplay competitions: in club or squad 'closed' competitions only one win against the same opponent can count for a player in any single ratings move. This is to encourage competition against a variety of opponents and improve the accuracy of the ratings measure.
Ad hoc or Challenge matches do not count for ratings purposes; in order to be valid for ratings matches must be part of an officially approved competition. LTA Competition Regulations 1.17, 1.18 and 1.19 Appendix 5 apply to results for Grade 6 and 7 competitions.
If you are an experienced player, with a competitive record, and think you should be assigned a higher rating than the entry level of 10.2 then you can email Info@LTA.org.uk with as much information as possible about your playing experience, foreign rating/ranking and results. It may be possible to assign you an equivalency rating. Alternatively an adult player may request a rating (up to 7.2) by submitting an online Adult Rating Self-Assessment form - see below.
An adult player may request a rating, up to 7.2 level, based on self-assessment of playing standard. The Adult Rating Self Assessment form is available in a player's British Tennis Membership login area. There are four descriptions of playing standard and, by matching one of these to the player's own assessment of ability, a rating request can be submitted. This rating may not be automatically assigned since each application is reviewed in the light of match results on record for that player.
The Adult Rating Self Assessment process is designed to facilitate adult players' entry into the rating system and promote enjoyable competition by encouraging players to measure their progress against similarly rated opponents.
If you are a player with a rating of 8.2 or higher you have the opportunity to increase your rating by one level 4 times a year in the automated ratings runs.Your new rating will depend on results achieved during the previous half season period or entire season. Match results must be processed and showing on your player profile in order to count.
Results used to increase your rating in the mid-season calculation (see next question for further information) will also be used for the end of season review as this takes into account competitive activity over the entire winter or summer competition season. Ratings runs always look at players' ratings as they stand at the time of the run.
In exceptional circumstances a player can apply to have his/her rating adjusted outside the quarterly ratings run periods. The minimum requirement is 6 wins for juniors (3 for adults) achieved against higher rated players, recorded in competitions graded 1 - 5, with at least a 60% win/loss percentage, at that higher level,. (In this context a retirement does not count as a win and losses in any grade of competition count). Manual rating adjustments are not part of the routine automated ratings run process and must be applied for. The cut off for applications is one week before the next ratings run is due to go live. Example: Your rating (as a junior player) is 5.2; in order to be considered for a manual rating increase, outside the quarterly ratings run periods, you need 6 x 5.1 wins, recorded in competitions grade 1-5 in the correct ratings run period, and no more than 4 losses at 5.1 level and lower recorded in any grade of competition. The requirements for a manual rating adjustment are deliberately more stringent to ensure that players only accelerate up the levels if they are not losing many matches at the next level and they are also competing in competitions in which qualifying losses can be acquired.
A mid-season ratings run provides players who progress quickly with the opportunity to increase their ratings without having to wait until the end of the competition season. Results from the mid-season run are included again in the end of season run, taking into account players' mid season adjustments. The calculations looks at players' ratings as they stand when the run actually takes place.
Example: your rating is 7.1 and you have beaten a player rated 7.2 early in the competition season. In the mid season run this win does not count as a qualifying win. However your 7.2 rated opponent moves up to a 7.1 in the mid season run and your rating stays at 7.1. Your results against the player who has moved to 7.1 will now count as a qualifying win for you in the end of season run. Conversely; your rating is 7.1 and, early in the season, you lose to another player rated 7.1. In the mid season run this does not count as a qualifying loss for you. However, if your rating increase to 6.2 in the mid season run and your opponent stays at 7.1, this match will count as a qualifing loss in the end of season run.
The mid-season run takes into account the first half of the competition season. A player’s rating will increase if he/she has met the criteria. The mid-season summer run spans less than 3 months because it takes account the peak summer season competition period.
Only adult players' ratings can decrease but not to a level lower than 6.2. An adult player's rating will decrease if, in the previous two competition seasons, he/she has recorded no results or, in failing to meet the rating increase criteria, has recorded no qualifying wins and more than one qualifying loss within the previous two competition seasons.
When a player moves to yellow ball competition they will be given a 'full rating' according to the following rules:
Ratings are important for many players because a high rating normally gives access to the top levels of competitions. This means that some players consider climbing the ratings ladder as a race. This is not the intention of the system; its purpose is to give an indication of playing standard so that players can monitor their progress and access appropriate levels of competition. Ratings are also essential for the administration of competitions; ratings, followed by rankings, usually determine acceptance, however ranking for acceptance, which applies to grade 1 and 2 tournament in the 2014 summer competition season, is likely to be extended to other grades of competitions.
It is also worth noting that the ratings system is simply a measuring tool and is not intended to be a target in itself. If a player works hard to improve technique, tactics and mental skills, puts in the hours on court, develops a love of tennis and enjoys the challenge of competing then he/she will improve in playing standard. This will lead to success in competitions which, in turn, will be reflected in that player's rating. It is counter-productive, in terms of long term development, for a player to be so focused on protecting wins that he/she stops competing or limits participation.
Please refer to Appendix Five (page 46) of the LTA Competition Regulations.
There have been some recent improvements made to the British Tennis Ratings system. Read about them here