LTA Youth Competitions

Whether your child is just starting on their tennis journey, or has been playing for a few years, there are a lots of opportunities for them to get involved in fun and enjoyable competition!

Red, Orange and Green competitions are graded to help players find the right tournaments, starting with local tournaments which provide a great introduction to competition.

Playing in competitions is a great way to put a player's skills into practice and demonstrate fair play, as they get the chance to compete against other players of a similar standard. 

Competition Age Groups Competition Age Groups addremove

LTA Youth Competitions are for children aged 10 and under and is split into the following age groups:

  • Red: 8 and under
  • Orange: 8 - 9 years old
  • Green: 9 - 10 years old 

LTA Youth Competitions age groups are aligned with the same competition seasons as Junior Tennis. A player's competition age is determined by their age on 31 December.

The table below shows which age group players will compete in from 1 January to 31 December 2021:

What does this mean?

  • If your child is born in 2013 or later, they will play in Red competitions in 2021.
  • If your child is born in 2012 or 2013, they will play in Orange competitions in 2021.
  • If your child is born in 2011 or 2012, they will play in Green competitions in 2021.

Access our Age Group Calculator to check which age group your child is in.

Finding your first competition Finding your first competition addremove

There are loads of different types of competition for your child to get involved in! 

Tennis competitions are graded between 7-1 to give an indication of the standard of play and to make it easier to identify suitable competitive opportunities. 

For Mini Tennis Players who are new to competing, we would recommend finding a Grade 7, Grade 6 or Grade 5 competition to start off with. 

  • Grade 7 competitions include local competitions such as club or squad box leagues and offer an opportunity to start gaining competitive experience. 
  • Grade 6 competitions are usually match-play events for players to play against opponents of a similar standard. 
  • Grade 5 competitions are local club or county level. 

Find out more about Competition Grading on our Start Competing page.

There are also a variety of local, club-based recreational competitions taking place throughout the year: 

  • Team Challenge is a fun, team competition aimed at mini and junior players in club programmes who are new or inexperienced to competition. Find out more about Team Challenge

Use our Find a Competition tool to search and enter a competition – you can filter your search preferences to find the right competition for your child.

Recent Form Recent Form addremove

Recent Form is used to determine acceptance into 9U and 10U competitions graded 1 - 4, and is also used for seeding draws graded 1 - 5.

Recent Form means a Player’s best individual tournament performance at the given age group (9U or 10U) within the last six months. No Recent Form points are allocated for Team competitions / Leagues.

Due to Covid19 Recent form is now calculated as the player’s best 3 performances at the age group within the past 52 weeks.

From 1 October 2021 onwards we return to the standard calculation of the best 3 individual performances in the past 6 months. 

With the removal of Mini Tennis ratings from 1 April 2020, Recent Form will be the primary acceptance measure for 9U and 10U competitions at grade 1 - 4 and acceptance is based on their recent form as at the closing deadline. Seeding of draws will be made according to Recent Form as of when the competition draw is made.

View the Recent Form Points Table

What are Player Passports? What are Player Passports? addremove

Player passports, which are managed by the Talent Performance Teams, are awarded to players who have achieved strong competition results and whereby receiving one, would benefit their progress and overall game development. This is reviewed as part of the on-going regional and national camp program.

Player Passports are awarded to players based on the criteria below:

Competitive profile

Players will need to be demonstrating that they are competing to a high level in grade 3s and 2s. They will also be demonstrating behaviours such as:

  • Spirit, determination and a fair attitude to match play
  • A willingness to compete positively when under pressure

Great approach to training

Players will be demonstrating that they are the strongest players attending regional camps and or inter-regional/national camps.

Behaviours to observe would include:

  • Great work ethic
  • Listening well and responding positively to instruction
  • The ability to focus on the process of training
  • Great attitude to chasing every ball, challenging themselves to never let the ball bounce twice.

Players are nominated and approved by the LTA Performance Team.

Upon receiving a Player Passport, a player will be able to play in the next age group or ball colour above. Read more about our Player Passports Rules.

Rewards Rewards addremove

We’re launching a new mini tennis competition reward system for players aged 10 years and under called LTA Youth Competition Rewards, replacing mini tennis ratings in 2021. The new improved participation based competition reward scheme for young players to help recognise their progress with a specific focus on having fun and learning to play rather than chasing wins.

  • Players will receive a digital certificate when they have played in 10 recorded matches in a specific ball colour (Red, Orange or Green)
  • Players will receive a t-shirt when they have played in 20 recorded matches (a further 10 matches) in a specific ball colour (Red, Orange or Green)
  • Players will receive a hoody when they have played a in 40 recorded matches (a further 20 matches) in a specific ball colour (Red, Orange or Green)

Acceptance & Seeding Acceptance & Seeding addremove

Acceptance

  • Red: Very few competitions at 8U are oversubscribed, however in exceptional cases where they are, acceptance will be drawn by lot i.e. randomly. The organiser will still have the ability to issue wild cards for 1 in every 4 places. At Grade 5 acceptances are done on a first come, first served basis.
  • Orange & Green: An improved Recent Form measure will be used in 9U & 10U competitions which are Grade 1 to 4. If players have the same recent form score, acceptance will be drawn by lot i.e. randomly. The organiser will still have the ability to issue wild cards for 1 in every 4 places. Grade 5 9U competitions will continue to use first come, first served as the method for acceptance.

Seeding / Separation

  • Red: Organisers will be provided with the number of matches each player has played to ensure the groups are fairly separated.
  • Orange & Green: Organisers will be provided with the recent form of each player and the number of matches played to help with seeding/separating draws and this will be used to support level based play.