UTR: The New BOSS in Town
If you are a Junior Tennis Athlete wanting to earn your chops, then you have to meet the new “BOSS” in town – the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR): the quickly developing gold standard tennis ranking.
The UTR is a global tennis player rating system whose goal is to produce an objective, consistent, and accurate index of players’ skill. The system rates all players on a single 16-point scale, without regard to age, gender, nationality, or locale of a given match.
UTR isn’t just any rating tool, it is a peer-to-peer assessment that allows evaluators (college tennis coaches) to gauge the level of a player based on the differential of the result against another player. It’s sort of an “anti-point” collection system that plays to the strength of every tennis player and goes against all traditional norms of ranking tennis players.
One of the leading proponents of UTR is Dave Fish, long-standing Men’s Tennis Head Coach at Harvard University, who has publicly stated that “The Universal Tennis Rating system is now being recognized … as the best metric available for judging junior talent… the recruiting benefits of UTR are evident for both coaches and recruits… (and) the widespread use of the Universal Tennis approach to tournament play promises to transform the entire player development system of tennis”
UTR has tied up with International Tennis Federation (ITF) and USTA to integrate their rating tool with the ITF and USTA tournaments, but standalone UTR events are coming up in a big way globally.
One of the challenges we face in Asia is the lack of UTR tournament availability. Since this concept was formed, developed and evangelized mainly in the US and Europe, Asia hasn’t seen too much organizing of these events.
Recently, there have been a few people in South-East Asia conducting UTR tournaments: Jeff Landau in Indonesia, a handful of scattered events in the Philippines and Asia-wide by DreamBig Events. This growing concept will surely help junior tennis players have much more access to tournaments and accelerate their rating – especially those who find it difficult to travel to play ITF Junior and USTA Junior tournaments
Whether your goal is to play college tennis or play professionally, the UTR can help you determine your level of tennis performance at any given point in time with higher consistency and accuracy.