LTA introduces new rating system with tennis players in Britain among first in the world to get an ITF World Tennis Number

01/11/2021

| Tennis Wales

The LTA has announced the introduction of the ITF World Tennis Number for players of all standards – making Britain one of the first countries in the world to introduce the brand new, inclusive, innovative and modern rating system that has been designed to provide a significant boost to grassroots participation and recreational competition.

Likened to the handicap system in golf, the World Tennis Number will operate with one simple scale for all players aged 10 and over and regardless of gender, catering for players of all abilities from beginners to top players. Updating every week, players will be given a ‘Number’ from ‘40’ to ‘1’, with recreational players starting close to 40 and top level players being close to 1 (players with an ATP/WTA world ranking will all be rated simply as ‘Pro’).

The introduction of the new rating system will mean that it will be easier than ever to find an evenly-matched opponent – each player will have a personalised World Tennis Number ‘Game zONe’ to help identify opponents of a similar level. In addition, for the first time ever in Britain, the ratings system will also include doubles – with players having a separate Number for playing either singles or doubles matches, which will help engage many more players.

Initially including results from organised matches in local, county, regional, national and international competitions, and at local tennis venues, it is also the LTA’s ambition in the future to enable players to ‘self-submit’ results from games against their friends to help support local, recreational play.

The LTA has played a leading role, alongside the ITF and other major tennis nations, in the development of the new system. While Britain is amongst the first countries to introduce the World Tennis Number, 134 national associations have already signed up to adopt it, representing over 80% of the world’s tennis playing population and helping to create a common language for tennis across the world.

The World Tennis Number will replace the LTA’s current ratings system, which was identified as a priority area to improve by coaches, referees, players and parents during the LTA’s Competition Review. It will be available for free to all LTA Advantage members who play tennis at any level, and will be displayed when they log in to Advantage via the LTA website.

Its adoption forms part of a series of improvements being implemented by the LTA to make competitions more relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable for all players – something seen as central to retaining players of all ages and abilities in tennis, as well as supporting players on the Performance Pathway to develop their game and progress.

Olly Scadgell, LTA Participation Director, who has been part of the international steering committee for the ITF World Tennis Number, said: “Introducing the World Tennis Number is key part of what the LTA is doing to grow the sport and open tennis up to more people. We know that one of the barriers to more people playing tennis is finding someone of a similar ability to play and compete against, and so the World Tennis Number will make it easier for players to find others of a similar level to play with and therefore have an even and enjoyable game.

“There has been a lot of work put in behind the scenes over the past 18 months, but we’re now really excited to see the impact that the World Tennis Number and our wider improvements to tennis competitions will have in the coming years, and would encourage all players in Britain to ensure they have signed up to Advantage to get their own Number.”

To find out more about the World Tennis Number visit www.lta.org.uk/WTN, and to sign up to receive one for free simply register as an LTA Advantage ‘Compete,’ Play + or free ‘Play’ member at www.lta.org.uk/advantage.

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