Big Changes in 2021: USTA Unified Tournament Structures

Yes, big changes are coming. I appreciate it, because I suggested them… 🙂


After a study led by the University of Central Florida, the USTA announced in October 2019 that its Junior Competition Committee had approved proposed changes to the Nationwide Junior Competitive Structure that will include Florida in changing U.S. junior tennis. The USTA national body will implement the American Development Model (ADM), shifting to the Nationwide Junior Competitive Structure to grow junior tennis and attract and retain more youth players, while giving their families a progression of play and tournament competition that is easy to understand. The move will impact competitive events throughout the nation, installing a standardized structure and ranking system for tennis events across the 17 USTA Sections, to be used in all ranked competitive play.

New National and Sectional USTA Ranking Lists

If you want to know how it will work, you should watch the video above.

The following is just an email about my proposal to do it that way – and now the USTA is actually doing it. 🙂

July 31, 2019

“Hi XXX,(cc XXX XXX and XXX XXX)

How are you doing? I hope you are fine!

I would like to address an issue that worries me since some time.

My son, XXX XXX, is one of Florida’s very active Boys 12 tennis players which means he plays a lot of USTA tournaments. At the moment he is ranked #9 in Boys 12 in Florida.

After experiencing the process of playing many tournaments and talking to many parents it always seems to be really complicated to find out about potentially achievable ranking points for tournaments.

In my opinion there should be a reform of how the USTA calculate ranking points which would bring benefits for everyone and would even promote competitive tennis.

At the moment there is this inconvenient gap between local tournaments where you can get points for your section only – and national tournaments where you can get national and sectional points.

Why not making it much easier?

Every tournament should award points – which are NOT split into National and Sectional points. E.g. if you achieve 150 points at a Level 3. Those 150 points should be counted for your ranking no matter if National or Sectional. All results from all US states should be entered into one single database. All tournaments all over the US would reward the same amount of points according to the level (L1, L2, L3, etc.) and the round a player has reached.

After this implementation there would be nationwide only two ranking lists for all single USTA players in their respective age group. At the moment it’s very confusing with so many different ranking lists for different sections, states and national lists.

Which means there would be only one National ranking list and one Sectional ranking list for every age group – nothing else. E.g. if you are a boys 12 player – you would be listed in a list B12 National ranking – and a list B12 Sectional ranking! 

Two lists instead of countless lists at the moment…(Only the 8 best results do count, like it is now.)

What’s the benefit of this model?

The calculation of points would be much easier – for parents and for the USTA administration.

The number of different ranking lists would come down to TWO for every age group (Sectional and National).

At the moment it feels like there are hundreds of different ranking list when you look it up on

Players playing on a high level locally would also be ranked on the National ranking list which would encourage them much more than in the current situation. Players would still need to travel to get higher in the rankings but everything would be much less complicated.

How does this support competitive tennis?

This would motivate competitive local players who cannot afford to travel to every tournament. They would then be ranked on the National ranking list with some points and not with zero points like it is now. I’m sure it would also be an additional encouragement to play National tournaments, especially those which are not so far away.

To get to the top of the ranking you would still need to travel to more National tournaments but the new and easy way to calculate points would provide a much more positive feedback when your local points do also count for your National ranking.

Most importantly everything would be much easier!

Just wanted to send you my idea, because at the moment it’s just too confusing.

Have a wonderful day!



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