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What to expect from USTA League Tennis


What is USTA League?

USTA League is the country’s largest adult competitive tennis league. Raleigh has one of the largest USTA leagues in the country and is managed by the Raleigh Tennis Association. USTA League play is organized by skill level according to the USTA’s National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP). Each league player is assigned an NTRP rating based on their tennis ability. Players who are new to USTA League need to self-rate to obtain an NTRP rating before joining a team.


How do I get an NTRP rating or self-rate?

First, you need to create a free USTA account. Second, you will need to fill out the USTA self-rate questionnaire which is a series of questions about your tennis experience. Once complete, you will be immediately provided with an NTRP rating. Click here for descriptions and videos of each level.


Ok, I’ve joined the USTA and self-rated. Now what?

You can request assistance finding a team by completing this form. We will do our best to help everyone who wants to play find a team. If teams are already full, we may form a new team if we have enough players.


How much does it cost to play USTA league?

To participate in USTA league, you need to be a USTA member. Membership is currently $44 a year (as of 1/1/2024). Click here to learn more and join the USTA. In addition to your USTA membership, each league season has a league fee. For example, the Spring USTA League fee for 2024 is $25.


Is there a cost to play each match?

Matches played on Raleigh city courts incur court fees of $10 per court per match. Court fees are incurred by the team captain for home team matches only and are typically shared between the team members. The amount per player will vary according to the number of matches and players. For example, if a 2.5 team has 8 matches and 4 are home matches, the city of Raleigh will send that captain a contract for the court fees totaling $120. In addition, the home team provides a new can of tennis balls for each court.


How does USTA League play work in Raleigh?

The league is organized by a local league coordinator (LLC). Each team has a volunteer captain who invites players to join his/her team. Captains in the Raleigh area form teams of 15 or less players based on their gender, age, and level of play. Once all of the teams have registered, the LLC sets up the league schedule that includes the date, time, and location.


How serious is USTA tennis?

USTA league tennis is a level-based, competitive tennis league. For those that have experience with the RTA Winter League, it is more competitive than that league. Players are expected to understand the rules, know how to keep score, and have the ability to serve and rally. Match scores are reported by the team captains and entered into Tennislink after each match where they can be viewed by anyone. All players need to show up on time or the match may be defaulted.


Tell me more about the Spring USTA League.

You can find details about the Raleigh spring league here. In general, the spring league is organized by gender, age group, and NTRP level. For example, women play other women’s teams at the same NTRP level and age group. 


Will I play singles or doubles?

You would need to talk with your captain about your preferences. The 2.5 18 & over teams, play one court of singles and 2 courts of doubles for each match. The 2.5 40 & over teams play 3 courts of doubles for each match. See the Spring USTA League page for more information.


Will I play in every match?

It’s very unlikely that you’ll play in every match. Teams can have a roster of up to 15 players while only 5-6 players will play each week. Your team captain will ask you for your availability and will schedule your playing time accordingly. Each team should have enough players to allow for travel, illness or injury.


When does the Spring USTA League start?

Spring league usually starts in late February or early March, but the teams are formed in January and February. It’s best to find a team early if you want to play in the spring. Be sure to submit the “Find a team” form if you need help finding a team.


Where can I find more information?

Visit the RTA website for all things tennis in the greater Raleigh area including a variety of services such as where to get your racquet strung, buy a new pair of tennis shoes, find a teaching pro, places to play, and so much more.

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