To get the most out of competition you should try and play against players of a similar standard. To help with this competitions are graded from 7-1, progressing from local club level to county, regional, and finally national level competitions. There are thousands of competitions held throughout the year across the country for different ages and abilities. The year is split into a summer and winter season and a Competition Guide is published for each of them, giving all the latest information and details of competition taking place that season.
If you haven’t played in a competition before then grade 7 and 6 competitions are a great place to start. They are all about having fun and learning and developing the skills of tennis.
As a guide the higher the grade of competition the higher the standard and the more ranking points are available.
These are local competitions such as club, or squad, box leagues and ladders or club closed tournaments. This grade of competition counts for ratings but not rankings.
Competitions in this grade are usually matchplays which are open to all players to enter. They are run throughout the year and across the country and offer players in all age groups the chance to develop their competitive tennis. This grade of competition counts for ratings but not rankings.
These competitions takes place at local club or county level and are open to players of all ages and abilities. They might be for specific age group or for different age groups within one tournament. These competitions count for both ratings and rankings.
These are county level competitions that count for both ratings and rankings. They include a series of Winter County Tournaments which run between September and March and a large number of LTA supported competitions that run in the school holiday periods.
These are regional level competitions that count for both ratings and rankings. There are two Tour circuits of grade 3 tournaments for juniors a year, one in the summer and one in the winter.
These are national level competitions and count for both ratings and rankings. There are two series of grade 2 tournaments a year for juniors, the Grand Prix Circuit in the winter and the Summer Clay Court Tournaments in the summer. In the open age group there is a series of grade 2 tournaments called the AEGON British Tour which runs throughout the year.
This is the top level of national competition counts for ratings and rankings and includes the AEGON Winter Masters, AEGON British Junior National Championships and the AEGON British Tour Masters.
If you are entering and winning matches at regional and national level (grades 1 and 2), then you could be ready for the challenge of competing on the international stage.
These are competitions for highly ranked juniors and seniors. The youngest age group is 12-and-under. All international junior tournaments form part of circuits organised by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Tennis Europe (TE).Detailed information on Competition Structure and Grades
View a case study of the steps Basford LTC took to introduce competition to their coaching programme