USTA League Realignment Q&A

October 10, 2011 02:10 PM
mediawall-league-chartAre the new leagues in addition to the existing leagues?
No. The previous League structure is being replaced with the new age realignment structure as per the divisions and age groupings detailed above.

What exactly is changing?
Previously, USTA League was divided into Adult (18 & over), Senior (50 & over), Super Senior (60 & over) and Mixed (18 & over). The Adult Division was singles and doubles, while the Senior, Super Senior and Mixed were played as solely doubles matches. The new structure will have just two divisions -- Adult and Mixed. The Adult Division will be composed of 18 & over, 40 & over, and 55 & over; the 18 & over and the 40 & over will feature both singles and doubles, while the 55 & over will be solely doubles. The Mixed Division remains, competing in 18 & over as before. As before, participants will continue to compete at their NTRP level for each category.
Why did the USTA make this change?
The decision to change the structure was made to better distribute USTA League participants among the three age categories -- previously, the vast majority of USTA League participants fell in the "Adult" category (18 & over), with far fewer in the "Senior" (50 & over) and "Super Senior" (60 & over) categories -- and to better align participants with players their own age. Existing data research, player surveys and player focus groups clearly indicated a need for age restructuring in order to provide more and better play opportunities, both for competitive and social reasons. Under the previous model, players were of the same ability but not necessarily of the same playing style or fitness level. The restructuring guarantees more frequency of play opportunities at more appropriate age divisions.
What are the benefits of making this change?
Research indicates that age restructuring should provide the majority of players with additional play opportunities and produce more competitive match play, which will result in more accurate NTRP player ratings. The changes also allow players to play in more homogenous groupings should they so choose (that is, older players will retain the option of playing in the younger age levels while now also having a group reserved for those closer to their age).
Is USTA membership still a requirement to play?

Can these formats be modified at the local level to address unique circumstances? 
Yes. Formats at the local level are decided by the local league management in consultation with the USTA Section. However, the structure would need to conform to the new national structure for participation in all levels of championships.

Will organizing a team be easier, more difficult, or the same? 
Organizing teams should remain unchanged. If anything, the new structure should provide more opportunities to play on more teams and enjoy making new friends. With the availability of the Team Management Tool (TMT), at no cost, it could even make the challenges for the captains easier to manage.

Click here for league realignment original announcement.